With more people working from home, people are being asked to participate in video calls and video conferences over Skype, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and other apps.
While video conferencing can be great for productivity and team collaboration, many people are uncomfortable on camera and have camera shyness. So they avoid putting themselves on camera whenever possible.
You might be thinking: “If I’m not absolutely required to show my face, I’m going to hide behind my computer and join over audio only.”
That’s fine for your comfort zone. But just remember that it means you will not have as much influence in the meeting and with your team.
That could hurt your influence and standing over time.
So how do we overcome camera shyness?
The strategy is very simple: record a 30-second or 2-minute clip of yourself on your phone or computer.
Repeat this 30, 40 or 50 times.
These videos are not to be published anywhere. It’s just for your own practice and improvement and building your comfort zone.
Voila, after that much repetition and exposure to the camera, you will feel way more confident and comfortable on video.
What to say on your recordings
You could say anything, since it’s just for practice. But here are some ideas:
- Practice an actual presentation you’re expecting to give at work
- Read a news article and repeat it back to the camera from memory (this can also be a great exercise for becoming more concise)
- Give a summary of your day or week at work
- Share project plans for next month or next quarter
Whatever you expect to be discussing in your video conferences, you can practice on your own.
Remember, overcoming camera shyness is a gradual process.
This process will be painful and uncomfortable for the first few repetitions. But keep practicing and you will completely destroy your discomfort.
You might even have some fun with it!
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