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4 Tips To Appear More Natural on Camera

Miguel likes cameras a lot.. but only when he is behind them!

On April 1st, I released my first set of videotutorials teaching how to create awesome videos like the ones here at Grumo.

Soon after feedback from my dear students started to come.
Here is an email by Brian Cooley where he asks what do I do to be so natural on camera:

Miguel,

I'm working on a set of tutorial screencasts for mobile development, and I pretty quickly found out how hard this stuff is. I don't really intend to make promotional videos, but I was intrigued by your easy nature in front of the camera and the way you keep things fun. I spend a lot of time watching peepcode.com videos, which are less dry than your average tutorial videos, but still don't capture your upbeat, fun style.

I'd love some tips on how to be more natural, but my gut feeling is that it just takes practice, practice, practice. You gave a good tip on this (pretend you are talking to a friend), but I'd love to see you flesh this aspect out, especially if you have and drills or exercises you can suggest. Do you do anything to get ready before you start taping?

You've got a good thing going. You're either a good actor or you love this stuff, because the enthusiasm really comes through.

Best regards,
Brian Cooley

Thanks Brian for getting the course and second for being one of the first people to send me some great feedback and questions.

And here is what I replied to him:

Hi Brian,

Being natural should be the most natural thing in the world, all you have to do is be yourself!
Obviously, easier said than done because the moment you put a camera in front we tend to become self conscious.
Most people are not comfortable in front of a camera. I think the beauty of recording yourself at home alone is that makes is more intimate as oppose to being recorded in a studio with 80 people looking at you.

Here are some tips I use to appear more "natural" on camera:

1. Don't take yourself too seriously
In my case I think what helps is that I just like to have fun and I cannot take myself seriously even if I tried to.
To me it helps to think that the end of the day most people really don't care or even know you exist, really, the main obstacle is yourself not the world around you.

2. Put Things into perspective
I always like to put things into perspective, life is too short and we are really very insgnificant not just as individuals, but as a whole, or as a planet, or even a galaxy.. we are just a pale blue dot.. like Carl Sagan said on this beautiful video -> http://grumomedia.com/the-greatest-motivator-of-all-time/
(That is an article I wrote a couple of months a go to help people motivate themselves to take risks.)

3. Practice a lot
But like you say, practice, practice, practice, make fun of yourself, have fun, make many mistakes.. it really doesn't matter what the world thinks as long as you are truly wanting to provide value in the end.

4. Have a glass of wine
Having a glass of wine also helps to loosen up a little.. 😉

I think I will do a video explaining these concepts as I think they are very not just important to come across natural on a script but to enjoy life more in general.

Thanks for the feedback Brian!

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  • Estelle Ople Osorio

    Thanks for sharing these tips Miguel! Very helpful – especially when you said we are nothing but just a pale blue dot in the universe. 🙂 Helped put things in perspective! Very helpful, thanks!