Calm Those On-Camera Jitters

 In Newsletter

Not many people love being in front of the camera. Some are nervous or downright fearful of being on video. If you’re one of these people, don’t panic. It’s normal to feel this way. Here are some things you can do to help make your camera session less stressful.

Say Cheese

Even if you’re jittery inside, don’t forget to smile. Smiling is a natural relaxer and will help you start to feel comfortable.

Relax Beforehand

What do you do to unwind after a busy day? Do you take a walk? Indulge in aromatherapy? About a half hour or so before your presentation, try to do something that will clear your head and make your body less tense. Maybe you can take a brisk walk around your building or take long deep breaths while seated at your desk.

Keep Water Nearby

Dry mouth is a presenter’s enemy. Take a sip of water if you need to, and also use the time to collect your thoughts.

Practice in Front of the Mirror

Before you go on camera, go through your presentation a few times at home in front of a mirror. Look at your body language, posture, and facial expressions. This is an excellent dress rehearsal.

Also, record yourself so you can hear your voice. Listen for your use of filler words such as um, uh, and like. Use your natural voice. And remember that it’s OK to pause and collect your thoughts. You don’t have to fill up every second of silence.

The at-home dress rehearsal is a good time to check yourself for some of the nervous habits that detract from your presentation and your message:

  • Talking too fast. Strive to speak a little slower than you normally do.
  • Avoiding eye contact.  Look directly into the camera. If this feels awkward, ask a colleague to stand directly next to the camera so that their eyes are at the same level. Then speak to that person.
  • Fidgeting, such as twirling your hair or tugging on your clothes.

Before you go on camera, make sure to eliminate distractions that will derail your concentration. Turn off cell phones, computer notifications, and the like. Lastly, choose an outfit that’s comfortable and that you feel good in.

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