Aaaaggggh! I know what you’re probably thinking. I’m not good in front of the camera so why should I make any videos? I’ll just look ridiculous and people won’t take me seriously. I’ll fumble with words and look like a total jerk in front of everyone watching me and this will definitely won’t help me become the internet marketer I want to become. So lets just stick with writing posts and making vids with camtesia at least my voice sounds good enough to be heard.
Well, you know what? You’re absolutely right, I thought those same thoughts and still do sometimes when I’m about to plan my next vlog. Some people feel completely at ease when facing the camera and come across as real pros when you watch how calm they are and how flawless they deliver their monologue on video. Bastards! how do they manage to do it with such confidence and ease? You think. I want to be able to do it just like that.
My guess is that although they do come across as pros on their vlogs, you have to remember that they have months if not years of experience working on line producing this kind of content while you being a first timer you grapple with the thought of wanting to show your mug to the world because you haven’t got the experience that these pros have to begin with.
But you have to remember one thing, they all started like you did. In fact I’m almost certain that they all had issues just like you have when it came to looking straight into the camera lens and delivering their speech. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of them still feel a little awkward when they have to do it today. I sure as hell do but that’s just part of nature.
But one thing I can guarantee you that with practice comes experience.
Yes! Practice, practice, practice.
So, I’d like to talk about the 5 step exercise you should follow in order to overcome your vlogging awkwardness and shyness and quash your hesitancy into smithereens.
First step- You need to get hold of a video camera. In this day and age it shouldn’t be a problem either buying one brand new or getting one second hand. If you can’t afford to spend to much and you’re a bit tight for money then another alternative is borrow one from your friends, like I have done 😉 Hey, that’s what friends are for, right? If you can afford to spend a little money then I hear that the flip camera is the best buy at the moment in the market. If you can afford to spare around $140 then this is a steal for that price.
Second step – I suggest you practice talking in front of the mirror a few minutes a day. I know it sounds ridiculously silly but I’m not expecting you to deliver a Shakespearean monologue here, just talk into the mirror about what ever comes to mind. Get comfortable with yourself – remember, you’re not here to win the Oscar for best actor, although it doesn’t hurt trying – your aim is to be comfortable in your own skin, seeing yourself speak.
Third step – Set up your camera somewhere where you will not be disturbed by anyone else. Turn off your mobile and switch off the phone. Another thing I’d suggest is getting a tripod to set your camera on and you’d preferably want to do it where there is a decent amount of light either next to a window or just below some artificial light source so that the you get good enough camera exposure. Sound is also crucial, so try and film yourself, preferably in a confined area, a room where there is no reverberation of sound. If you can buy or borrow some lights and a mic from a friend even better plus if you really want to take things to the next level when it comes to vlogging then watch some free videos by Gideon Shalwick.
Fourth step – You’ve set up the camera with the angle that you like, the sound is good and the lighting is great and now all you want to do is press the record button and just speak to the camera. Yes, just talk about whatever it is you want to talk about. Don’t prepare anything in advance, just ad lib and go with the flow. the whole point of this exercise is to just let go. You’ll feel very uneasy at first which is good, that means it’s working but don’t give in, continue speaking to the camera and relax into it. Feel at ease and begin to feel how it is to talk to the camera as if you’re talking to a good friend of your. Well done! When you feel like you’ve made some progress then stop the camera.
Fifth step – if you haven’t already done so you’ll need to purchase a firewire cable which plugs from your camcorder straight into your PC or MAC. Then dump the footage that you’ve filmed of yourself onto your editing software which comes as standard with your PC or MAC. (either windows movie maker for a PC or Imovie for a MAC).
Now the fun part. Watch yourself from beginning to end and have a good laugh. Try not to judge yourself too much,
although I know you will. You’ll probably cringe at some moments and laugh at others and that’s good. You want to get all those embarrassing moments of yourself out into the open and out of your system. And appreciate and admire yourself for who you are on screen. That’s who you are so live with it.
Remember you’re not perfect, and neither is anyone else so don’t be a harsh critic.
The other thing I want to say is that we all tend to look at ourselves differently the way others perceive us to be.
How you see yourself is not how someone else is going to see you so if you think that you look awful – stop right there! Someone else just might think you were great, instead.
When I did my first video I continuously went over in my mind how I wanted to perform it in front of the camera and to make sure I get all the words in the right order I even typed them out, printed them on an A4 sheet of paper and stuck them just beneath the camera so that I could read them out loud without having to think of what to say next. And after posting it on my blog and YouTube I’d look at it and think, damn I could have done this better, or I could have said that instead. But that is not the point!
You don’t want it to be perfect because then you’ll be agonizing over every details and re doing it over and over until you either run out of tape, battery power or feel completely deflated.
The whole point of the 5 step exercise is to just do your best and not expect it to be perfect. Leave perfection to the Hollywood actors out there and just concentrate on giving value – not perfection.
Remember that your audience are not going to judge your acting or talent skills. You’re not up there to impress Simon Cowell of the X factor (or American idol if you’re in the US) this isn’t a contest. This is you – the real you doing what you can do best in front of the camera. So JUST BE YOURSELF.
Do a few test runs if it will make you happy and more at ease in order to get comfortable with yourself in front of the camera but don’t over do it.
You don’t want to burn yourself out. It’s similar to actors, when they’re on the set, and they do take after take after take, with each and every take they lose momentum and energy and the delivery of their lines soon becomes stale. So don’t do the same mistake. You want your delivery to be fresh, like hot cross buns straight out the oven. It’s okay to learn some sentences before you do your performance but don’t agonize over it.
Remember, you’re allowed to make mistakes in front of the camera. And I advise you to make them too. The majority of the people viewing your video will forgive you, in fact they may even find it more amusing if you cock up then if you were to deliver it straight – verbatim like a pro. It shows your vulnerability, the human side to you and that is what you want to bring across to your audience – THE REAL YOU.
Nothing fake, nothing artificial, nothing fancy.
The real you baby!
So just let go of your insecurity, your fear, your hesitation and take the vlogging plunge. Believe me you won’t regret it.