You know when you were younger, and you’d hear your voice on a recording and it would just sound really weird? Like HEY, thats not me, who is that imposter coming out of the video camera?!
It’s almost as if the person you hear in your head vs the person you’re hearing on the recording are two totally different people?!
Now I say video camera because i’m referring here to a time when phones, laptops, and cameras weren’t used as much for videoing. We weren’t all as exposed to hearing ourselves on camera as we may be now.
In the world of blogging and vlogging it kinda seems like almost everyone now is perfectly comfortable picking up the camera and having a chat, but I know that’s not necessarily true.
Over the past year or so of blogging i’ve had quite a lot of messages from people asking ‘how do you feel so confident talking to the camera?’, so I thought it was time to share a few bitesize tips in case anyone else out there is struggling.
Now i’m not saying i’m any kind of expert, i’m not a vlogger, but where my expertise comes in are Instagram story chats.
I love a good natter on Instagram stories! I’ll grab my cuppa tea, get comfy on the sofa, find some good lighting (obv) and chat away. I love it!
And I think if you can, chatting on Instagram stories is a great way to build a relationship with your followers. If you’re chatting to them regularly you’re giving them even more insight into your world and you know what, hearing someones voice can make all the difference in feeling like you know someone.
Chatting to the camera is also very engaging. Whereas with photos I am sometimes likely to skip through, videos where someone is clearly talking grabs my attention, I want to hear what they’ve got to say. After all, if it’s Instagram chat worthy, it must be good!
I ran this poll on my Instagram recently, I was interested to find out what my followers thought about chatty stories…a pretty clear result!
It’s also a good way of connecting with your followers, if i’m looking for advice for example on a skincare product i’ll put up a video asking my followers what they recommend. Nine times out of ten i’ll get some seriously helpful results from my lovely followers.
You may be sitting there thinking well yeah, I know all of this is great but there’s something really holding me back.
Talking to the camera is bloody terrifying!
It really is. I don’t quite know why, but I think it has something to do with actually having to watch yourself and hear how different your voice sounds like I mentioned earlier about the video camera imposter. It’s also the fact that often, you feel like a bit of an idiot.
I remember going to film my first chatty video earlier in the year and i’m not even joking I probably filmed and re-filmed it in excess of 30 times, and that’s not an exaggeration! I kept tripping over my words, forgetting what I was saying, or just thinking I sounded like some nervous T.V presenter trying to hold it together.
But after many, many tries, I finally got there.
Now i’ve been posting chatty Instagram stories for almost a year, I thought it might be a nice idea to share some of my top tips in terms of gaining confidence:
Have a plan (sorta)
The great thing about Instagram stories is that they are (supposedly) an in the moment thing. The idea being you just pick up your phone and snap what you’re up to.
When I say have a plan i’m not talking about sitting down on a Sunday and planning your Instagram story schedule, I merely mean it’s a handy tactic to have some sort of idea about what you’re going to mention in the clip you’re about the film.
For instance if I was going to talk about the weather (shock i’m British), I would think ok, let’s start with a clip about how cold I am and why i’m wearing so many layers.
I realise this sounds so simple but I promise once you put a little bit of thought into what you’re going to say you’ll really reduce the risk of mind blanking. The clip time is short so its helpful to choice a couple of points to cover to avoid rambling.
Start with a filter
You know the first few times I filmed myself chatting to the camera the only way I could bear it was to use one of the voice changing filters on Snapchat. Pretty ridiculous but I think it’s partly due to the fact that way it doesn’t actually sound like my voice. Plus they transform you into some sort of animal like goddess with the worlds longest eyelashes, that’s always handy.
If you’re feeling stressed about the way your voice sounds then maybe give this a go. If you’re anxious about the way you look on camera when you’re chatting, add on some dog features! For some reason it brings confidence to many of us, so it can be a good way to ease yourself in.
Once you’ve got used to that, you should hopefully be more comfortable with chatting and filming.
Watch yourself back (but not too much)
This might sound like an odd one…surely watching yourself back is just going to make you cringe even more?! Well yes, kinda, but that’s what it takes for it to become normal.
When I first watched myself back my instant feeling was just to delete. The cringe factor was just too much. But as I persisted, filming more, posting more, and watching more I became used to my voice on camera. That imposter faded away and I just began to recognise myself as myself behind the camera.
It’s also a great way to learn. If you never watch yourself back how will you improve? Not that you always need to improve, you are lovely and wonderful and fabulous but if there are areas you’re not so strong at, watching yourself back can really help iron out these creases.
It’s all about the balance. Once you’re fed up with watching yourself just post it and forget about it. No doubt you’ll get some fab responses.
Saying all this I think it’s important not to watch yourself too much. You’ll end up obsessing over the way you’ve pronounced the word cheese and you’ll never be able to post anything.
Walk and Talk
One thing I found when I started talking to the camera was that I would just end up playing with my hair a lot. I mean, I still do it all the time if I’m stood/ sat around talking to the camera but I try my best not to. Ya know, for greasy roots sake and because it’s bloody annoying watching someone fiddle with their hair.
I found the easiest way to avoid this is by talking to the camera whilst do something else, like walking. It gives the rest of your body something to focus on and as walking is so natural to us we just forget about what else we’re doing.
It also makes the walk go a lot quicker wherever you’re going, it’s basically a time saving method!
My biggest piece of advice for chatty videos is just to go for it. Don’t overthink it, don’t worry what other people are going to think just do it!
Easy for me to say, right? But honestly you’ll get used to things quicker than you image and you’re followers will enjoy getting to know you even more.
Do you have any tips for confidence in-front of the camera?