darren-nolander-cameraSome people wince at the mere mention of video but, in today’s day and age, you have to use this tool to your advantage! We’re technologically more connected than we’ve ever been, so it’s a real miss to let this platform go untapped just because you “hate the way you look on camera.”

Let me let you in on a little secret. Almost all of us hate the way we look – and sound – on video. It’s extremely unnatural to see ourselves as the rest of the world does, though that doesn’t make it a bad thing! The difference between those who post tons of videos, garnering a multitude of likes, followers and contacts, and those who do not, comes down to one little factor: confidence.

You simply do the best you can, fake it ‘til you make it and move on with your life knowing we all loathe seeing ourselves on the screen. Another way to combat these feelings is to control what you can. That’s the easy part.

Here are a few tips to get comfortable on camera so you can produce the most effective videos possible:

Lighting– make sure you have ample lighting in front of you and minimal lighting behind you. If you’re filming with a smartphone you can easily check the lighting by flipping to the forward-facing camera.

Wardrobe– this sounds more intimidating than it actually is. You simply want to be mindful that you’ll be on camera when choosing what to wear that day. Mix up lights and darks, and make sure your look falls somewhere between professional and business casual. This is not the place for gym attire or the “I woke up like this” look.

Positioning– though you don’t have to create an all-out set, you want to make sure the background of your video complements its message. Remove any clutter or random objects that appear in the frame, and put a few strategic items – say, an industry award – in their place.

Messaging– determine the message you want to get across before you turn the camera on. Rare is the loan officer who can simply push the red button and produce a stellar video. Instead, write down a few of your talking points, keywords or messages so you know what you have to hit on once the camera is rolling.

Practice – whether it’s in front of a mirror, into an audio recorder app or straight into the camera for a few rough takes, running through your talking points ahead of time can put your mind at ease. Even a little time spent FaceTiming or Skyping loved ones can help you get used to the way you look on screen.

Authenticity – no one is asking you to be someone you’re not. If you’re an expressive person who talks with their hands a lot, for example, there’s no need to alter your natural rhythm. The videos that are truly cringe worthy are the ones where the subject is clearly trying to be someone they’re not. Yes, you want to be professional, but clients like you because you’re…you.

These are intended to be super-simple to get each of us using video in our day-to-day. I struggle with the same things everyone else does, so this article is somewhat self-serving! The barrier to doing video is now very low—it’s time to just do it!

Regional Vice President - Southwest

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