Few people enjoy being under a spotlight. Especially a literal one. With the recent crisis causing a strong push to work from home, more and more people will have to get used to seeing themselves on camera. It may not be recorded for playback, but at the very least, it is visible to the viewer. 

As a video content company, we’ve done our fair share of interviewing people on camera. And with that comes a whole bunch of awkwardness–fidgeting with their fingers, stumbling over words, and forgetting answers to simple questions.

It is often cringe-worthy to watch yourself on camera, but there are some simple tricks to help. Whether you’re in front of a professional videographer or on a Skype conference call, these tips should help you feel more composed.

#1: Wear solid colors or simple patterns

Crazy patterns can be confusing and distracting to the viewer. Opt for solids and aim for clothing that is not too baggy. The focus should be on you, not on your shirt.

Kathleen skips the crazy patterns for a distraction-free video conference.

#2: Choose neutral colors that are flattering to your skin tone

Avoid colors that are high contrast to your skin tone, as they will appear to dominate the picture. For someone with a darker complexion, wearing bright white may make their shirt glow. 

Paige shows us how neutral, flattering colors can help you look like a pro on camera.

#3: Balance stillness and excessive movement

How would you appear if you watched yourself on camera while the sound was muted? Are you awkwardly still? Are you distractingly busy? You want to seem enthusiastic, charismatic, and composed while on camera. It’s a tough balance, but managing your hand motions and body language to be deliberate movements that provide emphasis can help you achieve that. 

#4: Remember, it’s still a conversation

Many people freeze when they are on camera. They forget answers to simple questions, preoccupy themselves with the “right” answer, and nervously worry. You want this to look and feel like a conversation, so it’s okay to ask questions, laugh, and simply be your normal self. 

Christina shows us it’s a-okay to be yourself on camera!

#5: Pauses are powerful

Many of us feel the need to fill quiet space by rambling. Yet, silence does not always have to be filled! Intentional pauses add weight to your words and ensure that answers are succinct and polished.

Speaking in front of a camera can be intimidating. Watching ourselves on video can be embarrassing as we become all too aware of every quirk, tick, and idiosyncrasies we each have. It is important to still retain the humanity and humility that make you YOU. Don’t let the little things get in the way of what you are trying to say…as they may actually make your content better. 

Most of all, remember we are all learning and dealing with new ways of doing things. You’re doing GREAT!

Ben knows all too well the challenges of WFH life!

How are you prepping for these times? 

What steps are you taking to better yourself for videos? 

About the Author

  • Paige manages Outlier's client partnerships and projects. When she is not developing goals and plans, she is likely playing with her mischievous dog or enjoying a new adventure.