Being on camera is probably the scariest part of the video creation process. Video editing being a very close second.

The fear of being in front of the lens holds a lot of people back from putting their stories out there on video.

Is the fear of speaking on camera holding you back from creating videos for your YouTube channel, and beyond?

In this video I share 20 pro hacks (which I’ve gathered over the course of my 30 years as a video pro) that will help you be more confident and effective in front of the video camera. Whether it’s in your YouTube videos, or delivering your online courses.

My 20 Pro Hacks for Being Confident and Effective On Camera

  1. Focus on your message, not yourself
  2. Talk out your script, then write it down. You will sound more natural
  3. Reduce your script to talking points
  4. Rehearse, but don’t overdue it. Don’t leave your game in the locker room
  5. Try to look your best
  6. Avoid dairy before recording. It produces a lot of unwanted phlegm
  7. Warm up with breathing and vocal exercises
  8. Use good posture when recording
  9. Turn up your energy to around 1.5 or so
  10. Start strong and grab your audience from the start of your delivery
  11. Be enthusiastic, but not over the top
  12. Don’t rush through the content, instead close gaps between thoughts for good pacing
  13. Don’t forget to breathe
  14. Smile if it fits your message. Be pleasant, at least. Smile on the inside
  15. Emphasize key words and phrases to make your delivery more dynamic and understandable
  16. Look past the camera lens, don’t focus on it
  17. Don’t stare into the camera the entire time, it’s unnerving for your audience. Break content with the lens, occasionally
  18. Gesture naturally while you speak, but stay away from distracting movements
  19. Don’t freak out over stumbles. Correct yourself in the moment, and move on. Your audience is there for the content
  20. Review, revise, and practise your delivery. Being effective on camera is a learned skill

Speaking on camera can feel awkward and intimidating at first. But with consistent practice, you’ll learn to see the camera lens as a tool, rather than your enemy.

Tools used to make this video (Affiliate links):

Camera: Sony a5100 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Lens: Sigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN Art (Silver) for Sony SE

Camera Microphone: RODE NTG-2 Shotgun Microphone

Audio Mixer: Yamaha AG03 3-Channel Mixer

Camera HDMI to USB 3.0 Capture: AJA U-TAP HDMI Simple USB 3.0 Powered HDMI Capture

Lights: VILTROX L116T CRI95+ Super Slim Dimmable LED Light Panel

Recording & Editing: Screenflow 8


*DISCLOSURE: I often link to products & services I regularly use and think you might find helpful. To support this site, I use affiliate links wherever possible, which means if you click one of the links above and make a purchase I may receive a small commission or other compensation.


Michael Kinney

Michael is an award-winning media creator with 30 years of professional video production experience. He's written, produced, directed, hosted, recorded, and edited a variety of media projects - from TV documentaries to interactive learning.

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  • SO:

    * Look past the camera lens, don’t focus on it
    * Don’t stare into the camera the entire time, it’s unnerving for your audience. Break content with the lens, occasionally

    And than he stares at you the whole video 🙂

    • Thanks for the feedback, Marc.

      It’s a guideline, not a rule. Depends on your level of comfort, and what kind of feel you’re going for (news vs. vlogging). People start to freak out when they think they NEED to stare at the camera the whole time. I hope I wasn’t unnerving in that video. 🙂