I'm so nervous to get in front of the camera. Do you have any tips to help me deliver a natural performance?

Tips? We've got them in spades!

If there is one thing our DC web video producers have learned over the years, it's that nerves have a serious impact on performance. Because of this, we have a tried-and-true list of ways to help our clients get over their nerves and deliver a smooth, natural performance. Our top five tips are:

  1. Prepare. Before you come to the studio, make sure that you have your outfit, script, and any props dialed in. Feeling unprepared will send your anxiety level skyrocketing, so get ready well before your shoot.
  2. Practice. To get the hang of being in front of the camera, video yourself at home or in your office. Practicing your lines will give you a chance to work out any problems in your script. And, though it's hard to do, be sure to watch the video, looking for any unnatural hand movements or facial expressions. Also, do a few dry runs the day of your shoot. Get in front of the camera before it starts recording, and go through your lines. This will help you get the feel of the studio beforehand.
  3. Breathe. When you get in front of the camera, breathe deeply and as you exhale and smile gently. We're talking a soft smile, not a Jokeresque grin. As you do so, also lower your shoulders, as nerves can cause you to pull them toward your ears. As you speak, don't rush your lines, and take the time to breathe during natural pauses. 
  4. Imagine. One effective tool is your imagination. Imagine that the person—or pet—you are most comfortable talking to is in the camera.  Pretending to talk to them will put you at ease and help you relax enough to give a natural performance. Some people even bring a picture of a friend, spouse, or dog and tape it to the camera! 
  5. Have fun. I know you're so nervous you can't imagine having fun shooting your video. But the sooner you get comfortable in front of the camera—laughing at your mistakes is a great start—the sooner you'll be able to shoot a video you can be proud of.

For more tips on being your best in front of the camera, or to schedule your session at our DC green screen video studio, call 703.962.1270. We can help make your shoot not only pain free, but fun!

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Jim Folliard
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Founder, Director, Cinematographer, Photographer & Editor