Lights… Camera… Action!
In recent blogs, I addressed two of the big challenges to creating short, high-impact videos:
- How to create compelling video content
- How to deliver video content in an engaging and credible fashion
This post wraps up this series by exploring how to manage nerves and anxiety during the actual video production.
Just walking onto the video set at Harvard Business Publishing (HBP) raised my anxiety levels. That sudden nervousness was mitigated somewhat, because I'd taken the necessary time to plan and practice my content. But, I was anxious all the same.
Here are three suggestions I learned from my own experience that may help you manage your anxiety when it’s your turn to record your presentation.
Dress for confidence, comfort, and video compatibility.
Avoid last minute panic by choosing what you're going to wear far in advance and making sure it's clean, pressed, and ready to go on the day of the shoot.
Pick clothes that make you feel confident — ones that fit well, are comfortable, and are appropriate for the video topic. As for what not to wear in terms of colors, patterns, etc., you can easily find volumes on that topic with a simple internet search.
You’ll also want to think about grooming. I feel much more confident when I’ve had my hair cut and feel like I'm looking my best. I try to get my hair cut about a week before the day of the shoot. We’re all different in this department, so whatever it is that makes you feel at your best, plan to make it happen before you go into the studio.
Have fun with your mistakes.
Mistakes are going to happen, sometimes repeatedly.
If you’ve ever laughed at a blooper reel from a favorite movie, you know that the best actors in the world make mistakes in front of the camera. Do what they do: Have fun and laugh at your mistakes. It will keep you and the production team fresh and ready for another take.
The HBP production team coached me to resist the strong urge to stop if something feels awkward on camera. They shared that people often come across much better than they actually feel. Fighting through any feelings of awkwardness also proved to be an extremely effective practice method, helping to ensure the success of the next take.
Don’t forget about rest, nutrition, and hydration.
The video camera uniquely amplifies what it sees. If you’re tired, hungry, and/or dehydrated on production day, your viewing audience will be very aware of it when they watch your video. Do your best to get a good night’s sleep before your shoot. Don’t skip breakfast even if you don’t feel hungry.
The good folks at HBP made sure there were plenty of bottled water and snacks available, as well as a healthy lunch. They encouraged me to partake regularly. We had four videos to complete and they knew from experience how important it is to keep the video presenter’s energy levels up throughout the entire shoot.
The proof is in the pudding.
If you follow these three suggestions the next time you shoot a video, I’m confident they’ll work as well for you as they did for me.
Recorded late in the day and without the benefit of a teleprompter, here's the fourth and final HBP video: Three Principles to Win Executive Approval.
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Admittedly, I've struggled to find a reliable way to help people reduce their public speaking anxiety, despite years of trying. I’ve advised people to do just about anything I could think of that might help, e.g., breathing, meditation. While I haven't found the thing that works every time for every person, there is one technique that seems to be more effective than most. Even if you've already found something that works well for you, this technique is worth trying out.
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