You On Video: How to Come Across As a Smooth, Confident Pro

So picture this: You walk into your big fancy studio, clip on your snazzy wireless microphone, flip the bank of switches and illuminate the lights, the recording light glows softly on your camera and…


You stare into the lens and all the planning, all the preparation, all the inspiration fades away in an instant.

Sound familiar?

Of course it does. It happens to virtually EVERYONE their first time in front of the camera. And their second. And probably their twentieth. It happened to me, it’s happened to my clients, it’s happened to those big name gurus you always see crushing it on video.

Want to know how to beat it? Practice.

Practice, practice, practice, practice.

Not really what you were hoping for, right? The truth is that there isn’t any “miracle cure” that will make you instantly awesome on video. There are, however, a few shortcuts that can help you get there faster.

#1: Don’t shoot for perfection

You don’t need to have the delivery of a Hollywood A-list actor, you don’t need (or want!) to sound like an infomercial or a used-car salesman. We hear it over and over, but you really just want to be yourself. No one is going to fault you for a couple ums and ahs. If you mispronounce a word or drop your marker… it’s okay to keep rolling, or even acknowledge the slip — “whoops, having a bit of trouble hanging on to those guys today”.

Bottom line, it’s not going to turn your audience off if you aren’t picture perfect. In fact, it’ll probably do the exact opposite. In a world of electronic communication and big, faceless corporations; showing a bit of a human touch is always a point in your favor.

#2: The Internet is not TV

On the face of it, broadcasting your message on the Internet seems very similar to TV. After all, both are going out digitally and displayed on screens to vast numbers of people. But there is a key, critical difference. TV is a soapbox, a way to broadcast to many people all at the same time. And everyone knows this. When you are watching a TV show, there is no sense that the newscaster is talking directly to you. You know they are talking to a vast audience. Words and phrases like, “Everyone out there”, and “All of you”, or even “You all” are commonplace.

The Internet, on the other hand, is personal. You are talking one on one to your audience. They navigated to your page, they clicked the play button, you are talking directly to them. Talk to one person, not to a crowd.

#3: Get pumped up!

There’s a saying that I really like, “Change your state, change your life”. It might sound a bit strange, but your body language has a huge impact, not only on how you are perceived by others, but on how you perceive yourself! Over a long day of shooting — or just thinking about shooting — it’s easy to get tired and to lose energy.

One of the things that I’ve always had success with is to get physical right before going in front of the camera. It doesn’t have to be much! Just jumping up and down a few times or blasting a sweet pump-up song can be enough — just get your blood moving and get excited! Your energy will carry over into your video and you’ll be shocked at how much better your presentation is.

In the end, the cool thing with video is that you have virtually unlimited chances to get it right. Even total pros usually have to shoot multiple takes of important videos for them to get that one perfect one — and then even after that they usually want to do another one or two just to see if they can get it EVEN better. Stay patient, observe what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll be on your way to crushing it with online video in no time.

The Jeff Walker Team

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