Why is it so hard to record myself on video?

I recently posted on Facebook asking for some advice on how to overcome my reluctance to record videos for my business. The response I received was so overwhelming and heartfelt that I thought I’d share some of it here with you. Hopefully, it helps someone else out too. 

I know how powerful video is for a business and how important it is in building trust with your prospective clients. I mean this is what I tell my clients and I really should walk my talk right! I’d even posted some tips for introverts in a previous blog post – things that have helped other people I know but just didn’t work for me.

What I’d do was procrastinate and rather clean my oven than record a 2-minute video! It’d linger on my to-do list for weeks, the script typed out and added to the teleprompter. The equipment set up and tested – at least 10 times. I’d figured out the best place to record and set up the lighting. I’d even done my hair and makeup in preparation for recording the video. But every time I managed to actually sit down and start recording it was either a – nope – and rush off to do something else. Or I’d start recording and look like a deer in the headlights with a nervous squirrel voice. Why was I making it so difficult?

And that’s exactly it, I was making it difficult. There was no other reason. Having worked as a videographer, I was comfortable with the tech. I know my subject really well and I know what I have to share can help others. So I needed to stop overthinking and expecting perfection and just do.the.thing!

So what advice did I get?

Here are some of the helpful tips I received:

  • Just do it and it’ll get easier
  • Avoid looking at yourself while recording 
  • Imagine you’re talking to a friend/family member
  • Put a picture of a friend/family member on your screen or next to your camera
  • Practice in front of a mirror
  • Record yourself doing something silly – like a Tiktok video
  • Do lives (cue nervous twitch)
  • and even hypnosis

And the advice that worked best for me?

My resistance didn’t come from a fear of public speaking. I’d spoken on stage before. But speaking to a live audience is different because there’s an energy exchange. You get immediate feedback. I was also comfortable watching myself on a video call where you get feedback from the other people on the call. It’s a very different feeling talking to a dead camera eye. 

So here’s the process I’ve started using: 

  • Dance a little to bring the energy 
  • Vocal/breathing exercises (singing along to a song also works)
  • Stand up to record rather than sitting
  • Start just being there with the camera rolling. Breathe, look into the lens and let your heart rate drop
  • Then start talking about anything – you can even recite your shopping list or tell a joke or story
  • When you’re warmed up, start on your content – recording sentence by sentence (and repeat that sentence as many times as you need to)

And an interview-style works best for me – so I’ll ask a question and then answer it – editing out myself asking the question on the actual video.

So far this seems to be working. Are they perfect? No. Are they getting better? Definitely. One of these days I’ll be comfortable enough to start using them on my site and Facebook page. But for now, I’m just pleased to be able to record something.

And if this is something you struggle with, I really hope you’ll find this advice helpful enough to start recording your videos. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!

And lastly, a thank you to all the Facebook friends who were so very generous with their tips and advice!

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