Are you struggling to do videos?
Many people are struggling, especially shy people, I have a few tips that have definitely helped me, you are not alone. I am shy and a regular live streamer, how did I get here?
The other day, during a live stream (video below), I spoke about my struggles when going live and with video, in general. Some of the comments I got were very encouraging, viewers who had been following several of my live streams could not believe I had had such a hard time. That is only because I have recently become more confident during live streaming. As you can see in the video,it is still far from perfect, but I do try to keep up with comments and maintain eye contact (most of the time) and although I stumbled upon my words a few times, I actually enjoyed it.
If you are shy, you know the worst form of video is Live! I know, they are all scary but live…can be paralysing!
I remember when I kept telling myself, the more you do anything, the less scary it gets and the better you get at it- well, surely it has to be the same with live streaming.
I knew if I wanted to take my business online, there was no way I could avoid embracing video.
Not only that, one of my businesses is directly linked to video, hello? I create Video Backdrops for people who want to get their message out there amplified, optimised…feeling confident! I mean, my handle is @thebackdropstylist , that gives you an idea of how much I needed to do videos…
So here was I, helping other people do amazing videos, creating beautiful branded and supportive backdrops and I was too afraid of doing a video! Can you see the paradox?
Therefore, I was committed to overcome my fears. Which, I tell you have been (and still are) huge, ever since I remember. Just so you get an idea, if I ever saw a camera, I´d run away, that was always my reaction while growing up, and I tell you with a mum that enjoyed photography and video…that was hard! Just imagine how scared I was that I don´t even have a video of my wedding…and I only agreed to having a photographer because it wouldn´t have been fair on my husband or guests…but I had a really hard time with that too (my photo album is hidden away somewhere…).
So, I am not going to tell you it is easy. I am not going to tell you to do ten videos and then you will be a pro, no, it is a process, it takes a big effort and commitment, but: you can totally do it. Believe me.
It takes time, it takes commitment, it takes some tips and tools that will make it a bit easier and then, one day, you will realise that although you did get nervous, it was actually exciting. And you know then, that if only one day that excitement feels stronger than the panic, you will actually start enjoying it. Just think that if you are able to feel that, even if it is just once, there are chances you will be able to feel it more often, does it make sense?
Anyone else ever felt those “good nerves” that rush through your body and make something scary but fun at the same time?
Feeling that means you are on the right path, you are growing, thinking outside your own little head and who knows what exciting new chances await you on the other side?
Now, be prepared for ups and downs, more ups, obviously, don´t give up just yet… There will be set backs, some days will suck, other days you will feel like you pushed through and did a decent job, and some days you will even feel like you´ve got this and it is no longer a big deal. The latter start becoming a standard bit by bit, or should I say video by video.
I really want to point this out because it is NOT a progressive journey, at last in my case. It is a somewhat unfair road, that is, you feel start feeling more comfortable and confident and then, suddenly, you will have a “bad video day” , and you will feel as of you have taken a few steps back. Do not be discouraged by this, the following videos will be much better. You might have one or two “bad video days” but they will not mean you are not making progress, they are simply part of the journey. Embrace them, delete those videos if you feel they are really awful (I have never done so because I think all my videos, no matter how bad some of them might be, may inspire someone), but you do have the option to delete too if that will make you feel better. Every single video you create is a lesson and takes you a step closer to feeling totally comfortable on screen. I know that day will come for me too…I just hope it is soon! Ha ha ha!
You can have bad video days just like you have bad hair days…
My humble advice is, keep going, practice is necessary and you will never do it as bad as you think, honestly. Those silences that seem like minutes to you, well, they are actually imperceptible to your viewers, that stumbling upon words…you will get over it and you can even joke about it to lessen the pressure. (I do that all the time).
People can relate to nerves, they can relate to struggles, they won´t think you are less of an expert because of your shyness, believe me, if anything, you will be able to inspire more people to give it a try.
Now, this is only a short list of things that I have found have helped me and are still helping me along the way.
1- Community: find yourself a supportive group of people that are going through the same struggle or that are ahead of you, so they can lead and help out. Be it for the support and be it for the responsibility not to let the others in the community down, you pull through and do it as best you can. It took me 5 months to do my very first #shareathon on Periscope , my only regret now is not jumping in before. I think it is the best way to overcome any fear, you just have to do it and that´s it. Sometimes “just do it” is the best therapy!
2- Start a support pod or even a practice group where you can get constructive feedback and you can support and find support at the same time. Start small, in an uplifting and constructive environment. A closed Facebook group is a good platform as you can actually test your live streaming.
3- Find your turning point. When I realised it is not about me, but about my message and what I can do for others, a heavy weight lifted off my shoulders.
4- Don´t be afraid to share your struggles. I used to think everything had to be perfect and I could not share my panic, when you share, you never know who you might be inspiring and encouraging to try it.
5- Be engaged, this is sometimes the hardest thing to remember at the beginning of your live videos. You are trying not to forget what you want to say and you completely forget to check the messages, to welcome people…it takes practice. Setting yourself triggers and reminders helps. I sometimes still think: Oh, if nobody joins my live stream, it will be more relaxing and I won´t have to answer, lol! I know, what is the point of going live but to reach people…? #shymindsthinkdifferently
6- Use a Live video Checklist , I personally highly recommend this one, it has helped me stay on track, stay focused and give a structure to my videos. You can get it here. I do get a small commission on this, but I only recommend it because it is what I always use. It is absolutely the best way of having a structure in your videos that will make you more confident and it will make them covert better. You will know exactly what to do , what to say and when.
6- Related to the point above: look straight into the screen, to the camera. Avoiding eye contact at all costs, I know, I have been there…doesn´t look good. It also takes practice, but once you do it, it´s there to stay. A trick for this is not to sit , or stand too far away from the camera. Sit or stand at a comfortable distance, where you have enough backdrop showing (it is there for a communication, branding and marketing purpose, more on that on another post) but a distance that allows you to read any incoming comments and that lets your viewers see your eyes. Eye contact (although not real on video) creates empathy, relatability and connection. And that is what you are looking for when you do a video. You are trying to connect to your audience, so make that connection.
7- Use an optimised Backdrop: a backdrop is a communication, branding and marketing tool, every video needs one (different types apply to each type of video) but for shy people, it is even more important as it has psychological effects on us.
It acts not only as a physical support, which it does, but as a psychological support too.
It is especially important for shy people to have a backup plan that they can rely on if words don´t come to us, if our mind goes blank…or if you get stuck on words…you need a very powerful backdrop to compensate for that. Note that you are actually not compensating for that but for your belief that that is happening, hope this makes sense.
Your backdrop should tell your story and show your expertise.
It has the power of maximising your message, make you look professional, confident and trustworthy. Talk about a Super power!
Get your own bespoke optimised backdrop here.
An optimised backdrop is one that:
- Makes you recognizable and stand out in a crowded feed.
- Shows your expertise.
- Brands all your videos and online presence.
- Tells your story.
- Shows your field of business.
- Reflects your style, both personal and business.
- Includes psychological marketing triggers.
- Makes you more confident.
- Serves as a social media marketing tool.
- Attracts your ideal client.
- Lets you connect with your audience through the right signals.
- MAXIMISES YOUR MESSAGE AND REACH.
It can even save you from awkward moments if it is optimised (all backdrops should be, by the way). It needs to have appropriate triggers, reminders and backup props (if you would like to learn what these are, simply comment below and I will create more posts on this topic).
I hope these tips serve you well, please let me know if they do. I would love to hear your struggles on video, so I can address them in future posts.
If you are still not sure that Live streaming is for you, this Masterclass by livestream queen Katya Varbanova might make things clear for you. Watch it here.