How to Not Look Stupid on Camera

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There’s no secret about it: videos are difficult. Especially when you’re main subject of the video. It’s hard to show yourself off as a friendly, yet professional person. It’s easy in theory: just talk to the camera as if it was a person! You might practice in front of the mirror, to others around you, until you have your lines memorized and you could repeat them in your sleep. But the moment the shutter snaps open, the red light blinking says let’s go, I’m filming! it all falls apart. You blunder through the words, either avoiding the camera’s gaze or never breaking eye contact. After filming, you snap the shutter and think: wow, that was stupid. Well, you’re not alone. Here are the 4 P’s on masting video (while looking professional, not stupid):

Purpose

Before you begin, you need to select a single, clear purpose behind the video. Ask yourself: what do I want this video to do? It will all depend on your business and where you are in your personal video series. Oftentimes, the purpose will be to inform your audience of a specific product or service you provide. Informing your audience not only educates the users, but puts yourself in a position of credibility and authority.Or maybe you’ll sprinkle in a few videos into your series whose purpose is to prompt an action. Calls to action range from motivating a user to visit your website to encourage them to purchase your goods or services. After you’ve determined the purpose behind the video, you’re ready to build up your content!

Platform

So, how are you going to share your video? Which social media platform or publishing agent are you planning on using? Depending on your answer, you’ll want to consider the audience, and alter your content and video to fit their interests. Here’s an example: Snapchat. Users on Snapchat are looking for behind-the-scenes content, a raw, unedited experience. But users on Facebook and YouTube are expecting edited videos with a polished look. Take some time to quickly research demographics on each platform. If you’re in a rush, simply edit the same video in a few different ways in order to still appeal to each audience on each platform while still producing the same message.

People

While it sounds a little self-explanatory, each video will depend on your audience. After you’ve produced a few videos, try asking for honest feedback. See what users like and don’t like about each video and adapt. Above all, the audience cares about how you made them feel. The message is the most important part of the video, not the background or what shirt you were wearing (though those factors can help draw in people, should you appeal to that specific audience). Find out what people are looking for in a video and give it to them.

Packaged Story

While it’s important to look good on camera, it doesn’t need to be your highest priority. People--your audience-- cares more about the message. Wrap up your message with a neat little bow and present it to each audience member.The more you practice, the more videos you produce, the easier this process will become. Talking to your camera will become more natural, and as such, you’ll look less stupid. You’ll find little tips and tricks that makes the process easier, if you haven’t already.

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