Sometimes video is the absolute best form of content, especially if you need to show how to use something or perform something. One of the things almost impossible to explain in written only would be sport technique.
That’s how I started making friends with video.
I have to say, often times for me it’s a lot about laziness, too, not to put my podcasts on video as I would have to do something with my hair, put on some makeup etc. But the truth is, what’s more important is the content, not your outlook… would you agree?
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How to get started making videos if you’re not comfortable with camera at all
Previously I asked the question “What’s your favorite format, text, audio or video”, and while my readers as consumers like video, apparently not everyone is quite as comfortable making one of their own.
Sometimes it is the absolute best form of content, especially if you need to show how to use something or perform something. One of the things almost impossible to explain in written only would be sport technique.
I actually started making videos by shooting my warmup and kettlebell exercises. In the oldest ones I first show a technique, then write it out and then show again, but I don’t talk. Later I’ve made dozens of videos just for my own students, explaining some detail they’re struggling with.
I gradually learned to tolerate my own flaws on video as I’ve watched them over and over again. My own biggest challenge has always been that I tend to talk a lot, instead of making it concise and to the point. Having a script helps with that.
Here’s how anyone can get started:
Step #1: Audit
Start by picking a topic you love, something you could talk for hours about.
It doesn’t matter if it’s not the topic you teach, because the purpose of this exercise is not to produce fantastic footage for YouTube, but to teach you to be comfortable with the camera.
So press “Record”, smile and start talking. Forget about the camera, just explain your thing as if you were talking to your closest friend. She knows you and the topic is something you know inside and out, so there’s nothing to be nervous about.
Then press stop and take a look at what you have.
Step #2: Analyze
You probably feel like your voice doesn’t sound like you at all and you may have annoying maneuvers. Perhaps you’re holding your head in a position which is accentuating your nose you don’t like (try adjusting the camera!), wave your hands or you keep repeating a word such as “like”, “you know” or “actually” which after a while starts to irritate even yourself.
Don’t criticize: After all, this is your first time. Instead focus on technicalities and try to stay analytic. You don’t need to show this to anyone.
Step #3: Rehearse
Shoot another round, but this time try to keep that maneuver to a minimum. You’re still talking about your favorite topic to your best pal, so you don’t need to focus on memorizing that any more than you would need to focus on breathing.
Repeat this exercise enough times until you’ve gotten used to your own voice and have fixed the most annoying distractions.
Step #4: Ramp up
When you’ve made friends with the camera, you can move to the topics you teach. Again, I suggest you start from the ones you know best, and this time you may want to work a script first. Here’s one structure you can use to craft a presentation or an interview.
You can (and you should) still pretend you’re talking to the friend – that’s what Sir Richard Branson does, too!
And you can also use notes if you need, that’s quite ok. Or shoot multiple takes and edit afterwards if needed.
Practice makes perfect – though you may want to remember no such thing exists.
Besides, most people don’t really notice the “flaws” you do.
Just think about that friend of yours who always starts by pointing them out, for instance she walks you through the house and shows every detail that’s somehow off, but you would never notice those if she didn’t tell you that “This wallpaper is slightly too dark, here’s a one millimetre gap and those curtains should be mushroom and not beige…” Ring a bell?
I hope you find this useful and I hope to see your video on air some day, feel free to link it in the comments!
And if you have tricks you use when speaking in public or on video, please share them with us, too!