Camera shyness is a widely known problem, which can be very unpleasant. People who see themselves on video may react with “do I really sound like this?” or even something more negative. In online training this can happen directly after a training exercise. A reaction like this is common because your brain, while watching yourself on video, is subconsciously always looking for points of improvement. To a certain point this can be useful, but it can also trigger the consequence that one would rather not appear on camera anymore. That’s why we present you in this blog with 4 tips to overcome camera shyness for trainees.
1. Leave your comfort zone
To overcome camera shyness, at some point the trainee has to appear in front of the camera. The first few times this can be very difficult, but you will notice that after some time the trainee will appear in front of the camera with less reluctance. It is important that the trainee remains constant and really appears in front of the camera once in a while.
2. Constant practice makes perfect
Good, the first step is done. But we are not there yet! Someone can go and stand in front of a camera once in a while, but how do you make sure that this person is going to feel more comfortable in front of the camera? If talking to a camera feels unnatural, it can help to imagine that the camera is just not there. The trainee can also try to ‘replace’ the camera with someone he or she knows, a colleague for instance, or a good friend. This can make practicing in front of the camera more pleasant and comfortable.
3. Let someone watch
It can help to let someone watch your recordings. As an outsider, the other person often can point out strengths of which the trainee maybe wasn’t aware. This can establish mutual trust, but it can also help the trainee see their recording in another light. If someone has a clear view of their strong and less strong points, it can create comfort during recording. Solely the fact that someone else is in the room during recording can also help for some people.
4. Put things in perspective
If the trainee sill doesn’t feel comfortable in front of the camera, then make sure they are comforted as much as possible. Nobody is perfect and others go blind on points of improvement as well. Tell the trainee that a self-critical view does no harm, but that striving for perfection often isn’t the solution since one can always find points of improvement. If the trainee realizes that the ‘perfect recording’ doesn’t exist, there will be a bigger chance that this person will appear in front of the camera feeling more comfortable.
At Faculty of Skills as well, we sometimes hear that people have to get used to recording themselves in our Video Role Plays. However, we also see that when a trainee is used to the process, it can generate really positive results. While some people might never feel completely comfortable on camera, improvements can always be made. With these tips everyone should be off to a good start!
Read the case study and find out how Utrecht University makes use of our Smart Video Role Plays!