Does the idea of recording yourself for YouTube videos make you cringe a little bit? Do you feel awkward, stiff and inauthentic?
In this article, you’ll learn how to develop and practice camera presence. I’ll cover the basics, such as tips on how to look engaging, what to do with your hands, how to move with purpose, how to be yourself, and much more. Whether you want to make better Youtube videos, or create a course, these tips will help you look more confident and comfortable on camera. Read on!
Before you start creating any type of content, remember this:
- There’s no one size fits all
These are tips I learned through my own experience so you may resonate with some of the tips and others a little bit less. Take what you need 🙂
- Don’t wait until it’s perfect
Don’t wait to check all the boxes, just start recording. Most people on YouTube don’t like their first few videos, sometimes even the first 30 videos. You just don’t know because they don’t tell you!
A little exercise you can do to put things in perspective: go to your favorite YouTube channel and go take a look at the oldest videos. They will probably look a bit funny, awkward and not as nicely produced as the newest ones. It’s a journey we all go through!
- Your style will be developed over time
Love yourself as a creator! Trust yourself, trust your instinct. Learn from everyone but follow no one. Your style will change over time, and your confidence will be developed.
Your style will probably be a work in progress all your life and there’s always something to be improved. So be patient with yourself.
Where to look
Stop looking at yourself! If you use a flip camera it can be tempting to look at yourself on the screen, but it will show later on the video. You want the person who’s watching your video to think that you’re talking to them. So to make it seem like you’re looking straight at them, you want to look at the camera lens, ideally at the top side of the lens.
If there are other people in the room you will probably also have the tendency to look at them instead of the camera. What to do in this case? Practice.
Keep practicing to speak while looking at the top of your camera. It will feel strange at the beginning, but the more you do it, the easier it will get.
How To Be More Charming
Think about what makes someone charming. They are usually authentic, fully present and able to connect with who they’re talking to.
The first thing you want to do is to try and be as authentic as possible. Then, to seem more open and engaged, try to lean a bit forward towards the camera. You’ll look more open and approachable, just like someone would do in person when they are interested in you.
Don’t forget to smile!
How Fast or Slow To Speak
How fast should you speak? English is my second language, so I speak a bit slower than others.
My suggestion is that you speak at a pace you’re comfortable with. Don’t speed up just to be YouTube popular. But to sound more energetic you could work on adjusting your tone instead.
How to gesture
It’s hard to say how much gesturing is too little or too much. If it’s too little you’ll seem rigid and if it’s too much, it can become distracting. Try to find a middle ground where you point at things and use your hands to be more engaging but not overwhelming.
People have said that I move my hands too much.. But ultimately I can’t satisfy everyone. That’s very helpful to keep in mind to feel more confident and authentic.
How To Relax
Recording can take longer than you initially anticipated and can be more tiring than you’d expect. As a recording routine, allow yourself to take breaks of a few seconds while filming. This pause helps you relax but it’s also really useful when you’re editing your videos – for example, I use Recut to easily remove those silences automatically.
But another tip is to also ACTUALLY take a pause – take a walk, stretch, get something to drink.
You’ll notice that because you’re talking so much your voice will tend to dry, so keeping hydrated really helps. I like to add mint or lemon drops to my water when my throat is especially scratchy.
Test Your Equipment
Remember to test your equipment and to do it BEFORE you start recording, so you don’t waste your time or the editors time. The worst is to film an hour long video just to find out later that something went wrong, and have to re-do everything from the beginning.
This includes your camera, microphone, lighting, and anything else you might be using.
Learn how to use your microphone(s) by reading the manual and watching videos on YouTube, make a few small test videos (3 to 5) so you can check them or send them to your editor. Then you can adjust accordingly.
Remember to play with lighting and your background too! You can make them become a part of your personal brand together with your unique camera presence. So try to have different home decor or paintings, or books behind you that you want to be identified with.
For a list of Feisworld YouTube equipments, check them out here.
Work With Your Environment
Depending on what type of creator you are, you have different needs. One of the main decisions you’ll have to make is if you want to be indoor or outdoor. If you’re a fitness instructor for example, you might need to move around a lot and you’re probably outdoors. In this case, you want to have the right microphone so people can hear you well even if you’re far from the camera. Sometimes, you may even need a permit to make videos in public spaces.
In general, indoor spaces can be controlled much better, as they’re usually smaller and with less people. Remember to make sure there’s no echo and also to clean up your environment. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but at least check that you don’t have trash or dirty clothes lying around 🙂
Whether you choose to film outside or inside, make sure you’re familiar with the movements you’re making so you don’t trip over. I know this may seem like silly advice, but there’s so much to keep in mind while recording that you could literally miss to see what’s around you.
If you create an environment that is always ready with your camera, lighting, and clean background, you can hit record at any moment and save so much time!
The Importance Of A Checklist
Even after years of experience, I still use my little checklist and go through it every time I make a video. There are so many things to remember and so many things you can improve! You can’t be perfect in every video. But remember, improve one thing at a time, and with experience all of this will become more and more natural. Part of this is muscle memory and setting an environment that makes the work easy for you.
Finding The Right Partner
THE BEST THING I’ve done in my YouTube journey is to find someone I trust, love and respect to be my partner. You want someone who makes you feel eager and energized to keep on creating and improving, not someone who makes you feel discouraged. Once you’ve found your person, have regular check-ins.
I hope these help you become not just a better YouTuber, but also a more proficient content creator. It’s not about creating content only when you feel at your best – it’s about trusting the process and doing it regardless. Even on days when you’re not feeling 100%. Sometimes you want to push yourself just enough to keep showing up.
Developing your camera presence takes time. I suggest you go back to older videos and adjust and experiment in your new videos. Allow yourself to try new styles and pick up new things. But most importantly… have fun!
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