How to connect with video, engage your audience, and take action on things that terrify you
All the time I hear students share that recording videos make them nervous, and as a TV host, I remember how awkward speaking on camera felt starting out.
Here’s how to engage your audience (whether it’s your market or an influencer) on camera and stand out in your online business – even if you think you’re weird, wonky, shy, awkward, or dull (or maybe you don’t know if you’re dull. )
1. [DECIDE TO DO IT ANYWAY]
Many who get freaked out about getting on camera decide to forgo it entirely. Yet, our feeds are flooded with videos and video supporting statistics and according to Fast Company, it’s 50x easier to get a 1st page ranking on Google with video.
So if you KNOW [or are testing whether] videos are a strong medium for your audience, it’s time to give it a go. Scratch a plan together to try and challenge yourself to record on a regular basis, according to your plan.
You can study, plan, and hope all day to be great on camera – but at a certain point you need to JUST. HIT. RECORD.
2. [GIVE MASSIVE VALUE]
If you consistently over deliver in a clear and applicable way to your audience, they’re going to respect you.
– and you know what else?
THEY WON’T CARE HOW HOW NEAT YOUR HAIR IS.
Nor will they stop watching because you say “um” a lot (when you’re producing a premium product, this will matter a lot more) or if you repeat the same phrase twice.
However, they will click X if you’re rambling on and on or jumping from one thought to another – or if your content doesn’t actually give them something of value.
Stop focusing on getting everything perfect and place that energy into delivering the highest of quality knowledge you can bring your audience. They’ll eagerly follow you for it.
3. [HAVE A CLEAR MESSAGE]
Don’t just pick a subject and hit record for the sake of sharing. Devise a plan so your videos are clear and concise. Here’s how to break it down:
- => Create a doc (or write it on paper) and list your subject as the headline
- => Intro – your brief introduction and announcement on what you’ll be talking about
- => 3 (or more depending on purpose of video) statements that you want to make – if you only had 3 points of advice to name – these are it
- => 2-3 supporting sentences for each statement
- => Outro – your wrap up (the easiest way to do this is to summarize by stating the 3 points in conclusion)
- => CTA – you’re opportunity to direct the viewer on what to do next and where
- => Friendly goodbye (short, sweet, and not cheesy unless that’s your thing)
Now, you’ll have a guide for the high view of what to include in your video. This doesn’t have to be read word-for-word (you can do that with a teleprompter app, but I suggest you write it to include natural sounding sentences) but will serve as a reminder to keep you on track.
4. [CONNECT THROUGH THE LENS]
It’s awkward when you start filming yourself alone. For some psychological reason we feel like someone will see and hear us talking to inanimate objects in our home or office and know that we’re a weirdo.
There’s a vast community out there who needs exactly what you have right now. They need to hear what you have to say – and for some of them to see and hear you would make the thought of working with you more real because they see how eloquent and relatable you are. They’d be loyal followers of your message and would spread your praise around the interwebs.
Why would you keep that from them?
When you’re speaking into that green or red dot, picture them on the other side of it.
The camera is not there to intimidate you – it is your medium. The means in which you reach into their lives and connect with them in ways that text will never do.
Have you ever been in a situation where you and someone were texting and a message rubbed one of you the wrong way? Only to find out later it was a misunderstanding because the tone could not be heard and expressions could not be seen.
Happens all of the time.
Who out there needs to hear your message today? Picture them the next time you speak, and if that’s too broad – picture just one person you know and pretend you’re talking to them.
5. [IT’S JUST CONVERSATION]
That’s right. Have a conversation with me. You don’t need fancy sentences and to speak using large words. Videos are about having a conversation and finding ways to keep the conversation going long after hitting the stop button.
Don’t get too worked up in the details. If you script your video out (see #3) then you can use that as a guide and just talk to people – especially if you’re live.
6. [SLOW DOWN AND MAKE YOUR SENTENCES COUNT]
When we get nervous, our fight-or-flight response kicks in and we have a tendency to speed up our speech. Suddenly every pause seems painfully long and if we’re not careful, we can seem frazzled, over excited, or even the opposite!
Slow down and allow yourself to breathe. When you slow down, your words become more formed, more intentional, and you actually appear more authoritative because of your patience.
Furthermore, your heart rate will lower and the oxygen will return to your brain, allowing you to remember the statements that you want to make.
Don’t worry about the pauses. If you are delivering high value your viewers will not be paying attention to the pauses (and seriously would they anyway???).
7. [TELL STORIES]
Everyone loves a good story, and the best storytellers tell them and tie it in with a twist that integrates into a point.
Stories make you relatable and interesting. Furthermore, they have the potential to connect your audience to you in profound ways.
A few years ago I spoke to an auditorium of women on how impactful foster parenting is. While I could have continued listing statistic after statistic –
– it was my experience as a foster child that allowed them to experience the impact of foster parenting from an intimate perspective.
The proof was in the line of people that formed after my talk to share how my stories resonated with them and what they were empowered to do.
Point: You have powerful stories. Use them.
8. [BE YOURSELF (read more to understand what the heck this means)]
This is so cliche, and so many are giving this advice these days. “Just be yourself” and you will stand out – and outshine the competition!
What does that mean?
In order to “be yourself” you have to know WHO you are. Be clear on your message. Know who you help and how.
Then take the time to really understand what’s neat about you in a sea of competition. And to do that – you have to know what your competition is doing!
Write down what your competitors are doing and notice how you are different. Do you offer a 24hr turn around? In depth analysis in the form of infographics?
Knowing your unique angle will bring you the extra boost of confidence to stand out and comfortably “be yourself”.
9. [BECOME BULLETPROOF ADAPTABLE]
One barrier that hold a lot of people back from creating videos is that they are afraid of messing up. So what if you did? What would you do?
The average person’s reaction to embarrassment might look one of two ways:
Embarrassment > Mortification > Give Up > Self Failure
Embarrassment > Anger > Blame > Self Failure and Dissolve of Relationships
Here’s some healthy ways that successful people deal with embarrassment:
a. Embarrassment > Apology > Step It Up > Move On
-Apologize [ONLY if you’ve wronged someone] and step it up. Don’t dwell on your mistakes. The best way to prove yourself is to do exactly that: prove yourself.
b. Embarrassment > Laugh > Move On
-Acknowledging your mistake and laughing about it shows self-awareness. It also disarms critics because you addressed it in a tactful and fun way.
c. Embarrassment > Teach Others From Mistake > Move On
-Bounce back in the long game by writing a blog or video about recovering from your mistake. You’ll be surprised how many rally behind you!
Do you see a pattern?
What highly successful people do differently than the average person is lean in to their mistakes, even when it doesn’t feel natural.
They know that:
We own our mistakes for what they are. They’re simply a notch in the road, not a cliff that forever separates us from the goal.
Knowing that mistakes are part of the process. Our best learning often stems from them
Some mistakes are resolved with a simple recalculation. Accept > Reframe > Move Forward
LESSON: Keep Moving.
Success is acquired by doing things that scare you, stretch you, and become a part of who you are.
Embrace it. Lean in.
10. [PRACTICE LIKE THIS!]
This is the part that everyone hates to hear – but is THE most effective advice I could ever give you.
Practice in front of the mirror and on camera – and watch it back.
“AHHHHHH! You evil woman!!!!”
Yeah, yeah. I know.
When my shows first began airing, I hardly could bear to watch them. My stomach would turn in knots as I observed like a car accident when you can’t look away…
Yet when you are learning to become more self aware – and that’s exactly what presenting is about – you must observe yourself as others see you, from the outside.
Then you will begin to see yourself as a study subject; a medium that you begin to prime with adjustment until it’s right.
I used to have mannerisms I didn’t like on camera. I licked my lips when I was nervous.
So I stopped doing that.
You see that study of self – the awareness you gain in the process is applicable far beyond video.
And you are in total control.
So I ask you: are you in control of yourself or not? The answer, is entirely up to you.
Sure – it’s a process …but just like building a business, adjusting mindsets, testing ideas and strategies it’s up to us whether we accept the growth or not.
Hope this helps guys! KEEP ON.