Do you know the secret to being great on video? It all starts with your relationship…the one with your camera. Make friends with your camera!
The main relationship in the whole series was the one between the camera and Fleabag. I had to convince myself that whoever was watching on the other side of the camera was instantly complicit with Fleabag and instantly a friend of hers. — Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Actor
You may have been using video for a while now, but like most people, you likely have either no relationship with your camera, or you’ve developed an “adversarial” relationship with it.
That internal voice that says, “Ugh, I have to get on video” or “I’m so over these virtual meetings!” may be so ingrained that you don’t even notice it any more. But the attitude persists and it’s a lot more damaging than most people realize.
Because the camera is the vehicle through which you communicate with your customers. And the camera (and your customer) sees all. Like Santa Claus, who knows when you’re good or bad, the camera knows what you’re doing and how you feel about what you’re doing.
How can an inanimate object possibly know how you’re feeling?
Because your feelings leak out through your eyes, your facial expressions, the way you move and speak. Any frustration, apprehension, or discomfort you feel will be communicated to your audience. (Trust me, even great actors can’t cover up contrary feelings without a great deal of work!!)
So if you’re unhappy or ill at ease in any way when you’re on video, your words may say “I’m happy to be here,” but your eyes, your face, or your demeanor will shout, “I can’t wait to get off this call!” And research shows humans instinctively distrust people whose words and body language are at odds with each other. This incongruence sows the seeds of doubt in your audience. For sellers who desperately need to build trust and rapport with new prospects, this can quickly turn a promising call into a dead end.
So how do you make sure all your positive feelings and energy can come across to your customer on video?
You have to learn to be friends with your camera.
You’ve probably heard or even used the expression—the camera really loves her (or him.) But the truth is that the camera is objective. It does not select a lucky few to shower with love, and shun the rest of us. Rather, like a mirror, the camera simply reflects back how you feel about it to your audience. In other words, people who are great on video are not loved by the camera, but rather they love, or at least like, the camera
This begs the question, how do you develop a friendly relationship with your camera?
Like any friendship, you have to work at it. Whether you’ve barely noticed your camera or have developed “irreconcilable differences” with it, now is the time to start fresh. Below is a simple daily exercise that will help you see your camera as not the enemy, but your friend, your ally, your champion – or Santa Clause, for that matter! Whatever brings out the best in you.
Make Friends With Your Camera Exercise:
Have a 1-2 minute conversation with your camera each day for a week. Envision your camera as your friend. This could be a real or imagined one. You could even give your camera a name more personal than, “Hey Logitech.” You may want to experiment with this to see what brings out the best in you.
In your mini-conversations, be very honest and “talk through” any relationship issues or awkwardness that may exist.
Here’s an example of how a daily conversation might go:
- Day One: “Hello, camera. I feel silly talking to you and can’t imagine how this is going to work, but I’m going to give this a try so I can make stronger connections with customers. So here goes …”
- Day Two: “I’m back for more! Let’s see, as my friend, I would probably tell you about my day. So here’s what I have lined up…”
- Day Three: “Hey camera, I just got off the craziest call with this prospect yesterday …”
Once you stop letting how you feel about your camera get in the way of your relationships, you’ll be amazed at how energized you feel, and how differently people respond to you.
Making friends with your camera is just the first step towards being great on video. To set out on a course of virtual excellence, check out this article, and pick up a copy of my book, Look Me In the Eye below!
In Look Me In the Eye, you’ll discover how actors, reporters, and other on-screen pros form personal connections with people through the screen – and how you can apply their secrets to build stronger relationships in business that drive sales!
Get your copy of my new book that won the Gold Medal Top Sales book of 2021 on Amazon today!