Let’s pretend you need to change the battery in your vehicle, but you’ve never done it before and you’re not exactly mechanically inclined.
You have two options for how you learn to accomplish the task. Either you can dig through your car manual and try to find the relevant instructions, or you can watch a two-minute YouTube video. Which option would you choose?
While some may opt for the written manual, my guess is that at least 80 per cent of people would choose to watch the YouTube video.
Whether we’re looking to be educated or entertained, video content is often the medium of choice; therefore, if we’re looking to engage our audience for personal or professional reasons, we should focus our attention on producing video content.
But there’s a challenge. Speaking in front of a camera lens and recording video content is a scary and intimidating process for many people.
In this month’s column and the accompanying video, I provide a few tips to help you build your confidence before hitting the record button.
Don’t let the way you look/sound bother you
One of the biggest hindrances that stops people from producing video content is that they hate the way they look or sound when they watch it back.
The first thing to remember is that this is normal. I’ve been creating YouTube content for several years, and it’s often cringy to go back and watch my old videos. But remember that your audience doesn’t think of it that way.
Your friends or clients already know what you look and sound like and they’ll simply be appreciative of the fact you’re providing helpful content in a medium they enjoy consuming.
You don’t have to post every video
A friend of mine who got over his own fear of shooting video content shared an awesome tip with me that I hadn’t thought of previously—you don’t have to post every video you shoot.
In order to build the habit of shooting video content, he would create videos every day and simply save them to his camera roll. After a couple weeks of doing these, he became more comfortable in front of the camera and decided he might as well share the content he was already going to the work of creating to social media.
If you want to start creating videos, remember that no one is forcing you to upload these videos. The key is to practice shooting the content to get comfortable.
You can edit and splice together
It's very difficult to shoot a video perfectly in one take without making any mistakes. The good news is, you don’t have to.
If you watch my videos closely, there are many jump cuts where I splice together clips and make it flow in the editing process. What this means is that you don’t have to memorize an entire script. Remember a few sentences you want to say, look at the camera and deliver those, then pause, check your notes, and memorize the next few sentences, look at the camera and repeat this process.
Use a sticky note and bullet points
While the third tip is a good one, what if you’re shooting a live video and don’t have the luxury of editing your content?
A subtle sticky note behind the camera can help remind you of the topics you want to address in the video you’re filming. These bullet point reminders will help keep you on track as you deliver the live video content.
With that said, ensure you don’t write down all of your text verbatim and attempt to read it on camera. Your audience will know you’re reading off of a script, and the video won’t feel as genuine.
Smile more than you think you need to
You need to smile!
Most people are so focused on saying the right words when they shoot a video that they forget they need to smile. By not smiling, your video will not feel as inviting or engaging to your audience.
At the top of the sticky note I mentioned inthe previous tip, write “SMILE” in big letters as a constant reminder.
Batch content in a single shoot
Since you have gone to all the effort of setting up your camera, getting your lighting just right and ensuring all of your equipment is set up properly, you might as well shoot more than one video.
I typically will shoot a minimum of four videos every time I record for YouTube. This makes it easier and less of a chore, because, if it’s my goal to post a new video every week, I only have to record content once per month.
If you’re going to take me up on this tip to batch content, ensure you wear different shirts so it looks like you recorded the content on different days.
I hope these tips help you get over your fear of recording video content and are helpful.
If you’re thinking about joining Toastmasters to improve your public speaking skills, our Kelowna AM Toastmasters Club is always looking for new members.
If you’re interested in learning more about Impactful Communication, subscribe to my YouTube channel.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.