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The camera is just a tiny piece of electronic equipment. So why is it so hard to act confidently and naturally in front of it?
While it can be nerve-wracking, experimenting with video on your blog can be beneficial for adding fresh content, or when trying to reach a new audience.
To help ease the stage fright and get you camera ready, check out these tips for standing out in the spotlight:
- As the saying goes, “Fake it ‘til you make it.”
Confidence is key when talking to an audience (even if that audience is in the virtual realm), but most of us freeze up once the little red light flicks on to “recording.” That sage advice of “picturing everyone in their underwear” isn’t so far off; if you’re thinking about the possible rejection that might accompany putting yourself out there, it’s most likely you’re going to flop. But if you think about things that make you happy and confident (such as accomplishments or any types of success, it could be that you went on a really long run earlier that morning!), it will boost your ego in front of the camera.
- Be personable, but professional.
Most often when you are doing on-camera work, you will be interacting with other people or talking about a subject that may be within your expertise. While you want to maintain a level of professional showmanship, it’s important to remain personable to your audience — someone they can relate to. Think about it: Most personalities on television gain their audience by creating a persona that you could have coffee with, almost like a professional friend or acquaintance.
- Work on your voice and tone.
Guess what? You probably don’t sound the same on camera as you do when you’re chatting with your friends. And guess what else? You may hate the way your voice sounds when you hear it played back (it’s a natural tendency). Broadcast journalists are taught to speak a few octaves lower than their normal speaking voice to sound more established and serious, and you too can gauge your voice depending on the situation. Practice your voice by recording yourself repeatedly until you find your sweet spot. It’s like having your “telephone voice” — but only for when you are in front of the camera!
- Don’t skimp on the make-up.
There’s a reason why actors and television personalities cake on the make-up; it’s true, the camera can show off those not-so-gorgeous features on your skin. To make sure you’ve got your game face on, be sure to cover every angle and accentuate your best features. You will be thankful you did afterwards.
- Pump up the lighting.
Good lighting can really improve the way you look on camera, just as sharp shadows or dim lighting can sometimes make you look older or tired. For optimal lighting, try the fairly simple 3-point-lighting system, in which a key light, or main light, is placed on the subject, along with a filler light and a back light.
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