I was never made to be on camera – I’m not a naturally social person, words don’t flow out of my mouth quickly and easily, and as soon as a camera comes on I feel slightly out of my comfort zone.
After filming my first 5 or 6 videos, I was ready to give up completely.
I remember sitting on my bed after I’d filmed, feeling semi exhausted because it was a whole lot of a talking for my introverted personality – and also really disappointed in myself.
In every video I’d uploaded, I came across as someone with zero personality. I got nervous and weird every time I got on camera, and didn’t know how to get over it.
Now I’ve been doing youtube for two years, have put up over 100 videos, have had over a million people watch my face spout words to a camera, and feel relatively comfortable on camera.
Starting a youtube channel involves setting up a tripod, attaching a camera to it, and hitting record while you speak.
For some people, that comes totally naturally. They can sit in front of a camera and be 100% in their element.
For other people, it’s like eating sand. You feel legitimately ridiculous, and can’t stop thinking about that fact that you’re at home alone, talking out loud to no one.
For whatever reason, your mouth is putting on this weird ass high pitched voice and spurting out phrases that you never ever say in real life. All of the witty, interesting thing you’d imagined you’d say are unreachable within your mind.
Just because you aren’t comfortable on camera straight up, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be making videos. It just means you need to tweak your mind frame, and get some more experience.
Here are four tips to getting out of the weird frame of thinking you’re in, and being yourself on camera.
GETTING OVER YOUR FEAR OF TALKING TO A CAMERA
ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE SAYING
I can be an awkward person when I talk to new people. I don’t mean to say that in an endearing way, I mean I can be super embarrassingly awkward and words don’t come out of my mouth properly and I say weird things that don’t make sense.
It’s a lot easier for me to talk to new people when they’re talking about something that I actually care about – that’s where I genuinely can’t help but throw some words in. I get so into the actual topic that I kind of forget that they’re someone new.
The more you care about the topic of your videos, the easier it will be for you to have the words force themselves out of you in a passionate, engaging way – despite the fact that you’re in an unusual, slightly uncomfortable situation.
Choosing the topic of your channel can be semi stressful – but, I do have a whole post on finding your focus on youtube that might help.
TALK LIKE YOU TALK TO YOUR BEST FRAN / FAMILY / SUBSCRIBER PERSONA
When you’re in a room, by yourself, filming yourself – it’s easy to lose all of the personality that you have when you’re with the people you’re closest to.
So, play pretend. Pretend like you’re talking to your best friend, or your mum, or whoever you talk to in a completely natural, ‘you’ way.
Stick up a photo of them if your imagination isn’t that good and that doesn’t make you feel super uncomfortable. Get them in the room with you – or even film with them in your videos if that makes you feel more yourself.
You could even have your ‘Subscriber Persona’ in your head when you film. Read through your persona before when you film, and talk as you would to that person. Since your persona is the kind of person you want to watch your videos, having them in the back of your mind while you’re filming is going to do nothing but help.
HAVE YOUR SHIT TOGETHER
Have your video planned in your head, and on paper. Create an outline of how your videos going to flow, write out some dot points on what you’ll talk about – don’t just freeball it or you’ll either
- Be lost for words and feel like a wanker at some point during your recording
- Go off in a mega tangent about the topic and despise yourself when you’re editing later on.
MAKE VIDEOS ABOUT NOTHING
Vlog. About nothing. Vlog while you sit on instagram, creep facebook and watch other youtubers for an hour or two. Vlog when you walk your dogs. Vlog when you’re making your morning coffee, eating your lunch, reading. Vlog planning your youtube channel.
Just make videos about nothing, with no expectations, videos that’ll get deleted from your camera the next day
It helps. You’ll get so used to a camera being in your face, and talking super comfortably about nothing to it, that you’ll bring that over to your actual videos and start to show more of your real personality.
THE HARD TRUTH
So, if you’ve been avoiding making youtube videos because you don’t think you’re interesting on film / don’t feel comfortable on camera – you need to stop.
The only way you’re going to get rid of fear is to do something, and do it regularly. Start small – with vlogging pointlessly. Work your way up to sit down videos. Write out your prompts, pretend like you’re talking to someone you love, and hit record.
Make videos with no expectations – you don’t have to upload them. You just have to get your weird belief around talking to a camera out of your head. (But don’t put off uploading your first video for forever).
If you put all of these tips on how to feel comfortable on camera into place, your videos will (eventually – give it some time) be
- Full of your personality
- Engaging as heeell
Have you ever been super nervous when filming yourself? How did you get over it? Let me know in the comments.
WATCH THE VIDEO
WHAT YOU GET:
- A plethora of information on doing youtube authentically, and well
- The occasional free (also v exclusive) work sheet /mini guide
- A lot of good vibes your way from a human being who genuinely wants to see you slay in the youtube community