If you’re an introvert, or even an introverted person, you have struggled with how to be confident on camera for YouTube like I did. But I’ve been creating YouTube videos for almost 6 years, so I’ve developed several tips for being comfortable and confident on camera beyond “just practice.”
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How to be Confident on Camera
Look Confident on Your YouTube Video
How does a shy introverted person gain confidence and get comfortable talking to a camera to create videos like this? Does it really just come down to practice, or is there something else that we can do to remove the fear and anxiety and awkwardness of talking to a camera?
Well, in this blog, I’m going to share my best tips for making videos feel easy so that you feel comfortable on camera and come off as confident to your viewers.
The advice we often hear for this is, “Oh, you just have to do it. Just practice makes perfect. It’s like ripping off a BAND-AID, right?” And that’s not untrue, but as a total introvert with almost six million views here on YouTube, I have some tricks up my sleeve to get confident and comfortable on camera fast so that making videos is a lot easier for us introverted types.
Because the sooner we can actually get comfortable on camera, the more content we can create, the faster we can grow as an online business, as a side hustler. Plus, when you’re not comfortable on camera, your viewers can sense that. It’s uncomfortable for us to watch you be uncomfortable in your videos. So let’s move past the awkward stage as quickly as possible.
Cringe-worthy Before Binge-worthy
I remember the first time that I recorded videos for this channel. It was just me and my camera, in my living room, at my old house. I remember it so well. And I sat on the couch because I thought, well, I want to be comfortable on camera, so I’ll be comfortable on my couch, right?
One of my favorite sayings now is, “cringe-worthy before binge-worthy.” And I think everyone has to go through that cringe-worthy stage at some point. I can remember opening my mouth to speak to the camera and I just said, “This is so awkward.”. But I did it anyway. I practiced and I kept going. And over time, I picked up some tips from some other people and developed some tips for myself.
So I’m going to share my best tips with you because I 100% believe that it really comes down to more than just practice. Because let’s be honest, you can practice over and over again and still keep making the same mistakes over and over again.
Tip #1: Practice talking to yourself
So tip number one is practice talking to yourself. Yes, you can practice talking to a camera, but even just practicing talking out loud when you’re washing your dishes or driving in your car. I used to do this on my way back and forth from work. I had about a 15-minute commute, so it worked really well for me. Also, I would just practice talking about the things that I would be talking about in my videos.
Your brain can write things down on paper. It can type things out in a Word document or something, but it’s different when your brain is spitting things out of your mouth. So, the more practice you have done about the topics you’ll be covering in your videos, the more natural it will be when you actually do sit in front of a camera and hit Record.
Tip #2: Start with the topic that you are confident talking about
Tip number two is to start with topics that you’re already confident talking about. Are there things that you could stand up and give a speech on right now without much preparation? Those things are already in your brain. You’re already used to talking about them and thinking about them and teaching about them, probably. So start with the stuff that you’re already comfortable talking about.
Tip #3: Great lighting
Tip number three is to have great lighting. How does great lighting actually help boost your confidence? Well, when you go and put your videos into your computer and you go to edit them, when your face comes on the screen, you want to look at them and go, “Wow, I look really good on camera.” You don’t want to look at them and say, “Wow, I can see my wrinkles and these spots and those spots and gray hairs coming in.” When you have good lighting, that stuff is not as accentuated. It doesn’t really draw your attention to it.
So great lighting is always a good tip. I don’t have any artificial lights on other than the living room lamp. So I have a window there, and sometimes the sun keeps peeking out from the clouds. So my lighting is not always perfect, and that’s okay. I’m comfortable with that imperfection because I’m trying to get my videos out consistently. That’s something that I talked about in a recent video about how to stay consistent, is to avoid the feeling that everything has to be perfect. ‘Cause it’s never going to be perfect.
Tip #4: Stand up in your videos
Tip number four is actually to stand up in your videos. This helped me a ton, honestly. It was a game-changer for me when I first started. I already mentioned that I thought that being comfortable on camera meant I should be physically comfortable, so I sat on my couch. And the result was kind of like blah. Whereas, once I heard the tip of standing up to do your videos because it gives you a little more energy, total game-changer.
It triggers something in my brain that I have something important to say. So naturally, that confidence kinda comes out. And I feel a lot more comfortable doing that. Then the result, in the end, is that I do have more energy on camera. Now I have a lot of practice, so I can bring the energy even though I’m sitting on my couch, but it took time for me to be able to do that.
Tip #5: Do as many re-takes as you need
Tip number five is to do as many re-takes as you need in order to feel like what came out of you feels natural and comfortable. When I have a script or notes that I’m going off of for my videos, I try to deliver just one or two sentences at a time. That’s really all my brain can handle. I don’t use a teleprompter and I don’t read from a script. It’s all in here, but it’s coming from my notes.
So if I mess up my words, I just redo the whole sentence or the whole paragraph or I start over. When it comes time to edit, you will never regret redoing a section that you weren’t 100% confident about. You’re already here, your hair is done, your makeup is done, your camera’s on, your batteries are charged, your mic’s plugged in. Redo it 17 times if you have to. Honest to God, I do that all the time.
Tip #6: Expect the “weird” feeling
Tip number six is to expect it to feel weird. Nobody is born knowing how to talk to the camera. It’s not a natural thing. So you have to do whatever you have to do to make it feel natural for you. And if it doesn’t feel natural, you’re not alone. We all feel awkward talking to a camera. We do it anyway.
Tip #7: Pretend to be confident on camera
And tip number seven is my all-time favorite tip. This is like my secret sauce, my secret weapon, as an introvert, a shy person who doesn’t naturally talk to a camera. This actually works for recording YouTube videos. It works for attending a conference or a public gathering of any kind and even works for public speaking. And the tip is to simply pretend.
Pretend that you’re not a shy introvert. What would it look like if you just showed up on camera as a confident person? If you could pretend to be an extrovert, nobody knows the difference. Nobody knows that you feel awkward or that you don’t feel confident or that you’re actually an introvert.
All they know is what you show them. So show them that you’re confident. Ultimately, though, you don’t have to be comfortable on camera in order to create a video. And in fact, I challenge you to be confident in the uncomfortable. Find confidence in the uncomfortable. You know, when you take just one little step outside of your comfort zone, your comfort zone gets bigger.
On to the next one!
Now, of course, there are some things you can do to look professional and look legit on camera, like with lighting, audio, equipment and things like that so that not only do you feel confident and comfortable, but your viewers see you as confident and legit. They take you seriously, they stick around, they watch more videos, and they hit subscribe. And if you want to watch my video about that, you can check it out here.