Does it seem like your LinkedIn feed is full of talking heads these days? It’s not your imagination.
In the past year, the world’s #1 platform for business lead generation has jumped into the B2B video arena in a big way, by introducing professionally produced video ads for sponsored content and launching a mobile app for iPhone or Android that allows users to record and upload their own video content.
If you’re using LinkedIn to grow your business, what could be easier than hitting the Record button on your smartphone and speaking directly to your tribe.
For most of us, speaking on camera is a stressful experience. The thought of looking into a camera lens and not knowing who will be watching – or what they might think of you – causes fear. And fear triggers a fight-or-flight response that causes many people to sweat profusely, turn red in the face and struggle to breathe. Call it stage fright on steroids.
A big part of my work is helping people become more confident speaking on camera, and I’m happy to say that with preparation and practice just about anyone can improve his or her on-camera performance. Here’s how:
- Figure out what you want to say before you hit the Record button. You don’t need to memorize what you’re going to say, but do prepare a few talking points ahead of time.
- Before filming, stand in front of a mirror and practice your presentation out loud. You’ll feel ridiculous. Do it any way. As you practice, keep your eyes focused on your reflection, as if you are speaking to an actual person in front of you. The camera will pick up any twitch, frown, grimace or involuntary eye roll. You want to minimize as many non-verbal tics as you can.
- During your mirror practice, pay attention to your tone and delivery. Do you sound confident? Friendly? Are you speaking too fast? Video magnifies the way a person looks and sounds.
- After you’ve practiced a few times, record a practice take. Smile, make eye contact and stare directly into the tiny camera lens. It will feel unnatural at first, but remember that you’re making eye contact through the camera lens to your unseen audience.
- Play back and review. Resist the self-criticism and focus on things you can change. If your video looks too dark, record yourself near a window to capture more natural light. Pay attention to the way you look and sound. Ask yourself: what would your intended audience think about you and your business if they saw your video?
- Avoid recording endless takes. You’ll wear yourself out and lose your enthusiasm. Try recording two or three versions. Review. Revise. When you’re happy with one, upload it to your LinkedIn feed.
Practice. Practice. Practice. Then, take the leap. Speaking directly to camera is a skill, and the more you do it, the better you’ll get.
About the author:
Holly Paige is a video content strategist and creator based in Portland, Oregon. She uses the power of storytelling to produce videos for businesses and organizations that want to tell their stories – and tell them right. Visit: www.digitalwave.tv and www.waveonegroup.com.