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November 8, 2016
Digital Marketing  |  5 min read

7 Key Tips to Feel Comfortable on Camera

By Dusey Van Dusen

So you’re ready to shoot your first video. You’ve got a camera, tripod, and microphone ready to go. (If you don’t have any of that stuff, check out How to Do Video on a Budget.) But you step in front of the camera, and you freeze. It can be hard to feel natural in front of the camera, but feeling good while filming is the key to sounding authentic and making your videos more engaging. Check out the video below for some tips to make that first foray into video a pleasant one.

Tip 1: Practice

The best way to feel confident is to know your lines. Some people can wing it, but if you’re nervous, knowing your lines will help. If you have a hard time memorizing your lines, have someone off camera read them to you, and then you repeat them. If there is more than one person who will be in the video, make sure to do a table read, and practice together.

Tip 2: Take a breath

Breathe deep, roll your shoulders and neck, and take a moment to center yourself and clear your mind. It will make a big difference in how you appear on camera. Also, make sure to schedule enough time so that the shoot is fun and not frustrating.  

Tip 3: Use your hands

Body language tells your viewers what to think about what you are saying. Use your hands to emphasize points (but not too much!). Adding body motion to your video uses up that extra nervous energy and makes the whole thing a lot funner.

Tip 4: Stand up

There are times when it’s fine to sit for a video, but standing up tall feels good and you’re less likely to fidget if you’re nervous.

Tip 5: Visualize your audience

While it’s probably not helpful to visualize an auditorium full of people, it can be very helpful to think of a single person who represents the customer watching this video. Pretend you’re talking to them, instead of the camera.

Tip 6: Smile

Remind yourself over and over again to smile. It makes a big difference in how you come across on camera. If nothing else, starting and ending each take with a smile ensures you don’t end up with an awkward-looking thumbnail.

Tip 7: Find your you

Maybe you’ve been told to be yourself when you’re feeling nervous in front of the camera. It’s good advice, but if you’re still feeling nervous, try pretending you are someone you admire, or as weird as it sounds, try being the best version of yourself. You’re playing a character, that character just happens to be you.

Bonus tip: Shoot multiple takes

Knowing that you can always shoot another take helps you relax. You don’t have to nail it the first time, or the second time, or even the third. Write down which takes were your favorite so it’s easy the find them when comes time to edit. 

With practice, you’ll find your stride and the techniques that work for you. Don’t worry if your first videos aren’t perfect. Get them out there, see how they do, and know you can always make another version if you need to.  The more you do it, the better you’ll get.

To up your video marketing game, check out our Guide for Small Business Video Marketing. 

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Michael Van Dusen (Dusey for short) is Infusionsoft’s Video Producer and has 10 years of multimedia experience, with a focus on photography and video production, and a burgeoning love for producing podcasts. With a BS in psychology and previous experience working for tech companies like Apple, he’s constantly seeking new ways to bring humanity and technology together to create compelling stories. When not spreading the small businesses love with Infusionsoft, Dusey hops from hobby to hobby, from hammock camping with his family or going SCUBA diving, to sword fighting and running his own wedding photography small business, DuseyPhoto. If you hear someone laughing in the office, it’s probably Dusey.

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