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6 Do’s and Don’ts of Preparing for Your First Video Production

You’ve been told your business needs to get in on the video trend. But what do you do if the thought of being on camera makes you seriously consider quitting your job? Isn’t that camera fright one of the reasons you didn’t pursue a career in television? Unfortunately, society’s short attention span has changed the rules. Now any career choice may require you to appear on camera at some point. It’s okay if you’re nervous. As long as you don’t look it.

Don’t let fear or butterflies keep you from making your business shine. Instead, learn how to conquer those fears, look your best, and be prepared for anything.

Don’t let fear or butterflies keep you from making your business shine.
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Do Spend Time on Camera

The more you are around a camera, the more comfortable you will be with it. Before it’s time to make your video, do a few test videos for fun. Turn the camera on and just start talking. Once it’s time for the real thing, you’ll be so used to the camera watching you that you’ll barely notice it’s there and act more relaxed.

Tip: Watch your “for-fun” video to discover areas in which you can improve your speech delivery.

Don’t Put on the First Outfit You See

What you wear is important for both yourself and the people looking at you. First, consider what you want people to think of you. Fun? Professional? Trendy? Choose an outfit that will communicate the right message.

Second, think about comfort level. The last thing you want to worry about while on camera is an itchy tag or a skirt that might be too short to sit with your legs crossed.

Tip: If you tend to sweat in nervous situations, avoid wearing multiple layers of clothing and choose a dark shirt that won’t show sweat stains.

Do Become Acquaintances with the Camera

Think of the camera as your friend. Literally. Imagine your best friend is sitting there, not the camera. Otherwise, you may find yourself staring the camera down. You don’t want your audience to feel threatened by your hard stare. Instead, relax your eyes and allow yourself to act conversationally. If you’re being interviewed, it’s okay to look back and forth from the person and the audience. Your goal is to avoid looking like Superman when he uses his laser eyes.

Tip: Next time you talk to a friend, notice how your eyes focus on them and remember that feeling when you return to the camera.

Don’t Be Caught Speechless

One of the most important aspects of your video is your message. If it’s prerecorded, you have the option to write out a script. If you choose a script, read it out loud after you write it to make sure it sounds natural. You don’t want it to sound like you’re reading your high school book report. Once you know it reads well, continue reading it until you can successfully go through the entire thing without having to look at the script more than a few times.

If you choose to do a live video, do NOT wing it. Even the best speakers have to prepare something. Preparing an outline of what you plan to say will help you stay on track and avoid forgetting to mention important points. But don’t over prepare by writing out a script either. You need to sound natural for a live video. Prepare an outline on a note card with your main bullet points and include keywords under each point to prompt your memory of what comes next.

Tip: If you notice yourself forgetting certain words during practice, highlight them on your note card.

Do Take a Breath

Have you ever listened to someone speak who seemed to never take a breath? It makes you feel breathless! For the sake of your listeners’ lungs as well as their comprehension of your message, take it slow and don’t forget to breathe. Taking normal breaths while you speak will make you sound more relaxed and conversational, allowing your audience to grasp what you are trying to communicate to them.

Another reason to breathe is in the instance of losing track of what you were saying. Instead of panicking and getting flustered, take a second to breathe and collect your thoughts. Refer to your note card and continue like nothing went wrong.

Tip: Remember, your pauses seem longer to you than they do to the audience.

Don’t Be Too Critical

Most people hate how they look and sound on camera because they don’t realize how they actually look and sound from other people’s perspective. It’s just something you’re going to have to get used to. Likely no one else will even notice the things you dislike about yourself. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin. Confidence goes a long way in covering up any quirks you think you see.

Also, don’t expect to be perfect the first time. It’s okay to make mistakes. It’s how you learn. Practice your message and have the patience needed to work toward a flawless performance.

Tip: Since your perception of yourself can be skewed, ask a friend to tell you if you really do have a quirk to worry about fixing.

You open your mouth and say words. Don’t let nervousness stop you from joining the video trend.
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Maybe you didn’t plan on ever having to speak in front of a camera. But at least now you know how to prepare. Whether you’re speaking to a friend or to an audience or to a camera, it’s all the same at the end of the day. You open your mouth and say words. Don’t let nervousness stop you from joining the video trend. With enough preparation and practice, anyone can speak to a camera.

Feel prepared to be on camera?

We’re ready to help you tell your business’s story through video. Contact us today for a free consultation on making you and your business shine on camera.

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