How do you mentally prepare to get on video?

Posted July 31, 2020 in
Video Video

Connor DeLaney

"If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original."

I'm pretty new to video and was planning to film yesterday but was having a lot of mental blocks that made it difficult to "get in the zone" and I started doubting myself. This led to me not recording at all, which wasn't a great feeling. I'd love to know, whether you're a videographer or someone who finds themselves in front of the camera a lot, what mental tricks or routines do you use to get into recording mode? 
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Chris Bryant
I've found a few things that work for me, after being deathly afraid of being on camera, to now loving it.

First: Get used to seeing yourself on camera, and get used to staring into a camera lens to talk to your audience. Film a 45-60 second video where you talk about your day. No one will see this - it's just so you can start getting used to the process. Now watch it back. What do you need to improve? What parts went well?

Now, repeat the above x5-x10 if you've got the time. You'll find that with each video, you will get better and better. However, if it's late and/or you're getting tired, your on-camera performance can start to go downhill. Don't worry, that's normal.

Once you're more comfortable, do a few things to prep before doing it for real:

  1. Dress the part. Wear something you enjoy, something you know you look good in. Make sure you take extra time on your hair, and ensure you don't have spinach in your teeth. =D This goes a long way for self-confidence, which is super important when going on-camera.
  2. Tell yourself that the lens = your ideal, target audience (because it is!). You ARE having a direct (albeit one-way) conversation with that person.
  3. Remember to be yourself. Watching lots of videos of other great on-camera personalities and comparing yourself to them is a great way to freak yourself out. "I can never be THAT good." "I loved the way X presented herself. I'll do it that way." Not good. Your secret weapon? YOU. There is no one else like you, and you've got your own personality. Let it shine, don't try to be anyone else, and you just might be pleasantly surprised at the result.
  4. A bit of caffeine never hurt anyone. In fact, a coffee right before going on camera, speaking at an event, or jumping into a networking event is easily one of the biggest parts of my success with those things. It's hard to be 100% when you're a little tired or off.

The more videos you get under your belt (either test ones just for yourself to review, or actual content that will go out to the world), the better you'll get. It's been said a million times, but it's true: your 10th video will be better than your first. And your 100th video will be MUCH better than your 10th. You've just gotta get those reps in.

Good luck on your projects, Connor!

John Becker
I love this  Chris Bryant ! It's all about the reps.

How did you develop these great strategies?
Chris Bryant
Lots of practice. LOTS. =D

My first ever video was nerve-wracking, but I wanted to expand my comfort zone. I've since gotten totally comfortable in front of a lens.

Glad you dug my tips, John! =)