How to Feel Confident in front of a Video Camera - 6 Top Tips

It’s very common for people to feel apprehensive about filming, and want to know how to feel more comfortable in front of a video camera, whether it’s for an explainer video, video testimonial or a training film.

Here are Bath video company Octopus Films’ top tips on how to prepare in order to get the most relaxed and enjoyable filming experience, whether you’re working with a professional video company or not. The more you do it, the easier it gets, we promise!

Tips on how to feel confident in front of a video camera
Behind the scenes at a green screen video shoot
Behind the scenes at the Roman Baths, filming a video for the British Council

1.Remember it’s not live.

If you’re working alone, take your time and be realistic about how long each part will take – rushing is false economy.

Consider dividing up the script into small chunks and recording them clip by clip to be edited together later. This will make the filming feel much more manageable.

If working with professionals – any production company worth its salt will allow sufficient time to allow the client to redo any parts they’re not happy with, or just feel could be done better.

Our film producers expect to run through key parts at least twice – as well as allowing for time for a practice run through. Sometimes we will return to re-record parts again at the end, once the client has warmed up and got into the swing of things.

Let the team know if you’re feeling nervous or apprehensive and they will no doubt have tools and techniques to make it feel less daunting. For example, if you’re worried about having to remember a script, perhaps you would be more comfortable with an auto cue to read from.

It’s the job of a good video producer to make the client feel at ease to get the best possible performance as well as making the experience relaxed -even fun- if appropriate!

2. Use breathing and relation techniques

We really rate Psychologist Dr Julie Smith’s advice on breathing and relaxation techniques for anxiety and uncomfortable situations. The more practice you put in, the more effective the techniques will be, so try to start preparing in the weeks before the filming, if you’re able to. You can use breathing techniques on the filming day, and no one will ever know!

3. Consider being question led

If you’re feeling nervous about talking in front of the camera a good technique is for a friend or the video producer to ask you questions in order to draw out the content needed. This means you will be looking directly at a person, not a video lens, and it will feel more like a conversation that performance in front of a camera.

This is also useful because a skilled video producer will be able to identify areas where you can either elaborate, or conversely make your words more succinct, depending on what’s appropriate. This allows for more choice when it comes to the edit, allowing the team to cherry pick the very best bits, which the video editor will definitely thank you for!

This more organic approach can feel more natural than an over-prepared, learnt script, as well as less nerve racking. However, you do still need to do some prep! Write down a list of the key points you want to include and share it with the video production company, or a willing friend, so they can prompt you if you miss any out.  It doesn’t matter if you need to do more than one take to include all your points if you are planning on editing your film, and the audience will be none the wiser.

4. Consider investing in professionals

It’s amazing what a good editor can do! The team are Octopus Films have all worked with professional TV presenters and even their words and delivery get a makeover in the edit suite. We can take out fluffs, umms and arrrrs, as well as splice together several different ‘takes’ and no one would ever know. So don’t sweat the small stuff, let the video company worry about that!

5. Remember that there’s normally a way round something

A good video production team will be masters of adaptability. If you really don’t want to appear on camera, you don’t have to! You could record a voice over which will combine with pictures, graphic or animation, or they could engage the services of a professional voice over artist which is often less expensive than people assume, starting at around £250.

A second option is to engage a presenter to communicate the information for you – this might be particularly relevant in the case of a training video or explainer film, for example. This will typically be your most expensive option, but can produce very professional results and removes the need for the client to have an on camera role. A professional presenter would charge in the region of £500 a day including expenses, plus there may be a studio hire of around £500 a day. However, Octopus Films has a nifty portable green screen set up which can be used in surprisingly small spaces – so often the studio hire is not necessary.

Alternatively, video editors can also use text, animation and graphics alongside music and footage and create a very powerful film, without anyone being seen or heard on camera, and this option can offer particularly good value for money, especially if stock footage is used. Again, this removes the need for the client to appear on camera.

6. Choose the right film company for the job

If you’ve decided to employ a professional company, make sure you work with an experienced team that you click with. Choose your production company carefully and they will guide you through the process skilfully, which will make you feel relaxed and that you are in safe hands. If they are calm, unhurried and professional, this will in turn help to relax you and allow you to get the most out of the opportunity whilst creating a stress free experience. Most video companies will be used to travelling some distance to the filming location so there is no need to settle on the closest film company to where you’re based. (That said, we do promote sustainable film making, so we don’t recommend looking too far afield and unnecessary carbon emissions.)

Before you draw up your shortlist, it’s worth checking out some local video production company’s Google reviews and specifically looking out for mentions of the client being made to feel relaxed or any other relevant comments. Ask for recommendations from friends and colleagues and don’t be afraid to talk to a few video production companies before you engage the one you click best with.

In the last year, Octopus Films has worked with everyone from athletes to supermodels, and we invest in staff with strong people skills that are able to make clients from all walks of life feel relaxed during the filming process. In fact, we’d argue that making people feel comfortable is just as important as any other aspect of the job.

Octopus Films have been making the production process a breeze for clients for over twenty years. We’re always happy to answer any questions or address any concerns both in advance of the shoot, as well as on the day.

Get in contact to discuss your next project or talk about how we can make the filming experience as stress free as possible for you and your team. Call us on 01225 891079 or email [email protected]

See Octopus Films profile on DesignRush.

The Octopus team filming a corporate video in Bath

From professional camera work, tight scripting and seriously professional editing, Octopus Films have the full spectrum. We have no hesitation in recommending Octopus Films and their entire team for the professional and first-class results they produce.

Mark Ellis

Head of Marketing, Original Software