Recently, Cisco found that video traffic will account for 82% of global consumer internet traffic by 2022, up from 75% in 2017. That is a powerful statistic that underlines what we already know to be true — our buyers are spending a vast majority of their time online watching videos, and that isn’t a flash-in-the-pan trend.

Which begs the question, what percentage of your website right now is video-based?

Probably somewhere between 0 and 10%.

The good news is that your competitors are likely in the same boat, which means there is no better time than right now to fully embrace video as a sales and marketing initiative. In fact, the mindset we teach all our clients at Shava Consulting — which consistently yields the greatest results (traffic, leads, and sales) — is:

We are all media companies, whether we like it or not.

For example, Shava Consulting is a media company that happens to offer website design and marketing services. And the same holds true for your company. Your company is a media company that happens to offer _______________ services or products.

As we’ve already established, whether you’re B2B or B2C, we all are in the business of trust. When done correctly, video will be a powerful addition to your toolbox, proven to not only establish trust more quickly with your buyers but also shorten your sales cycle.

While video is so valuable for the marketing and sales process of your company, there is a 90% chance that you are among the people who say…

“I’m just not good on camera.”

When someone says this to me, I usually ask them, “Are you good with people?”

Nine times out of 10, their answer is yes — without hesitation. Well, if they’re great with people, it’s nearly impossible for them not to be good on camera.

And with some simple tips and practice, you’d be surprised how quickly those folks not only become comfortable on camera, they also become extremely effective. So here are some tips to help you become comfortable on camera when recording videos for your audience.

1. Prepare, but Don’t Over-Rehearse

Video works because it fosters authentic, human-to-human connections. So, if you rehearse what you’re going to say too much, you’ll sound scripted and insincere.

That’s not to say, however, that you shouldn’t plan.

Personally, I’m not comfortable getting up in front of a camera and speaking entirely off-the-cuff. Hence before I get in front of the camera, I’ll outline what I want to say to use them as a guide so I make sure I know what I want to say and in what order.

That said, I’ve found that the less I focus on sounding perfect and the more I put the concept of “memorizing lines” completely out of my mind, the better and more sincere my final results are.

Which brings me to my next tip…

2. Push Through Your Mistakes

With live television, you can’t stop — no matter what. The same holds true when you shoot video with you or your team. You and your people need to understand that, regardless of what you say or how you say it, to simply “keep going” — no matter what.

We enforce this rule with our clients for a few reasons.

First, once someone realizes they can stop, they’ll stop a lot more. Second, most of the mistakes you make can be fixed in post-production. Finally, by moving forward, you “work out the kinks” in what you’re attempting to say, and you’ll likely have a much better second take.

3. You Can Do It Again

You should not stop in the middle of a take, but it’s absolutely fine to do another take right afterward. However, if you need more than three or four takes to get it right, you may want to move onto another video where you (or the subject) feels more comfortable with the material.

4. Smile and Be Natural

Yes, you likely know that you should smile while talking on video. But what I’m telling you to do here with this tip is to start smiling three seconds before you hit record.

You don’t want to just be going into a smile when the camera starts rolling — the viewer will see you “flip the switch” to become friendly and “sincere.” By starting with a smile on your face before the camera starts rolling, you’ll easily project an authentic, warm, and trustworthy posture to the viewer immediately, with no awkward gaps.

Another benefit is that you’ll calm your nerves with a genuine smile on your face. (If you don’t believe me, try it. You’ll see what I mean!)

Another great way to create a welcoming atmosphere is to pair your warm smile by giving yourself permission to talk with your hands, as you would normally.

I don’t know about you guys, but when I first started going in front of the camera, my posture was rigid. And given that I’m a naturally fidgety person, I overcompensated by keeping my hands at my sides and not moving at all. As a result, I came off as stiff and insincere.

By allowing myself to embrace my communication style of gesturing with both hands as I talk, I started to feel a lot more comfortable as I was talking on video right away. It also enabled me to show emotion and be excited about topics as I was talking through them.

5. Create Video as Much as Possible

I’ll keep this last tip short and sweet… ish.

The more you put yourself in front of a camera, the more easy creating video will become. (More to the point, the more you do video, the less likely you are to have a panic attack every time someone whips out a camera.)

By challenging yourself to leverage video as often as possible, you will find that each time you power up your webcam or camera, the words flow more organically and the best practices become more like a reflex.

(Also, as an added bonus, embracing video fully has taught me how to better think on my feet and riff on topics, instead of being so wedded to scripts and heavily-edited thoughts.)

Again, I’m nowhere near perfect and have a lot of opportunities for improvement, but constantly practicing is drastically shortening my video learning curve.

Conclusion

I want to end on this note because if you remember nothing else from this article, let it be this — and it’s not so much a tip as it is a mindset you need to adopt.

Your video’s success will ride or die based on your ability to understand who you’re speaking to and what they need, as well as the context in which your message will be delivered.

For example, in a one-to-one live conversation that takes place over a video conferencing application, you won’t want to come in smiling like crazy and being super enthusiastic right out of the gate. You’ll want to be warm and friendly and welcoming, of course, but you’ll probably want to take a minute or two to gauge a person’s energy level so you can match it and put them at ease.

Or, when making a recorded video — either to one person or many — you’ll want to pause and think first about who your audience is, what they need from you, and how you want them to feel after watching your video.

The vast majority of the decisions I make about a video happen during the conversations I have with myself about who my target audience and what will resonate best with them before I write down any talking points or plot out what I want to cover in a video.

No matter the scenario, if you start with your audience first when working on a video, you’re setting yourself up for success. Happy filming and #StartDoing