There’s two kinds of people in the world…you have your introverts, and your have your extroverts. Keeping in mind that there are many caveats to these two types of behavior, and not every one is 100% one or the other 100% of the time, they both have their own sets of tendencies which are generally easy to recognize.
Introverts (or those with introverted tendencies) tend to be more reserved, collected, and tend to have more discussions and thoughts internally, or as I like to call it “Hanging out, up in my head”.
“They tend to recharge by spending time alone. They lose energy from being around people for long periods of time, particularly large crowds.” – Source
Extroverts (or those with extroverted tendencies) are more outgoing, and enjoy reaching out to and meeting others, they tend to be the “life of the party”.
“Extroverts on the other hand, gain energy from other people. Extroverts actually find their energy is sapped when they spend too much time alone. They recharge by being social.” – Source
Being Camera Shy Is Really All In Your Head
Whether we want to believe it or not, there’s a good chance that our favorite Content Creators on YouTube aren’t always as outgoing or extroverted (by nature) as we may think. Most people I’ve met on YouTube actually admit to being introverts.
Being an introvert is not a bad thing by any means whatsoever. In fact I myself am an introvert, and because of this I can tell you first hand that being in front of the camera wasn’t always the easiest thing to accomplish….the struggle was very real.
I have come up with 8 ways that I use to open up more in front of the camera, which I wanted to share today. If you find yourself being “camera shy”, try a few of these out and see if it helps.
1. Get Out Of Your Head!
This sounds far easier than it actually is, but getting stuck in my own head and being caught up in all the thoughts I have swirling around in my mind was one of the biggest challenges I faced.
I overcame this by thinking out loud before I start a filming session. It doesn’t have to be about anything in particular, but I do find that it helps to talk about what I’ll actually be saying on camera. This gets me used to the idea of having to speak to…really no one at the time…It also get’s me used to hearing my own voice, which is something I didn’t like hearing for the longest time.
2. Make “Friends” With The Camera
Video is a big part of my career these days, and I most often shoot interviews. One thing I’ve noticed is how nervous people get when you put them in front of a camera. I have a theory as to why:
I think that when one knows they will be filmed, they don’t think about the inanimate object to which they are speaking into…they think about the unfathomable amount of people who will view it afterwards…which is where the imagination takes over.
I also think it’s because there’s some level of permanence that’s assumed when video is being taken of them. I have often had the thought “If I say something wrong, it’ll be repeated thousands of times forever, and ever until the end of time!”
Instead of thinking of the camera as an instrument of social torture or the undoing of you as a human being, think of it as your friend, a friend who is there to make you look good, a friend who is there to exaggerate all your best qualities, a friend who will help you reach out to the world in ways you couldn’t on your own. Remember; even if you mess up, that’s what editing is for!
3. Have A Laugh At Yourself!
Fear of ridicule, being laughed at or made fun of…this was one of my major hangups when it came to getting in front of the camera. The fact of the matter is, you will mess up, you will stumble over your words, you will cough, you might even throw up a little…but you’ll live!
Being an introvert, I constantly battle with my desire for perfection. I’ll often do up to 10-20 takes before I start to see anything that I deem acceptable, so messing up can be a huge source of frustration for me.
While I try to keep my videos as professional as possible, sometimes I have to just throw it all out the window for the sake of having a good laugh at myself, and sharing it with others. I found breaking the ice with myself this way helped a lot.
You get good at being in front of the camera the same way an athlete gets to the Olympics…the same way a concert violinist gets to Carnegie Hall…the same way a Pro Boxer wins the title fight…Practice.
Even if you think your last take was garbage, KEEP IT! It may very well end up being the best one you do in comparison.
It’s also good to keep them as records, it’s fun to see how you will gradually become less and less self conscious with the more takes you shoot.
5. Don’t Force It
“Don’t force it” applies to just about everything these days, however it’s very true. If you’re not in the mood to get in front of the camera, it will show in your end result. Very simply put, if you don’t feel like shooting a video, don’t do it! The best part about having a YouTube channel is, you’re in charge of it! Why do something if you don’t feel 100% up for it?
6. Be Open To Being An Amateur
Nowhere is it written, that you will develop your camera presence instantly. While some develop more quickly than others, it really comes down to how much you practice, and are able to think more outwardly than inward. We are creatures of habit. Adjusting the way your brain works is no easy task, so expect to be working at it for a while. I find that the more I’m consciously trying to improve in an area, the slower I actually improve. It’s when you stop being concerned with how much farther you need to go, you’ll begin to realize how far you have already come.
7. Don’t Confuse Your Camera Presence With Being “Fake”
Some may feel that when they do develop their camera presence, they are “being fake” or “putting on an act”. In a sense you are performing, most YouTube Content Creators and entertainers perform in front of the camera. Your personality and who you are as a person, can easily be transferred to your camera presence. Think of it as being the most excited and outgoing version of yourself as opposed to being someone completely different.
8. Have Fun!
Whether you are joining YouTube as a hobby, or to begin your journey to internet stardom, remember…it’s meant to be FUN! So have fun with every video project you put together. Otherwise, it just feels like work…however, if you find work fun, then more power to you!
If you have any methods that you find work for yourself, feel free to leave a comment. Let’s have a conversation!
*Most of the images provided*