We’ve all been there. We’ve thought long and hard about what we’re going to say when we get in front of the camera to film our promotional fitness videos. But when we finally get in front of the lens, we’re stuck. We garble our words. We say yoga when we mean pilates. Our hands shake even when we’re only lifting 3 lb dumbbells. We’re just not our best selves.
If nothing else, I’m here to tell you, you’re not alone. I started acting when I was five, and part of the reason I moved behind the camera is to avoid having to be in front of it. When someone points an iPhone at me to take a picture, my insides feel like a squirrel in heat.
And please take it from me, while that squirrel in heat feeling might not go away, there are tried and true ways to combat camera shyness so that you’re your best self in your promotional fitness video, whether you’re taking the DIY route or hiring Monkey Reel.
That’s enough rambling for now, here are some tried and true methods for FIGHTING CAMERA SHYNESS:
- GET COMFORTABLE
Ask your significant other, colleague or friend to film you around the house or gym – so you get comfortable with being on camera. Everyone has a phone with a camera, eh? That works!
And make sure you wear something that you feel like yourself in the day of the shoot of your promotional fitness video. It’ll help a lot!
- GET FEEDBACK
Ask a few trusted people for advice. (More than 5 and you might start to hear conflicting opinions, which can get tricky.) Ask what you do well (even if it feels awkward) – and if you’re brave (and in a healthy relationship), ask if you have any small habits that might get annoying on camera. For example, I have a tendency to put my hair up and down and apply lip balm like it’s crack cocaine. I avoid both behaviors when I’m on camera. If you know what those things are that you do, work to avoid them – and sometimes having that preoccupation of the thing you’re trying to avoid doing can actually help you relax.
- GET SILLY
Take a one-day improv or acting workshop. You’d be amazed how much facing your fears head on – or just getting loose in a relaxed environment – can really improve your promotional fitness video, not to mention make it a lot more fun.
- TO WATCH YOURSELF OR NOT
I’m friends with a lot of professional actors. Some hate watching themselves on camera. Others direct movies that they star in, which involve watching themselves over and over. You don’t have to watch your work, but if you’re up for it, it can be helpful for your fitness video.
My suggestion with test footage: watch 10-15 seconds of it. Then stop. Then see how you feel about it an hour later. If you’re down to keep watching, some people really excel by studying moments of weakness and game planning how to improve them.
- TO WRITE OR NOT TO WRITE
It’s a good idea to write out what you want to say on camera. It gives you the opportunity to rehearse – more on that below – what you want to say. But, be careful that you write something that’s in your own voice and words when you’re promoting your gym or fitness studio. The easier you make it on yourself, the easier it will be.
- REHEARSE, BUT NOT TOO MUCH
You want things to feel comfortable and loose, not like you’re giving a speech. If you’ve written something out, memorization is really helpful, because the more comfortable you are with what you’re going to say – the easier it is to be conversational. If you haven’t written anything, maybe jot down bullet points of what you want to say in your promo fitness video.
But don’t over-rehearse. Leave room for magic to happen the day of the shoot.
- YOU DO YOU
This tip is very akin to “getting comfortable.” You’re not Daniel Day Lewis sinking deep into whatever character you’re playing, you’re (presumably) just being yourself in your promotional fitness video.
So how do “you do you”?
Ask yourself what you do best – then do it. If you’re great at cracking jokes, crack a few jokes. If you’re the type of trainer who stresses amazing form, videotape yourself in class showcasing proper form – and helping others achieve it. If you’re a motivator, motivate! And make sure a segment of the video shows you motivating students. If you’re the world’s best zumba instructor, dance your ass off.
If you aren’t tapped into what you do best, ask friends and colleagues! They should have no problem telling you why you’re amazing! And neither will we!