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Lens to Zoom

So now that the world of video conferencing has been forced upon the masses, you may find yourself as an owner of a business or an employee of a company that needs to put some polish on your camera skills. It could even entail the creation of a video for marketing purposes but the fact is there are things you can put into practice to calm the nerves and make your presentations more professional.

Butterflies, dry mouth, even shakes, and mild nausea are symptoms of facing the camera or that little green dot at the top of your computer. Here are some things that can help overcome or at least reduce the anxiety if you aren’t exactly a natural in front of the camera or presenting online.

  • Practicing often, produces confidence. While memorization is not required, making an outline of what you want to cover and rehearsing it often will give you the confidence that you won’t skip anything you intend to cover. It will also allow for a more natural deliverance and won’t sound scripted.
  • Mistakes will happen, so prepare for them by coming up with ways to unblock your mind in case you suddenly find yourself in one of those moments. Notes on a cue card that can be placed above your computer or over the camera can help jog your memory if you find yourself in the dreaded freeze once you go live.
  • Multiple takes when filming a video helps to take the pressure off knowing you don’t have to get it right the first time around. While this pertains to video production, you don’t have the same luxury when you’re on a video conference presentation. Practicing for your conferences will again give you confidence that will result in better meetings.
  • Deep breathing techniques can help your mind focus, and distress your body. It also has a natural ability to bring your voice into a better octave for speaking. Tension can produce a strain on your vocal cords that can make you a bit squeaky. Belly breathing is a technique that can help balance the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your bloodstream. Start by inhaling deeply through your nose, letting your stomach expand naturally as your lungs fill up with air. Slowly release the air from your lungs, mirroring the time it took you to fill them up. Counting to 10 as you inhale and exhale. Repeat the process until you feel calm and relaxed.
  • Wear a favorite outfit or clothes you feel comfortable in, making sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle free. Avoiding stripes and small patterns or shiny accessories can cause visuals on camera.
  • Knowing where to look is a common question. It really depends on the type of video you’re making. Video conference calls will look best when you sit so that you’re eye level with the camera. A triangle covering your forehead and shoulders gives you the best position to communicate and this includes training yourself to look at the camera as much as possible. Looking down and at notes distracts as well as making you look bored or not interested. For video interviews you should be facing the person doing the interview. If it is live action you should be looking at the other characters in the video. A talking head video should once again look directly at the camera or slightly above the camera or the person operating the camera.


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