In this guide
  1. How to be more confident on camera for content creation
  2. The 8 best paid & free video hosting platforms for creators in 2021
  3. How to vlog: Your simple guide to getting started
  4. How to edit videos: The tools, process, and details you need to get started today
  5. If you’re not tracking these 10 online video metrics, you should be
  6. 5 ways to create raving fans with video customer support
  7. What’s your video marketing strategy? Don’t make another video without one
  8. Here’s the exact video equipment you need, based on your budget
  9. The 3-step formula to grow your email list with YouTube traffic
  10. How to rank YouTube videos

Experience this issue your way.

Download this issue of Tradecraft as a PDF to read and reference at your own pace.

Download PDF

Issue #14

How to be more confident on camera for content creation

Social Media Video
8 min read
In this Article

There’s nothing wrong with feeling unconfident on camera.

It’s actually pretty normal. You’re used to talking with people with expressions and sharing body language to show you how they’re feeling about what we’re saying. You’re a lot less used to talking to a tiny black circle.

Yet, between social media, video calls, video lead magnets, and video courses, you’re on camera more than you’ve ever been before. And you need to show up confidently in each scenario.

For creators with the itch to hit record but fear of messing it up somehow, we’ve put together six strategies to boost your camera confidence.

Because the world wants to hear what you have to share—and video isn’t going away anytime soon.

Why making videos is worth your time

The world is asking you to be on video more and more often. From Instagram saying they’re a video-first platform to TikTok’s 29.7 million daily active users—people are creating more videos than ever before. And as a creator, the pressure to keep up is real.

Add on needing to hop on to video calls with collaborators, partners, and your audience, you realize you need to be confident in different types of videos. For example, if you’re hosting a webinar as a lead magnet, your audience is looking for the confidence that you know what you’re talking about. Likewise, when you’re recording a program or a course, your customers need to feel like they can trust your expertise.

Showing up confidently on camera impacts a huge portion of the tasks moving your creator business forward. From your social media posts to important meetings, webinar lead magnets, and your paid products—becoming camera confident is a foundation you can grow your business on.

Even the most confident creators had some hesitation getting started but knew they had to give it a shot.

“It’s not natural to be in front of the camera for most people. But seeing someone’s facial expressions, their beams of joy and twinges of sadness? That’s something you can really only get on camera, and it adds a wondrous layer of complexity to the content. The yearning for that additional connection is what got me interested in video work. As I made the jump, I tried to remind myself of that,” explains Kinsey Grant, podcast host of Thinking is Cool and YouTuber.

kinsey grant
“The yearning for that additional connection is what got me interested in video work.” Image via Kinsey Grant.

Try these six strategies if you’re ready to hit record but need a few ideas to inspire camera confidence.

6 strategies for being more confident on camera

Camera confidence doesn’t always come overnight.

These strategies help you feel camera confident in different situations, so look back on them when you feel hesitant to hit record or join that video meeting.

#1: Figure out who your ideal viewer is

When speaking to your camera, it’s easy to forget what you were going to say or keep messing up a word or sentence. You’re looking at your camera, and it’s not giving you any feedback. Wouldn’t it be easier if your camera could say, “That’s so interesting!” or nod in excitement? Well, your camera can’t do that but your imagination can.

Knowing who you’re talking to helps your mind stay focused on what you’re saying (and saying everything correctly). As you imagine your ideal viewer sitting across from you, behind the camera, picture them nodding along as you speak. Think about the details of who this person is, what they’d be wearing, and how they’d act in this situation if you were face-to-face.

chalene johnson
Chalene Johnson knows exactly who she’s talking to in her videos—business owners with ADHD. Image via Chalene Johnson.

Picture yourself talking to your ideal viewer and imagine them behind the camera.

#2: Decide what your ideal viewer wants to watch

Think about the outcome of watching your video. What does your viewer get from spending their time watching your webinar or Module 1 of your online course? Or, what are they getting out of your Instagram Reel or TikTok? Figure out what your ideal viewer wants to watch, and then work your way backward to create content that teaches or entertains them around that topic. For example, maybe your audience wants to learn how to create an email funnel. Or they want to watch you play your ukulele.

If the little voice in your head tells you that nobody cares about your video while you’re recording, it will be challenging to feel confident. Instead, create confidence in your on-camera presence by knowing exactly why you’re here recording this video. As you’re recording, keep reminding yourself of your video's value to others and how much your ideal viewer would love to see what you’re making.

kayla itsines
Kayla Itsines can show up camera confident because she knows her workout enthusiast followers want to see different types of workouts. Image via Kayla Itsines.

Camera confidence comes from knowing people will value the video you’re recording.

#3: Create a script or use cue cards

Creators don’t have to improvise everything. You don’t need to record an hour-long video podcast without any notes. Writing out a script or giving yourself cue cards for your video meeting will only help. With a script or cue cards, you can turn the camera on and know that a lot of the hard work is already done. Now, your only job is to read what you’ve already put together for yourself.

Improvising your videos can lead to more bloopers than usable content. Give yourself wins by setting yourself up for success. Write a script, put cue cards around your screen, or use a teleprompter app to exude confidence.

Use scripts or cue cards to make recording easier.

#4: Practice speaking out loud

There's an easy solution if you feel underprepared every time you get ready to go on camera. Take the script, cue cards, or notes you’ve made and practice them aloud. The key is getting used to each word and sentence and feeling confident in what comes next. If you need to memorize what you’ll say, create sections that make it easier to remember the flow of your video.

When you practice aloud, you help your mind feel more comfortable with the content. Instead of hoping you figure out what you’re saying and get it right the first time you hit record, you’ll take the pressure off. By the time you hit record, you’ll be so familiar with the content that you’ll breeze right through it.

Get familiar with the content by practicing speaking out loud.

#5: Have a friend stand behind the camera

When we talk to our friends, we’re more natural than speaking to a camera. Ask a friend to stand behind your camera as you’re recording. You can either keep looking into the lens (but use their body language to feel more confident) or look at them and record an interview-style video where you don’t look directly at the lens.

Asking a friend to stand or sit behind your camera as you record can help you get the body language and cues from them that you’re used to in regular conversation. It’ll be easier to imagine that you’re talking to the video viewer and can make your content feel more natural if you’re really struggling to add your personality to your video.

If you’re having trouble with the camera’s lack of human expression, recruit a friend to stand behind your camera as you make your content.

#6: Practice, practice, practice

The reality of camera confidence is that it comes down to practice. Don’t beat yourself up for making mistakes and having to re-record. Look at this as an opportunity to put more hours under your belt, and in no time, you’ll be hitting record without a second thought.

At one point, professional video creators Lauren Labeled were where you are now—building up their camera confidence. Here’s how they got over their initial hesitations around filming,

Set a goal to film every day for seven days. It doesn’t matter what it’s about or if it’s perfect. Just DO IT! You lack confidence because it’s unfamiliar territory. The sooner you start = the more you practice = the sooner you improve!

– Lauren Labeled

It’s okay if your first videos aren’t great—just keep practicing.

Your favorite creators were once nervous about hitting record, too

Sometimes, getting camera-ready is a matter of just hitting the record button. If you don’t like what you recorded, try again. Remember that every creator, who seems like an absolute natural on camera, started where you were today.

They were nervous to see that blinking red recording button. They’ve scrapped hundreds of clips and spent hours rerecording content when it didn’t work out. And you’re allowed to do the same.

Today is the best day to try something slightly uncomfortable, like recording a video. It’ll only make the rest of your attempts easier and easier.

Go hit that record button.

Connect with your audience

Share what you love to connect with your followers and grow your business with a free ConvertKit account.

Create a free ConvertKit account

Eva Gutierrez

Eva Gutierrez is a freelance content writer specializing in writing for companies with marketing-related products, like education platforms and SaaS. She writes articles and newsletters that build and nurture relationships with her clients' leads while showcasing their expertise and leadership in their industry. You can find her tweeting about writing tips, marketing strategies, and the psychology behind buying at @TheEvaGutierrez.

The future belongs to creators

ConvertKit helps creators like you take their projects from idea to reality. It's never been easier to build an audience and grow a business. And you can do it all for free.

Launch your next project