I’ve been lucky enough to work both in front of and behind the camera. For me there’s a rush and excitement that comes from standing with a microphone in your hand ready to go LIVE. For others it’s a feeling of dread and anxiety.
I remember doing an interview with a veteran about PTSD and the dog that was helping her cope with it. It was a recorded interview (so we were not live) and she was extremely nervous. I tried my best to calm her fears. At one point she mentioned to me she’d rather be back in the Middle East fighting than be in front of a camera. That left me stunned! Here I was talking with a soldier battling PTSD from her time in service and she’d rather go back to a war zone instead of sit in front of a camera. She did amazing during the interview and left me with a greater appreciation for not only our soldiers and those who face serious fears on a daily basis.
There are many ways to get over being anxious in front of a camera. Here are a few that I’ve come across. They may come in handy if you’re speaking to a large group of people or ever find yourself being interviewed for the nightly news.
- Imagine You’re Talking To Your Spouse – I’ve heard this over and over again from people in the business. By imagining you’re talking with your spouse or a loved one, you’re speech will come across with more of a conversational style.
- Know Your Facts – The more you know about the topic you’re discussing, the better prepared and less nervous you’ll be.
- Practice, Practice, Practice – Just like in sports, practice makes perfect. News reporters will repeatedly practice what they’re saying well in advance of their live shot.
- Be Personable – Imagine they type of person you’d enjoy watching or listening too. The more you can relate to your audience the better.
- Relax – If you look and feel stiff, the person watching will not pay attention to what you’re saying. However, if you’re story is about something urgent, convey that was well. Body language is half the battle.
- Go With The Flow – Mistakes happen, even on live TV. If something goes wrong do the best you can to roll with the punches.