How to get over the nerves when being on camera?

Video works. So, what’s stopping you doing more video in your digital marketing strategy?  Well, for many people it’s often nerves that get the better of them so in this short post I’m going to share with you my top tips for getting over the nervousness of being on camera.

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1. Just Do It.

My first tip is probably both the most obvious and possibly the most frustrating piece of advice to give to someone scared of being on camera. I don’t say this lightly though, often the biggest barrier to achieving something is just taking the first steps and one of the best ways to begin to improve your on camera presentation is just to have a go. Get out your smart phone, plan a short topic to talk about and press record. You can share the video online if you like or just watch it back and have a look at how you did. When there’s no pressure, you can take it easy and after you’ve done this a few times you’ll be feeling much more comfortable with the whole idea.

My suggestion to start with is to talk about something you’re intensely passionate about, or something that makes you angry even, it’s these topics that allow us to disconnect a little from our over-critical cognitive brain and drive from the emotions.

2. Ban the do-over.

This follows on nicely from tip one, and it’s also based on the idea of not letting our over-critical self get in our own way when it comes to presenting ourselves on camera. This one’s simple – ban the do-over. Set yourself a rule that when you’re recording your piece on camera do not let yourself stop and re-do a ‘take’ because you made a mistake or you didn’t like it. By making sure that you go through a full ‘take’ without stopping and restarting you’ll quickly begin to get more comfortable with your pace and flow of ideas, and you’ll be developing the hugely valuable skill of confidence and comfort when being on camera.

Consider how a film actor approaches their craft. You wouldn’t expect them to stop mid-scene and turn to the director and ask to start again. They would be thrown off the set and be back to serving coffee at Starbucks in no time.

They keep going. No matter what. And so should you.

You can always do the ‘scene’ or ‘take’ again.

3. Know what you want to say.

Another ‘Captain Obvious’ this one, right? But the reality is that too often I see people stumbling and bumbling their way through an on-camera performance and the nerves quickly overcoming them simply because they have not adequately prepared themselves for what they want to say. Back to the actor here; imagine an actor turning up on set without having rehearsed or even read the script!

Depending on the style of video you’re doing, or the message you’re needing to communicate you may want to write out a full script for your video to help you stay focussed, or perhaps just a handful of dot points to keep you on track. Either way, don’t go in cold. Take some time before hand to plan your message, practise speaking it out loud (perhaps even in front of a mirror), and prepare yourself so the nerves stay at bay, and you can focus on nailing your performance.


The skill to present on camera is certainly not something that comes easy to most, but the truth is that if you can talk comfortably and engagingly face to face with another human then you already have the main skills you need to present well on camera. You just need to get comfortable with the camera. Get started today on your first video and let me know in the comments how you go!


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