How to watch yourself on video like a director
Even as an actor I hated watching myself on video. All I could see were the flaws: I didn’t smile enough. My voice was flat. I blinked too much. The list went on and on. None of this self-bashing made me any better. In fact, it simply increased my anxiety and self-consciousness every time I got in front of a camera. I didn’t win a single television role until I learned the secret of how to watch yourself on video like a director.
If you’re trying to win business using video, you can’t afford to be in the dark about how others perceive you on their screen either. Virtual behaviors that distract your audience, or cause them to question your credibility, confidence, or tune out will continue to sabotage your efforts if you don’t get an accurate read on your own performance.
If you’re in sales or an entrepreneur, that feedback likely needs to come from you! That means you need to learn how to watch yourself on video objectively and constructively. Unfortunately, objective and constructive, are the first two words to fly out the window when watching yourself on video!
By shifting your perspective from that of the performer to the director, you can get rid of a lot of the unproductive drama around watching yourself on video. Instead, you’ll be able to use it as as a tool for improvement rather than a stick to beat yourself up with.
So how do you adopt a director’s perspective of your own performance? Many people have been directing their own performance like a “bad” director already.
So, let’s take a look at what a good director does vs. a bad director.
A good director:
- Is clear and specific about what kind of behavior they are evaluating
- Encourages and acknowledges what works
- Provides honest, constructive feedback in a kind and respectful manner
- Offers specific suggestions for improving the audience’s understanding, engagement, and experience
A bad director:
- Is vague about expectations (e.g., “you just need to be more engaging!”)
- Provides mostly negative feedback
- Focuses on things outside of the performer’s control, like physical limitations or genetics
- Expects you to change everything at once
If you recognize yourself as that “bad director,” it’s time to put on the “good director’s cap”! Below are 3 steps to get you started.
3 Steps To Watch Yourself On Video Like A Director
- Get a list of specific criteria to evaluate yourself on. Reviewing your video without an evaluation guide is open season for your inner-critic! Avoid the free-for-all with a list of specific virtual behaviors that convey confidence, credibility, likability and empathy to your audience. Otherwise, it’s much too easy to get focused on things that don’t matter — like how your eyebrows are shaped, or how unsymmetrical your face is. For example, in the Selling on Video Master Class participants evaluate themselves on 20 specific virtual behaviors, like placing gestures within frame, holding eye contact with the camera (your audience) when posing a question, etc.
- Write down what you did well. It’s natural to start picking out all the things you’re doing wrong. But resist that urge. Good directors give a fair and balanced report. Take a moment to write down what worked before you dive into what didn’t. What are your strengths? Where did you shine, even if just for a moment? Perhaps your eye contact was strong at the beginning and the end of the call. Maybe your lighting really made your face and eyes pop. Write it down.
- Review your video again for improvement. Even though I asked you to watch your video for what you did well, I bet you couldn’t help but notice a few (or more?) areas where you need some work. For example, it t could be that you’re not making nearly enough direct eye contact, your gestures are unclear, or your face lacks sufficient emotion or expression, a state I call Resting Business Face (RBF).
Evaluating your performance from the perspective of a director takes much of the sting out of watching your video. And it allows you to be more objective and constructive by focusing on what matters to your audience and what specific areas you need to work on.
These three steps are just the beginning. For all ten steps and the 20 point self-evaluation check out my book, Look Me In the Eye or the Selling on Video Master Class.
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 2021 Gold Medal Top Sales Book on Amazon today!