Sometimes, entrepreneurs ask me, “Summer, what’s a good low-cost way to get into video marketing?”
Easy! Do this:
- Get in front of a decent camera and mic (your iPhone will do at the beginning)
- Deliver the message your customers need to hear — directly
Teach them. Entertain them. Sell to them. Anything you want.
It’s amazing how powerful this type of not-quite-face-to-face communication can be, especially in our ongoing pandemic mess. And I wish business owners used it more often.
But to be honest… I get why they don’t.
Being on camera can be scary and overwhelming and stressful. It has all the potential pitfalls of in-person interaction — except there’s no one on the other end, which makes it even more challenging! It’s so tough to be charming and confident and persuasive when it’s just you and the camera.
Tough… but very much possible! And that’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s article.
This week, I’ll share with you 4 proven strategies for developing a compelling on-camera presence, showing up charismatic and confident on demand, and communicating messages in a way that resonates consistently.
If you want to engage with your customers more directly, this one’s for you! Trust me, you too can show up on camera with confidence and power.
Even if you’re 100% shy and introverted.
Even if you haven’t done a second of public speaking / presenting in your life.
And even if you’re not “naturally good” on video.
Because guess what? No one is! Nobody magically turns into The Living Embodiment of Cool as soon as they see cameras rolling. Everyone you’ve ever seen crush it on video has done a lot of work upfront, so they could appear present, high-energy, and magnetic.
Read on, and you will learn how to do the same! Today, we’ll cover:
- The biggest mistake that makes you appear scattered, untrustworthy, and boring on camera — even if you do everything else 100% correctly
- The underrated secret behind the smoothest, most confident video presentations you’ve ever seen (good news: you can steal and replicate it easily!)
- 3 rules to help you project a charismatic physical presence on camera, so you can deliver your message with the most impact possible
- The #1 principle of mesmerizing video presentations everyone forgets — and how it can help you create irresistible content consistently
And more. Let’s get to it! Starting with…
1. Intention: leave your agenda at the door
Here’s the biggest reason entrepreneurs struggle to teach, engage, and sell on camera…
When they do it, their head is not in the right place.
Their thoughts go something like this:
“This video had better get a ton of views! We could really use a big win, Q2 is almost over, so where’s our massive army of loyal customers at? Come on, let’s go…”
Notice anything out of place here? That’s right — this entire train of thought is purely self-serving! It focuses on results for the company and for the business owner alone, putting everything else aside.
And while it’s normal and human to be worried about results and performance…
…fretting about them while you’re on camera, recording a video for your customers, is a recipe for lukewarm, forgettable content that fails to resonate with anybody!
Remember: you are creating this content for other people.
So instead of wondering if your video gets the ROI you want, try asking:
“What do I want to communicate to people? How do I want their thinking / attitude to shift? What do they need to hear from me?”
In other words, instead of pursuing a self-centered agenda, set a clear other-focused intention. This will help you deliver your message with energy and clarity, and make you feel (and look) 100% present to your viewers.
That way, whatever it is you want to say will have 10X more weight and impact behind it!
2. Preparation: have a script or a detailed outline ready
Almost nobody talks about preparation as the biggest secret behind on-video confidence. And to be honest, I get it!
It’s much more gratifying to discuss “sexy” things like natural charisma, body language hacks, NLP, what have you… than to admit one simple thing:
Whenever someone speaks on camera in a way that commands attention, resonates, and creates a powerful response — 99% of the time, it happened because that person came prepared. Perhaps even over-prepared.
They knew exactly what they wanted to say, and how to say it. Plus, they probably practiced at least once. Just those two simple things will go a looong way towards building confidence!
Now, do you need a painstaking script and multiple “dry runs” of practice to deliver a confident video presentation? Not necessarily, even though it would help. But here’s what you do need, in my experience…
- A detailed outline of your key points, so you can communicate your message effectively and not leave anything out by accident.
- A clear understanding of the offer / final call to action you’re making in the video. What do you want viewers to do next? How will you instruct them to take action?
- A tight and engaging opening sentence. Your video lives and dies by the first 5 seconds, so I highly recommend creating an introduction in advance. This guide will help.
But we all know it’s not just about what you say, but also how you say it. Which brings us to…
3. Articulation: follow the 3 “keys” of charismatic presence
It sure would be nice if your customers could judge your message purely on its own merits, wouldn’t it? But sadly, people don’t do that — ever. No matter how objective they pretend to be.
Why? Because communication is about so much more than words and concepts… and we’re hardwired to pick up on all of it.
Experts estimate that anywhere from 70 to 93(!) percent of communication is nonverbal. You are constantly communicating cues to your customers. Cues that you can’t consciously control, and they can’t ever tune out. Sure, all of it happens unknowingly, but it affects their opinion of your message all the same!
Now, trying to control nonverbal communication is a lost cause. Even professional actors struggle with it!
So instead, I’m going to give you 3 big-picture pointers that will instantly improve your on-camera presence in a few key areas: your posture, your voice, and your facial expression.
- Posture: imagine there’s a thread connecting the top of your head (a.k.a. the crown) with the ceiling. Try to sit or stand relaxed, as if you’re hanging from that thread — neck relaxed and completely vertical. Then, push your shoulders down and slightly back.
- Face: when you’re on camera, try to hold a faint smile on your face. Just enough to touch the corners of your mouth and your eyes slightly. Counterintuitively, this will not put a visible smile on your face — just make it look low-key friendly.
- Voice: first off, slow down! Nothing kills people’s confidence in your message faster than a “motor mouth.” And second — put about 50% more energy into your voice than normal, because tone and emotions are harder to read on camera than in person!
Keep these tips in mind, and you’ll always be charming and persuasive on video!
4. Iteration: embrace the practice and the process
And finally, here’s something most people forget about speaking on video: it’s actually super easy to present the best version of yourself on camera!
…Because there’s always the next take.
Presenting your message on-camera isn’t a binary state of succeeding or failing — it’s a continuous process. It demands repeated, deliberate practice. Not even Oscar-winning actors can knock out perfect take after perfect take! Instead, they lean into creative iteration and allow themselves to get better over multiple tries.
When creating your video, you want to take the same approach. Let go of the pressure to be perfect and focus on getting better, bit by bit.
You can get a ton of benefit from this kind of pressure-free, process-oriented practice. For instance:
- It can lead you to be more creative and spontaneous on camera, because there’s no pressure to be 100% flawless. This, in turn, could help you create more compelling and attention-grabbing videos for your audience.
- You will get a lot more opportunities to improve, experiment, and craft your own unique presenting style. Even if you never become as effortlessly polished as, say, President Obama, you will still develop an unmistakable on-camera presence and charm.
- Even goofs, failures, and mistakes have value! And I don’t mean in the abstract, failure-is-a-good-teacher sense — though that, too, can be true. No, I mean that you can convert “bad” takes into bloopers, outtakes, and other video marketing collateral.
Remember: video is not a shortcut to perfection. It can’t magically turn you into a perfect presenter. And the road to each awesome take is usually paved by many, many more that didn’t make the cut.
But as long as you embrace this aspect and lean into the process, you will (almost) always be able to create something engaging, resonant, and persuasive!
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