My first time going live on camera was a total mess. I didn’t realize I was live in time, so I ended up scratching my nose and checking my teeth right on camera-oops. The presentation I prepared wasn’t working. It was all over the place and I didn’t know the order in which I was supposed to show the slide pictures. But, I kept going… I finished the live, and guess what, I went live again. I actually continued to go live again and again and again… Get the pattern?Â
Despite how difficult and scary going live on camera might seem, especially if English is not your first language, showing up live for your audience is extremely important for your business growth. If this is difficult for you, here are 10 simple steps you can take to show up on camera with confidence.Â
Step 1: Plan in Advance.
That is something that is going to give you so much comfort and the boost of confidence you need. Plan your video in advance and allow yourself enough time to prepare for your talk or your meeting. Schedule it in your calendar and make it non-negotiable, meaning don’t change that date!Â
So whether you want to schedule it in two weeks in advance or a month in advance (and I suggest you schedule it, not that far in advance, so you don’t have that much time to talk yourself out of it), make sure it’s in your calendar and that the date stays the same. That’s your date, do not push it back unless it’s an emergency.Â
Remember that the first live video or appearance is the hardest. It’s all downhill from there.Â
Step 2: Get a Buddy.
What I mean by that is if you can’t imagine going live by yourself (at least the first time), many of the platforms such as Instagram or Facebook make it easy for you to go live with another person. What’s great about this is it will get you exposed to that person’s audience and vice versa. So it’s a win-win situation because then you’re also exposing that person you’re going live with to your audience.Â
Step 3: Leverage Clubhouse.
It’s a great tool to be your virtual stage and platform where you can practice just showing up on stage, without video and just by just sharing your voice. If you’re not familiar with Clubhouse, it is a social networking app that lets people gather in audio chat rooms with the emphasis on the audio. So you’re not showing up on video, but you’re able to still speak and practice your communication skills and practice your English and your accent if this is something that you need to do.Â
Step 4: Create a Video Ritual.
Make a list of which digital platforms you want to go live on. So for example, it might be Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or in pre-recorded videos on your website. Then decide for yourself what each ritual will look like for these platforms. Keep in mind, some of the ritual steps might overlap. So you are essentially creating a process that you do before you show up on camera.
For example, it might be getting a glass of water, brushing your teeth and then showing up on camera. Or it might be, playing a song that you really love that gets you in the mood and gets you pumped up so that you’re ready to show up on that stage. A ritual can help you stay centered and relaxed.
Step 5: Get in the Right Mindset.
Think about what makes you the most relaxed, something that you do right before a stressful event. For example, if you have an interview or feel off and feel nervous and anxious about something in the back of your mind, think about what gets you the most relaxed. For me, that’s meditation and deep breathing on a usual day. But when I’m feeling extra nervous, I like to pull in the big guns and doÂ the emotional freedom technique, which usually brings me immediate stress relief.
Step 6: Pick Out Your Power Outfit.
Clothes send messages, not only to our viewers, but also to ourselves. “When we put on a piece of clothing, we cannot help but adopt some of the characteristics associated with it, even if we are unaware of it,”Â writesÂ Karen J. Pine in her bookÂ Mind What You Wear: The Psychology of Fashion. That’s mind-blowing. Right? So if you’re presenting on video, you might want to ditch the sweats. Other things to consider are wearing the right color that makes your eyes pop rather than colors that make you look tired. My go-to is usually green, which works for me. Other colors to consider are red, which represents passionate energy, blue, a lot more calming and soothing, and black, representing power and authority. So. The most important thing to keep in mind is that no matter what you choose to wear, make sure it fits your personal style and makes you feel authentic.
Step 7: Prepare Your Notes in Advance
This is so important. Having notes and knowing exactly what to talk about on video can give you a tremendous boost of confidence. It can also help you soothe anxiety if you are feeling very nervous. So think about whether you need to write an entire script (which is totally fine) or just make an outline with bullet points. I used to write scripts due to severe anxiety, but now I prefer bullet points because they give me a summary of what I’m going to discuss. They also let me speak from my heart. Just know, it took me a long time to get here.Â
Step 8: Drink Water
The speech pathologist in me, cringes when we are not taking care of our vocal folds, and our voice gets hoarse because we’re not drinking enough water. It is important to stay hydrated. Drinking also helps you get a break when speaking and step away from your presentation or video chat naturally without missing a beat.Â
Step 9: Breathe.
This one is so simple yet so important. As we get nervous, sometimes we forget to breathe. It happens a lot. That’s usually the first thing that happens to me if I get nervous. I start to breathe fast, so I’m not taking sufficient breaths and run out of air to speak on, and I start speaking very fast, becoming difficult to understand. That happens to a lot of us if we’re really nervous. You’re not alone, and breathing can help you through it. Make sure you’re steadily breathing throughout your talk, and you will be able to calm yourself.
Step 10: Be Yourself.
Don’t forget to be yourself when you show up on video. That’s going to help you show up authentically and stay true to who you are, your personality, and your beliefs. It will also help you connect with the right audience, and your message will resonate with the right people. I know there’s so much noise online right now. You go on Instagram, and you see these incredible brands which have hundreds of thousands of followers, and you might be thinking, well, they’re doing something right and I should follow their lead. It’s easy to fall into this trap because sometimes we just don’t believe in ourselves. But I challenge you to believe in yourself. That way will find the right audience and share your unique message and gifts with them, and they will, in turn, become your raving fans.Â
These are the ten steps to make showing up on camera seamless and a lot less stressful. No matter which strategy or strategies works best for you, make sure to do them consistently and that you show up for your audience. Don’t hide behind that screen any longer. You have a message to share, and someone out there is waiting for you to change their life.Â
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