Mustering the Courage to Be On Camera in a Digital World

I’m not an actor. And most likely, neither are you. Yet… as we move into the virtual digital era, we have become actors. Not only must we perform, we must perform on camera. So how on earth are you going to do that when you are not mentally, emotionally, or physically prepared for your moment?

I remember my first video shoot where I was on camera. Everything had to be perfect. And as a result, everything was wrong. My hair. My clothes. The way I said this, or that. Cut! Start over! Can we re-do that? At that moment – I made a decision to change my attitude towards the camera. I remembered the one piece of advice that sticks with me to this day from my USC Film School Directing professor Nina Foch: “The camera loves you.”

Being on camera can be frustrating – or rewarding. Technically – you can re-do it all. Unless it’s live, at which point that’s not a real option. Either way- the point is, that we are all being called to be on camera right now. Many of us – against our better judgement and will.

Your face is your brand, but also – it’s that thing that says words. So it’s important that you use it for good. Don’t hide it. People need to see your face to hear what you have to say – and I do know enough about you to know that being heard matters to you.

Go on camera to get your point across. Go on camera to say what you mean. Go on camera to communicate your ideas. Share your perspective. Commune with the world. I know it’s not fun the first time – but after a while, you will find out that turning on the camera, is just like walking in the front door. Normal.

How you present yourself on camera, is how people will see you. If you’re not willing to show yourself – you leave others to wonder. What’s that person hiding? Maybe you didn’t feel camera ready for that webinar. Or maybe – you had a bad hair day and called off virtual class video? Or didn’t feel like recording a lesson or a marketing video because you weren’t “feeling it.” I don’t think so.

Any teacher or anyone in business would think that these are all silly excuses from the book that your subconscious insecurities wrote. Perhaps worse than “My Dog Ate My Homework.”

So why is it important that you “show up” in video? Whether you choose to show your face or not – allowing yourself the opportunity to be there and communicate your ideas is what gives your students, your customers, your audience – the belief that you are a real human being in this digital era. And that brings the rewards of being on camera.

Trust. Credibility. Authenticity. And even more important: connections, relationships, and community. You have emotions. You have feelings. Thoughts. Ideas. We are quite a sophisticated species – and in addition to language – facial expression carries so much meaning. Why not use your face on video – live – or livestream – to help you communicate with everyone else.

Join me at my virtual coffee to talk about what it’s like to be on camera for recorded videos – and how you can look and sound your best. It’s all about the preparation and getting used to the lens who is your friend. I can’t wait to share in our upcoming virtual coffee – please join us, on camera.

Meanwhile – let’s see how an actor from our CreatorUp network does it, and see what we can learn!

Mike Tringe
Mike Tringe

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