Do you have to be on video?

A prescription for overcoming camera fear
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I saw a tweet during the week where someone was lamenting feeling like they should be on video, but not having “the skin” to do it yet. So I wanted to talk about that.

Hi, I’m John Lacey, and this is Build A Presentation Muscle, the podcast about showcasing your expertise through content creation.

Do you need to be on camera?

Do you, as a content creator generally or an audio podcaster specifically, need to be on video?

You might’ve heard me say this before, but unless you’ve signed a contract or have a boss or a sponsor telling you that you have to do something, you can (mostly) do what you like.

Follow laws and platform terms and conditions, and the rest is pretty much up to you.

But I think a lot of anxiety about this comes from a sense that what we’re doing isn’t reaching enough people, and, maybe, just maybe, video might actually help.

And, frankly, it might. But it might not. Opportunities are everywhere, but opportunity cost is real. No one can guarantee your results.

If you’re not interested in doing video, you don’t have to do video. You have my blessing. Don’t feel bad. Work on what you want to work on.

But here’s the thing…

I want you to be ready to take opportunities when they present themselves.

Some of those opportunities might require you to be in front of a camera.

I don’t want you to turn down a huge opportunity because you don’t have enough camera experience to not feel nervous.

A prescription for camera fear

I have a prescription for you. Try it and let me know how you get on.

1. Record the things you do

Set up your phone or a camera or a webcam and hit the record button. Do the things that you do. Record the audio podcast. Give the presentation. Whatever it is that you do to share your expertise.

Don’t stress too much about what you’re recording with. For this exercise, it doesn’t matter.

You’re not recording for the purposes of creating video content. You’re recording to feel more comfortable on camera.

2. Watch the recordings

I know, this will likely be excruciating at first. Nobody enjoys hearing or seeing themselves on recorded media. But you need to get used to being on camera and hearing and seeing yourself.

This is straight up exposure therapy. The only way out is through.

My hope for you

My hope is that a few things will happen through this process.

You’ll become more comfortable while the recording button is switched on.

You’ll discover that you’re not as bad as you likely fear you are.

You’ll find you get better over time.

And then, one day, when you least expect it, you’ll watch your recording and realise you look and sound good and you made a really interesting point. A point you could share with your audience.

And the thing is because it has been recorded, you can easily share that with all kinds of people in all kinds of places.

Remember the point of this podcast is not just to produce good content, but rather to help you develop yourself as a communicator. You don’t live or die by the perceived success or failure of the last thing you shared, rather you’re defined by a body of work and an expertise that can perform well in any context.

Even one with a video camera.

For more information about today’s show, head over to

Podcast recording

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