Even the most accomplished vlogger might feel nervous in front of the camera sometimes. The fear of public speaking is more common than you may realize, and that anxiety can translate to speaking to a digital audience as well. However, there are a lot of tips and tricks out there for public speaking, and employing the right ones can help you appear more comfortable and confident on camera.
Here are the best public speaking tips for improving your onscreen presence.
1. Be mindful of your pace and your projection.
When a creator is speaking too quickly for a viewer to understand them, then that viewer is likely to click out of the video. Likewise, speaking too slowly can bore your viewers. Therefore, you should be mindful of your pace when you’re talking to the camera. Check your video comments to see what viewers say about your pace; ask friends who watch your videos what they think as well. Then, practice adjusting the speed at which you’re speaking accordingly.
Additionally, you should pay attention to your projection. If you speak too quietly, viewers won’t be able to understand you, but if you speak too loudly, you could hurt their ears. As a rule of thumb, try to speak to the camera as if it’s another person, not like you’re talking to yourself or to an auditorium. Again, read your comments and poll your friends to get an idea of any adjustments you need to make to your projection.
2. Set your notes aside.
It’s good to outline what you want to cover in your video, but before you press record, those notes should be put out of reach. Without your notes, you’ll sound more natural, and you won’t be tempted to glance down or read directly from them. You also won’t feel limited to only saying what you wrote down.
Instead of using your notes on camera, use them as a script to practice before you film the real video. You can keep them next to you while you rehearse your video in a mirror, with a friend, or in your filming space without the camera on. Think of it like rehearsing for a school play. You can keep your script with you during rehearsal, but you need to be off-book for the actual performance.
3. Focus on delivering an attention-grabbing opening and an impactful closing.
It’s often said that an audience only remembers the beginning and the end of a performance. Therefore, you should focus on really nailing the start and the end of each video. You don’t need to worry as much about messing up in the middle because your audience’s main takeaways will come from the first and last few seconds.
The beginning of your video should grab your audience’s attention. Once you know you have them hooked, you’ll feel more confident about the rest of the video. Then, make sure your video goes out with a bang. Building towards an impactful closing can also strengthen the middle of your video.
4. Ask people you trust for feedback.
One of the mot effective ways to improve your onscreen presence is to ask people you trust for their feedback. Aside from your pace and projection, ask for their thoughts on things like your body language and eye contact. Have them point out any issues you have with diction or the mood you’re portraying on camera.
If possible, get feedback from someone who fits into your viewer demographic. For example, if your content is aimed at teenagers, then you might ask your cousin who’s in high school. Alternatively, you might ask a friend to watch a few videos made by a creator in your niche you feel has a good onscreen presence, then ask that friend how your onscreen presence compares to the other creator’s.
Making a YouTube video is a lot like public speaking, except your audience isn’t live or in-person. Every creator can utilize public speaking tips to improve their onscreen presence and feel more confident talking to a camera lens.
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Kristen Harris enjoys listening to a wide range of music, from Taylor Swift to, on occasion, Celtic instrumental. She also spends her time writing, reading, and baking.