The Black Hole of a Camera Lens
How to take your speaking skills to the world of video and TV without losing a thing! “I can speak in front of a live audience just fine; I don’t know why I don’t feel comfortable speaking on camera.” If this sounds like you, you are not alone. About 35 percent of the public speakers that that come to me have this problem, and it shows. Discomfort like this will inhibit a speaker’s ability to seem charismatic on camera even if they are fantastic in person.
An example: One woman came to me with the problem of looking expressionless in her web site video. Her energy level was so low on camera it was going to be pretty tough to encourage people to stay on her site for more than a few seconds! Yet, this woman taught on stage at colleges and motivated classrooms of 100 students all the time!
What’s the problem here?
For those who excel in speaking in from a stage, there is a relationship developed with the audience. They use a few common practices that let them know the temperature of the room. For instance, eye contact with audience members helps estimate the energy level in the group, and verbal responses help to gauge how attentive the group is at any given moment. Nothing feels better when you are presenting than to ask a question and get the entire group agreeing with you!
Obviously, this major element of instant feedback is missing when working with a camera. The dark lens does not smile back at you or nod in agreement. The barometer that so many speakers use to gauge their effectiveness is gone! It’s understandable why there can be a natural inclination to dislike this little round camera lens that appears to be a black hole for your energy and expression!
If this resonates with you, then take heart; all it takes is a change of mindset, and this vast wasteland of video or TV can be your new playground! You can still build a relationship with your audience. In fact, the camera lens gives you the opportunity to create an even more intimate connection!
Here’s one approach to try: Think back on a special nikon lens sale moment when you really connected with a client (or a student if that’s more appropriate). Choose someone whose life you changed for the better because of what you do. How did it feel when you helped them? How did they respond? Did they show gratitude or feel peace? Were they elated? How did they look at that moment? How did they look at you? This exercise works best when specific, so choose only one person in the beginning. Spend some effort recreating this moment in your mind.
Now, while that experience is fresh in your memory, imagine that very person is on the other side of that camera lens. That lens is now your tool to reach not only that specific person that you helped, but so many more just like them! Try delivering your message now and really look into that camera to connect with them; convince yourself that the lens is the ONLY way you can reach them. No other options.