9 tips for the camera-shy

Whether you have to make a video recorded presentation, response, interview, or creative project, some courses you take could require you to be on camera. Being in a video is fun for some people, but for others, it is terrifying! It doesn’t have to be, however, and it shouldn’t be. Below are a few tips to overcome your camera shyness.

Tip #1: Start simple. If you are a bit hesitant to put yourself on camera, your anxiety will be even stronger if you’re asked to answer a difficult question or perform something challenging right away. Instead, ask your teacher if you can do something easier first. This will get you comfortable with the process of recording.

Tip #2: Ask for an example. If you see other students or your teacher recording first, and they are relaxed, maybe a bit silly at times, or creative in their response, seeing this may help you feel more comfortable to do the same. Ask you teacher to see examples.

Tip #3 :  Record with a friend, in a group or with family members. With the support of others, your motivation and confidence will increase.

Tip #4: Record something else. Ask you teacher, but you may not always have to be on camera. If you are using an app like FlipGrid, you can use the rear-facing camera feature to record something else as you are speaking.

Tip #5:  Interview someone. Collaborate with your peers and help each other become comfortable recording while also practicing speaking and listening skills.  If you are shy, pair up with someone who is more comfortable on camera. As you ask questions, use any PAUSE features to allow time to prepare your thoughts before speaking, or edit any slow starts out with your video editing software afterwards.

Tip #6:  Create paper slides. You can create a slide out of paper for each of your main ideas shared in the video.  Of course you can use PPT slides or other images in your editing software, but it might be fun to simply move the paper slides into the view of the camera while another person is speaking. If you are doing a one-shot almost life recording, such as with FlipGrid, this can be very useful.

Tip #7:  Use puppets or masks. If you teacher allows it, you can make fun and creative masks, emoji faces, or puppets  to use when you share your ideas on camera.  You can use a simple paper plate and a popsicle stick, or you can create your own sock puppets.

Tip #8:  Create a screencast. Have you ever wanted to easily record your computer screen while talking when you create a video? This is what screen casting is.  With screencasting software you can record live actions on your screen to create material for presentations, showing a process, or creating a project or part of one.  Screencastify, Screencast-o-matic, Loom are great options to get started.  You can record your voice as you are recording your screen!

Tip #9:  Appsmash! Appsmashing is the process of combining two or more apps in order to increase impact. Chatterpix is an example of app that you can use to mask your face a bit. You upload images of animals, famous people, etc. and then simply draw a line where the mouth is located. When you record, it looks like the image is speaking but has your voice!

Remember – although you may be shy at first, you will get better with practice. We all get more comfortable the more we do something.  Be yourself, and as much as you can – choose how you want to record!

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