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Are you afraid to be in front of a camera?

Video has been around for many years now, and it brings with it a wealth of statistics that prove just how much of an impact it can have on a business’s bottom line.

Diane Hall


Camera lens with illusions colours in the background

It’s unlikely that any business owner out there doesn’t understand the merit of including video in their marketing mix. However, knowing this doesn’t make much of a difference if you’re someone who has a crippling fear of being in front of a camera lens.

It’s not uncommon. Many people don’t like having their photos taken and a similar number would shrivel up at the thought of speaking in front of a live audience.

Just think: all eyes on you. Being out there, open to judgement by others.

Scopophobia: the fear of being looked at.

To ensure they don’t have to endure such terror, many business owners keep a low profile, well away from cameras.

The thing is, fortune favours the bold—not those who run away from exposure. Avoiding cameras makes it harder in the long run to attract people to you, to establish credibility, to widen your reach. 

Video represents a huge shortcut here.

There’s no magic wand that will instantly make you love the camera. There’s no quick fix that will see you become a darling of the lens. To feel better about being filmed is a simple case of getting over yourself, unfortunately.

Practice will see your fears dissipate bit by bit, until it becomes more natural for you to be the camera’s subject. You may never feel truly comfortable in videos, but you can learn to present yourself in such a way that your nerves are not on show to viewers.

Using videos in your business doesn’t have to be a scary prospect. It’s unlikely you will dive straight in to live videos…so just remember: anything recorded can be edited and manipulated. It really doesn’t matter if you make a mistake.

Practice talking to yourself beforehand. Whilst having an outline of what you want to say is a good idea, and perhaps even prompt cards, creating a script is unlikely to see you produce something natural and free-flowing that shows your personality to potential customers and your entrepreneurial peers. A script will make you seem even more stilted and bring your nerves centre-stage.

Don’t overthink it. No one but the cameraperson and video editor will see the work in progress. Take the opportunity to have a bit of fun—clips of you showing your personality and all your flaws will attract more engagement from audiences, anyway. After all, who wants to watch a word-perfect (but wholly uninspiring) robot? Wouldn’t you warm more to someone muddling through a video to get their message across with humour, self-deprecation and plenty of personality?

When filming, forget about the people who may watch what’s produced. Think: you’re simply going about your day with a lump of plastic in front of you. Demystify the experience. Become desensitised to the publishing part of the process and just concentrate on capturing the moment.

Couple in front of camera blurred with camera in focus

Couple in front of camera blurred with camera in focus

Put on one of your favourite outfits that always makes you feel good. Have a chat with the people filming you before you get down to business; get to know them, explain your fears, allow them to put you at ease—they’ll be happy to reassure you, as you’ll be a much better subject to film if you’re relaxed. Don’t forget, you won’t be the first person they’ve come across quaking in their boots at the thought of being on camera.

I’m sending these tips from research rather than experience as I’m one of the very people I’m aiming to reassure! I hate my picture being taken; when I look back at the image captured it seems to place neon signs around every aspect of myself that I don’t like and which I’m terribly, terribly self-conscious of (i.e. my weight, my age, my paleness, my rubbish hair, my big nose and crooked teeth…believe me, I could go on!). We regularly appear in video and photos as staff at Novus Marketing Solutions and I do sometimes have to resign myself into just accepting how the camera sees me is not what I see in the mirror.

I’ve been filmed as part of numerous projects, and whilst I don’t hate this as much as having my photo taken (I’m not sure why), I still get nervous. The fallout of this is that I ramble on screen. And I talk fast. Sometimes, I even stutter…none of which makes for comfortable viewing. After a short while, however, I calm down and, whilst I’ll never be a threat to the likes of Jodie Foster or Julia Roberts, I manage to get through the experience and get the job done well enough.

Don’t allow the fear of being on video prevent you from reaping the rewards it can bring to your business and its growth.

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