How to Seem Natural on Camera
Newbie course creators almost always suffer from "camera awkwardness" in the beginning. Saying I felt uncomfortable the first time I was on camera is a gross understatement. Even though it was a Skype call, I distinctly remember sounding stiff and nervous, and to top it off a fly flew up my nose during the call.
Feeling stiff on camera is a normal part of learning to become a course creator BUT you can do a lot of things to mask the stiffness and start to learn to be more natural on camera.
Here are my favorite ways to loosen up for newbie teachers, and experts alike!
Smiling isn't just a marketing trick course creators use to get their students to feel more comfortable in class! It's also a way to make your own body feel relaxed in a stressful situation. Before and after you start talking in a video, smile, and your students will feel your positive feeling radiating towards them.
I know this sounds ridiculous, but before you start filming, start laughing. Try to get yourself laughing right up until you start talking and the positive mood and naturally rosy cheeks will show in your video. People can sense the difference between real and fake attitudes, so you have to trick your body into thinking you are relaxed and happy even though you are covered in sweat and wishing you had scripted your lines.
Don't Script Your Lines
I know it's tempting to write out every single word of your classes, but look at most of the successful Youtube, Skillshare, etc. channels out there -- they are talking to their viewers in a relaxed way. Your students want to feel like they are curling up on the couch beside you in their jammies, not sitting in an uncomfortable suit in an auditorium. Talking points are a much more effective way to create natural videos, while scripted (or even worse, teleprompted!) speech can be stiff and boring for the viewer.
You probably don't have a local audience who is waiting to hear from you, so instead go on Instagram, Facebook, or Youtube Live to practice your teaching. Even if only one person (or no one) shows up, keep going! This practice time is essential to cultivating your teaching style.
Film, Watch It, Then Re-Film
I know this sounds painful, but if you watch yourself teach you can accelerate your teaching skills. As you watch, note things that you don't like. Do you say "um" a lot? Do you tap your fingers on the table? Do you look stiff or hunched over? Being aware of these things while you teach will help you improve your teaching quickly.
Practice Your Content First
There is nothing more nerve wracking than not knowing what you're supposed to say next. You should be so comfortable with your material that you know it like your own life story, so you don't have to keep pausing to think of what to say next.
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