Why Video Feels Scary (And How To Overcome the Fear)
We recently ran a survey with over 3,000 recruitment professionals. 80% of people said that they are more confident on video now than they were pre-pandemic. At Odro, we are often complimented on “being brave” for putting ourselves out there on video. But it actually didn’t come naturally to everyone. For most of us getting to the stage where we are comfortable on camera was a challenge.
We take a look at how to overcome fear and confidently present ourselves on video. Being camera-shy is often put down to low self-esteem. When it comes to recording yourself there are several reasons people back out.
- Fear of embarrassment - “People might laugh at me or think I’m cringe.”
- Fear of the unknown - “I’ve not done this before, I don’t know how people will respond.”
- Fear of looking stupid - “I don’t know what to say. I’ll mess it up.”
- Fear that you’ll say the wrong thing - “What if I forget to mention an important point because I’m nervous?”
- Fear that you’re not going to come across well to the audience - “What if they don’t like me.”
Fear is triggered in the brain, it’s a natural human response. But we can’t let fear stop us from reaping the benefits of video recruitment software.
Fight, flight or freeze
To overcome the fear, we have to understand it better. It’s not always as obvious as shaky hands and a red face. If you’ve been asked to record yourself, you may be reacting in the following fear-induced scenarios which are ultimately harmful to your content.
The Fight Response
You become a caricature of yourself. Big actions and words. Overcompensating for the fear. You end up with inauthentic results and don’t come across as genuine to the viewer.
The Flight Response
You essentially takeoff. “I’ll do it later”, “I’ll do a bulk of them on Friday”, “I’m too busy just now I will need to think about it later”. Putting it off only allows the fear to build up over time.
The Freeze Response
You decide you don’t like video. You object to the benefits and put your fingers in your ears when people tell you otherwise. You end up in a stand-off situation with less effective content.
Moving past the fear
Now we’ve accepted and acknowledged fear, we can figure out how to cope with it. What can we do within ourselves to overcome anxiety so we can capture the best version of ourselves on video? Firstly by combatting those physical symptoms. We’ve collated some techniques for getting rid of nervous energy.
- Explore breathing exercises. A very simple one is to close your eyes and inhale for 6 seconds, exhale for 6 seconds and repeat a few times. The app Breathly is a great option for those looking for free daily relaxation and breath training, find it on your app store.
- The shoulder shrug. Simply moving your shoulders up and down a few times before you press record can help release some of that negative energy. Swing your arms around if you feel it helps too!
- Move around. It could be going outside for a walk or even just pacing up and down the room. Standing up and moving will, again, release that nervous energy and help you focus. Much like when a dog combusts into the “zoomies” because they need to let out their built-up energy.
Check-in with yourself. Are you successfully fighting those physical reactions to the fear? If so, exploring these techniques could get you one step closer to facing video head-on. Take note of what works for you and repeat.
- Shut down that pesky negative inner voice. Try rebranding your feelings of fear into positive thoughts. For example, “I’m nervous about being on video” becomes “I’m excited to see what results come out of these videos!”
- Be aware of your posture, sitting up straight commands the viewer's attention. It shows that you’re sure of yourself and your message.
- Smile, this is self-explanatory, everyone loves a happy looking face.
- Push the laptop/computer back if you can. You wouldn’t speak to someone three inches from their face in real life so why speak that close to the camera? Let them see you properly.
- Be aware of what your hands are doing, 70% of communication is non-verbal!
- Have distracting backgrounds, you should be the main focus!
- Shift your eyes. We recommend you look directly at the camera, imagine it’s the viewer's eyes and you're looking into them.
- Read from a script. It’s always obvious and it always comes across as false.
You’re on your way to video stardom
Whether you’re making video content to advertise a role, sending a video message to a potential client, or recording an interview with a candidate to send to your client. We believe that you can triumph over the fear and get the best results.