How to get comfortable on camera, part 3

In part 1, we covered a practice technique called the “Hello Video”. In part 2, we address how to project warmth and connect with your audience. Part 3 focuses on how we get hung up noticing things that no one notices.

In fifth grade, I had amazing hair.

At least, I thought I did.

And given that I was in possession of such an amazing asset, it was important that I get the most out of it. So I would stand in front of the mirror, eyes focused and fixated, arranging every strand in the right place. You see, it needed to look perfect.

Once every lock was perfectly positioned, I could then go about the rest of my day.

Within weeks, it was time for a haircut. Back at Supercuts with my legs dangling off the chair, the haircutter told me my part was on the wrong side. 

No big deal, I thought. She’s the professional here. So she gave me a haircut that switched my part to the office inside.

The next day’s morning mirror session was longer than usual (which is saying something). I better make sure everything is perfect, I don’t want to throw off my classmate’s expectations. 

And guess what.

Nobody cared. Literally no one noticed.

The Spotlight Effect

The spotlight effect refers to the tendency to think something about yourself is more noticeable than it really is. 

Hundreds of studies have replicated this phenomenon, and once you’re aware of it, it’s easy to observe in yourself and others.

When you make videos, you have to look at yourself a lot. You will notice a crease in your shirt, a blemish on your skin, or the slightest mispronunciation of a word. 

Don’t be fifth grade me. 

And don’t be hard on yourself. We are our own worst critics.

So don’t worry about that stain on your shirt. Don’t worry about that minor stumble of the five syllable word. Finish the video, and start on your next one.

Put it into Practice

If you’re skeptical, you don’t have to trust me. You can test this for yourself.

Send a video to a friend and ask for feedback. You’ll know what I’m talking about when they don’t bring up whatever it is that’s bugging you.

Thanks to Nate, Tim, Adam, Zach for reading earlier drafts