People often ask me, “What if I don’t like the way I look on video?” I’ll let you in on a secret… I can’t think of anyone who is a real fan of how they look on video (myself included). If you’re hesitant to try video, this one is for you…
- March 17, 2018
- 82 comments
Loved the video
Hi Jeff. I am a great admirer of your work. However, re video, I do wish you’d look at the camera (me) all the time. I guess it’s a habit.
When I’m on video (about as much as you are) I chat to the camera (as you do) but I don’t take my eyes off the lens. Reason being, if someone doesn’t look me in the face all the time, it can suggest lack of confidence or, worse still, they are not telling me the truth. Now, you are a great guy and I know you have lots of confidence and always speak the truth. Therefore, i suggest you try overwhelming us with your smile and your charm, by making eye contact with us all the time and showering us with your helpful words of wisdom and encouragement. Oh, and by the way, who are your audience? Drop outs? College kids? Otherwise, I think you could take a good look at your wardrobe for filming. Know what I mean?
Best wishes from a seasoned pro and an admirer
I would disagree. These weekly videos are conversational and he is in a reflective more casual head space – and I think it is highly effective – at least for me. Now for the more formal, educational, direct content – you are absolutely spot on! And I think he does engage appropriately with the eyes in those videos.
Jeff has addressed this exact point in a video where he specifically apologizes to a viewer with a similar sensibility to yours. I think you should watch it : https://jeffwalker.com/apology-video/
Also, regarding the “eye contact” issue : It is actually proven by several studies that continuous eye contact is perceived by the other person as threatening and unnatural. If memory serves me right from studying social psychology, the “optimal” eye contact time is somewhere between 40% and 60% of the time. Anything under that and it looks like you’re avoiding eye contact (which may be perceived as suspicious, or insincere). Anything over that and it looks like you’re forcing eye contact (which may be perceived as threatening, or insincere).
So you might find that other people do not react similarly to you, and might shy away from that constant stare 🙂
The actor David Lawrence XIII (from TV Series “Heroes”) even calls it : “eye-F-ing the camera”. Don’t do it !
@Sebastien: I noticed that I had pretty good eye contact in that apology video. 🙂
Interesting enough. I do weekly videos also and have read and researched tons of stuff out there about eye contact. I think you do a great job! You are authentic. I can’t look at the camera the whole time- its annoying. LOL. I need a break from looking at myself even for a second! LOL. Anyway, I think as with anything- we will always have people ready to make suggestions to us. And with anything, we push ahead because we have a message to share. Thanks so much for what you do to pour into others and all of us!
Love your videos. I’ve been teaching speaking skills for 30 years and to say you should stare at the camera is absolute rubbish. Your smile, casual style and the back drops you use all work in together.
I think he looks natural and comfortable on his videos. When a person stares nonstop into a camera, it looks like a stare down from a car or
Insurance salesman. A video should be natural, as one would be in a personal conversation. I think he does a wonderful job at communicating.
I also want to add that it’s hard to be natural on video. I can do standup comedy at a club, but the minute I know a camera is capturing me on a personal level, I tense up. Acting out a part is much easier than being myself on camera.
Love it, Jeff. Great word to stay after it. Thanks, man.
Melissa G Wilson
This helped me. Now I know I’m not alone. I also resonated with your focus on getting to “the other side”—the rewards side of feeling the fear you have but moving through it anyway.
My goodness, it can be a shocker to discover what you look like on a video. I ‘ve discovered that I have good days and bad days. From the days where I feel I Iook best, I found that there are a few natural factors that can assist the best from my image. Some of them are- morning and evening window light. the angle of the camera, and the colors I am wearing – including makeup.
Loved the video, nice to know the pros are human. What I like about your videos is how natural you are, you are not pretentious and that makes me trust you more. I am attending your PLF in Phoenix next month and its because I perceive you as relaxed, honest and real that I have committed to your program. I think most of us like you this way. When I watch videos and the people are polished and rehearsed, it often feels contrived and I usually skip on through… next. BTW most of your videos are shot with beautiful back drops in nature, what could be better?!
Hi, Jeff great video you are right trying to get over the fear.
This is a brilliant video Jeff, and a very important one, especially for female entrepreneurs. Women often do have higher expectations of themselves (and each other) about how they should look and appear on video (make up, hair, weight, etc.). At the end of the day, no matter how high we set our own standards for video, it really is about getting your message out there and getting your business into motion. Also, as you say in your video, you get better at it as you keep on turning up! Thank you Jeff!
Thank you very, very much I have been avoiding video promotions forever.
Today the world will change.
Amazing message. Very inspirational. Thanks Jeff!
This message touched me. Thank you Jeff.
I’m just starting out, made my first video and it’s on YouTube. I can relate to everything you have said, but to move forward you have to take that first step. It’s the only way or you will forever think, what if…………..
Hi Jeff, doing PLF, having my business idea, getting busy with all necessities (Credit, Partner,…) I did not realize what it means, until: one day I shoot trial videos-it was so terrible for me that it took 6 weeks to get over it and carry on. Now before the 2 day shoot I got so sick because I had to face my fears. Being a food addict, I am not home in my body , I was always afraid to show myself and now going out and show people how I look-like it or not- is really going to the other side of my comfort zone.
I will get over it…Thank you Jeff
Thank you! I needed this today.
I’m having a lot of anxiety around creating videos.
I love your advice!
Thank you for that awesome motivation.. the day my software, merchant account came together, was the day I realized how much fear I have! Pushing through and your video blogs are helping me do so… Thank you!
Framed the question in a grasp-able way…am I going to let my personal feelings stop me from doing what I am capable of accomplishing? Bingo. Your short weekly videos have an emotional and credible impact to me. You set a good example for beginners to absorb and transition into an effective protocol that feels obtainable. Thanks!!!
Thanks Jeff… It’s a relief to know I’ve not been alone having the same feelings! I had a built up an 18 year following in my self-publishing services business of 34,000 clients, but had never appeared on video in person. When launching my 16 lesson video program the PMA Toolkit in 2010 I refused to appear on camera so I shot all lessons for the program on screencap video. When every screencap sales video promoting the product tested poorly in prelaunch, I knew I had to overcome my fear and make my full frontal facial debut. For me it was scary but I knew I had to do it. The way I overcame the fear was by telling a few of my best clients what I was doing. I met with several in person and a few by Skype to hold conversations with them to talk through my ideas with them asking for direct feedback. I essentially role played with clients until I found my voice and built my confidence. Those were my baby steps. Anyone could do the same thing with friends on skype. After few weeks I overcame my fear enough to try shooting live action video for the first time. My face was shiny, the lighting was horrible and I hated the way I looked but I got through it. It was a cringe-fest so I just decided to get used to living every day cringing while building video assets. As I shot videos I just pretended I was talking to all those wonderful clients and imagined I was speaking with them one-on-one as I stared into the lens. I shot the live videos, the world never fell apart. With my heart in my mouth I launched and did very well with the program. I still have to battle the reluctance three days a week when I get on camera with groups of customers. So for anyone who feels as reluctant as I have… take heart…. just take baby steps by building bridges to clients or buddies who’ll role play with you. Find yourself and your voice there and you’ll create a new comfort zone in that new environment that you can bring with you when you’re in front of the camera shooting content for all of your clients.
@Allen: thanks for sharing your experience… it’s so typical of almost everyone that gets on camera!
Thanks for sharing Allen. I’m in exactly the same position as you were in at the start. I seriously need to find a way to get over it. I like your idea baby steps and I have to go through something similar, because I realise I won’t achieve what I want without being able to appear in my videos. Thanks Sllen.
Always valuable content! Just what I need on Sunday morning. Thank you Jeff!
Thank you – this was so helpful. Just exactly what I needed!
Amazing things on the other side of my fear…Thank you, Jeff!
Thanks, Jeff. I looked at my first self-video and thought, Uggg…. I still wonder, if I don’t like my looks on video, what if others don’t either, and it drives a wedge between us?
I was a radio disk jockey for 33 years, and when listeners met me in person for the first time, they would often say, “Wow, you don’t look like I thought you would look.
I’d make a joke about it and say, “That’s because nobody on the radio SOUNDS fat and bald!”
But seriously, isn’t it sometimes a sound strategic business decision to NOT make videos?
@Lee: Yes, I think there are times when it’s a sound decision strategically. I don’t think video is for EVERYONE, just like I don’t think writing is for everyone. This message is for the people that want to do video, or have considered doing video… and were held back by things like worrying about their appearance.
And yeah… I’ve had that same experience of meeting a disc jockey that I had listened to for years… and it was a somewhat jarring experience.
I really appreciate your weekly video.
Your message hit home. Tell us how you shot this video. Are you holding your i-phone while you shoot this?
We have a variety of equipment that we use… we’re going to shoot a video soon where we go over all our gear. For this video, I used a Canon G7x.
Your hair looks great today Jeff!
@Emma: LOL 🙂
Thanks Jeff. Great advice. It also helps to have a wonderful setting, like Blackberry Farm.
Great motivation, Jeff! Yesterday I was making a video and it rained on us. We ran inside and then back out as soon as it stopped. When I went back to watch the second part, my hair was all a mess. I wanted to do it over! But watching your video today helped me to see that it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I was real, and that will help people relate to me. I am just getting started with video, but watching your video blogs has been a tremendous encouragement. It has helped me to move past my need to have a perfect video. The irony is that when I put aside this need for perfection, I’m pretty sure I come across much better on video!
Thanks for the relatable message. I also have to transcend those feelings of self doubt (… & I’m learning). But lately, I’ve been doing some videos with my husband…who doesn’t seem to have a self conscious bone in his body (not true-of course) and if I suggest a retake on the video with him…he lets out a huge sigh of anguish….so instead of reshooting we just send it out as long as its “good enough” and has the message….and that’s been great for me because otherwise those videos might not have been made and shared! Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone!
Hi Jeff: I just did my first test video a couple of weeks ago and it was HORRIBLE and I have been sitting in mud ever since and not able to move forward as I was so embarrassed with how I looked and really knew immediately that the energy of the video was wrong. Now two weeks later I have pushed my launch out by 2 weeks and I am exploring different ways of doing the video to make ME more comfortable but your VLOG could not have come at a better time for me. I am just today starting to push through the mud and coming out the other side so thank you… I am following your PLF to the letter for this my first launch so please continue to “feed” me positive reinforcement.
All the Best to you
Thanks, Jeff. What a great message. Not just in relations to video but an entire business. Just what I needed to hear today.
Very inspiring, thanks for the reminder and words of wisdom hard won, Jeff! You are a beacon of inspiration and genorosity.
Good lighting really really really really helps make you look better on camera 🙂
This is an awesome message, thank you Jeff 😉
Thanks for the very thoughtful video. I am working on getting out of my comfort zone. I am looking forward to seeing the other side of it. Your video helps.
Great advice, Thank you for sharing the absolute truth.
You read my mind Jeff! Thank you and outstanding!
Two things mentors told me that helped me get past how I felt about my looks on video.
1) Whenever you do something new, you will be bad at first. Keep at it and you get better.
And 2) Growth lives on the other side of the terror barrier.
@Jeff-where was this video shot? Beautiful place!
I needed to hear this today as well. Thank you Jeff!
Start something that matters, no matter how small. One step at a time.
Roy Davis Varner
One of your most important videos. Exactly what people need who are still fearful of change, of letting go of their comfortable (though unsatisfying) past, of giving themselves permission to move on. This issue is the crux of my learning program for PLF entrepreneurs on how to transform your learning experience, materials, and approach so you can transform 10x students to making that leap to greatness. No growth is going to happen until we get our students/clients past their natural resistance to change and build their sense of self-worth and love for others until they break through the comfort zone and get their careers launched. So, thanks for the timely and valuable message this week.
Love this! So authentic. Thank you!
I’m a professional Bullfighter (Torero). The Bulls are scary. What’s worse is looking ridiculous (Failure) – not doing well in front of the public. That’s the greatest fear for a Torero. When I look at photos and videos of my performances, I see things that I don’t like about my performance and things that I do like. I like seeing my good fotos and videos. That shows me what I do that works well for me and helps me improve my strengths. However the things that I do not like – technical mistakes that could cause injury or even death, These are the images that point out what needs improvement and make me a better bullfighter.
So, embrace the opportunity to use videos, photos, writings and have them recorded – This will help you improve to a higher level.
@Kent: Amazing. Thank you for sharing that the fear of looking bad in front of the audience is greater than the fear of the bull… wow. I know that’s your real world, but what an amazing metaphor.
Thanks! I appreciate your authenticity.
Wow Jeff this one really hit home, as this is the very thing I struggle with the most as I plan launching my own You Tube channel. Thanks so much for sharing, it has really helped!
This left me in tears. You see, as a woman, I’d always been a little uncomfortable with how I look. I didn’t look like the people on magazine covers. That was my feeling until I hit my 40’s. I’m just getting comfortable with myself when BOOM, I end up with Bell’s Palsy. I do extensive therapy but my face never returns to its old self on the left side. Then, just two years later I get Bell’s on the right side! It has really affected my confidence in front of the camera. My face just doesn’t work like it used to and I feel my expressions are not reflective of who I truly am. I fight “getting over it” every single day at my job where I face anywhere from end users to VP’s. But, you’re right. I do need to get over it and start living my life. This is who I am and it’s ok. I’ve wanted to do a blog with instructional videos for a year or two. And I just need to do it. Thanks for the stiff kick in the rear.
Hi Karen, I was really touched by your comment and I wanted to reach out and give you a massive hug. You are such a courageous woman. The way I see it is that if you have any people who can benefit from what you have to give, and they can’t get passed anything that’s going on with your beautiful face, then you don’t want those people as a part of your tribe. In a way, you get to filter out a lot of folks who you wouldn’t want to work with any way. Those who can connect with who you really are, and can learn from you, benefit from you, improve their lives in some way because of you and your wisdom, are the people who you want in your community.
I commented here about women entrepreneurs because I really do feel that we have a harder time generally with how we ‘measure up’, even if it’s all psychological. I mean, I heard Chalene Johnson, a female entrepreneur whom I have great respect for, say once that Gary Vee can get off of a red-eye flight, without having shaven, and still pull off a great video, right? But if a woman forgot to put her makeup on or had a bad hair day (heaven forbid), we can get really judgemental on each other. So perhaps it takes strong women like you to break this spell once and for all for women entrepreneurs all over the world. One video at a time! Sorry this is long, but you really touched my heart. Love Adama xXx
Thank you for your encouraging words. It means so much
Hey Jeff – love your style and wouldn’t change a thing about how you shoot them.
I am wondering about your equipment for the outdoor videos. I just tried to videotape my website intro with my GoPro (out in Red Rock Canyon NV) and don’t think it’s going to cut it. Would love to know what you use. many thanks.
Avid follower (and maybe distant cousin).
@Elizabeth: yeah, GoPro’s are great for a bunch of things, but shooting talking head video isn’t one of them. You would be better off just using your phone.
We get this question a lot, so we’re going to be shooting a video on all the gear we use, and how we use it.
Hi Jeff, I know you’re coming from a great space when you say this and being encouraging and I really respect that.
However, there is another option, prepping and waiting until the time is right before you get on video. If you’re a woman, and you have ANY kinds of physical flaws especially, you’re going to get people who feel free to comment on your body, what you are wearing, whether you should lose weight, etc. I think it’s wise and protects yourself emotionally when you choose to get in shape, eating healthy, taking public speaking courses, confidence lessons, healing your insecurities, maybe makeup courses and prepping to be your best self before you even take one step in front of the camera. That way when you do receive the inevitable mean and disrespectful comments, (which can be a minority, but can still hurt like hell) it won’t bother you as much. The random public can be cruel and that’s a reality a lot of us have to deal with.
There are also programs that are animated that you can use to get your ideas, courses, or to promote yourself out there until you feel comfortable enough to get in front of the camera. If you good with these, they can keep people engaged more than being in front of the camera and speaking lecture style videos will. I also recommend taking baby steps towards being in front of the camera maybe on a smaller local level and seeing what results you get from that, so you that will give you an idea of the kind of response you get before you subject yourself to the wild jungle of youtube land.
If can really run some of us off track in a big way if we take on too much too soon, have a bad experience, and turn us off from being in front of the camera completely if it turns out to be to much of a triggering experience.
I also believe that you receive money when you feel safe to receive it, and some of us just don’t feel safe on camera and we have to work to get to the point where we do and can just be and let it flow. It’s okay to take your time, if you’re working up to it in small steps.
Jeff, the outdoor videos have a lot of appeal. If I had to think about it, I’d say I like the outdoor videos I have made more than the indoor ones. If I didn’t think about it, I’d say it’s about the same.
Love your videos! I too, prefer yours to others! Your attitude inspires which- goes beyond whether or not you made enough eye contact. Still, perhaps the comment was meant to be helpful. I’m guessing one main thing successful people have to exercise each day is learning to sift through what is helpful to them and what isn’t, and learning how not to take everything too personally. As you said, we all have fears, but the advantage we have in this day and age regarding videos is we can always delete or redo! One suggestion for the person who didn’t like the way he/she looked on video: just like the confidence issue ( actually the same, I guess…) the more you do it, the more you’ll accept yourself. It’s just like any thing else; it takes practice and again, there’s always a chance to delete and redo until you can find one you’re willing to go with. Then, after a year or so, you’ll look back and wonder what all the anxiety was over! 😀
Man it’s so true. I don’t think anyone likes how they look on video. But once you start doing it regularly, you get use to it and you don’t care as much anymore. Great words of wisdom Jeff!
Thank you Jeff, and Elizabeth.
I so appreciate how authentic and natural your videos are and thanks for the great reminders and sharing!
I LOVE your videos Jeff . i think they are natural and not forced. I am very appreciative that you made a video of this early on because I am one of the people who has struggled with this. It does hold me back and I am a great art instructor one on one and a seasoned painter that wants to share Art with the world. I know know just got to bust through this fear and do it. I look forward to the day that I just don’t care any more! I am sure, like you said, with practice it will get easier. I also could care less what you wear and your normal casual clothing that you normally wear is you…and that is fine. I am an plein air painter
and I sure as heck will not be all dressed up…as I will be shooting on location and will be in my outdoor messy paint clothes. I won’t even have make up cause i get up super early to get out to my destinations. I will not be all glammed up. People will have to get that look from me when they attend my Art Openings ; )
What I enjoy most about these videos is that they are full of common sense and share a kind of approach that pretty well anyone can use. I learn a lot from them and enjoy your easy, relaxed way of showing up. Thanks for yet another very helpful and encouraging post.
Thanks Jeff. “Which is the greater pain?” is what I’ve taken away from this…not just about feeling fear on camera, but feeling fear during any growth in life. Such beautiful bird calls in the background of your clip too 🙂 Have a happy week.
Lyn Bowker The Digi-Biz-Wiz
Hi Jeff, being natural is far more important than being perfect or “camera ready”, and very few of us has been professionally trained to “do videos” for our business. Every video we produce gives us more confidence and we become even more of our NATURAL self, BUT FOR THOS WHO REALLY CANNOT STAND TO SEE OURSELVES ON CAMERA, I suggest while you are (probably slowly) getting over this fear of being seen and judged, use DIFFERENT form of video with just a small amount of yourself edited in here and there. You can use slides interspersed with STILL IMAGES of yourself or (as I mentioned above) a few video SNIPPETS of you here and there throughout. THE MAIN MESSAGE HERE is clear….don’t let your fear get in the way of your SUCCESS and the difference you can make in the lives of those you are here to serve.
Thanks for this video. I also think I don’t look good on camera. PLUS, its hard for me to remember everything I want to say without a script and make it look natural.
So if you have decided NOT to do video for now. My question is- what is the second best option?
I am thinking POWERPOINT Presentations or keynote?
Thanks for everything..
You’re right . It IS easier said than done. BUT… once you do it, life becomes SOOOO SWEET.
Thanks for your warmth.
Susan M parker
Hi Jeff, great video – we launched for a year with actually great success without video but then took the plunge! My people LOVE me on video teaching them about our subject! And yes I don’t love how I look – I’m old, lol, but hey if I can get my message across better, I’ll do it!
Hi Jeff, I felt just as you said.
I will practice 😀
Now I have a doubt… what are the gadgets I need to make such a good videos as yours??
I am glad you can watch this and answer, thanks
Yes, thanks for the video encouragement. I’d also like to know what basic equipment you use (especially for the budget minimalist).
Your honesty, integrity, and passion shine in your face. I love your videos and will save until I can attend one of your courses!
Thanks Jeff, I think this will help a lot of people. I’m just in the pre-launch phase of releasing a new board game on Kickstarter, so will take this encouragement and run with it. I’ll let you know how it works out.
Loved this! It also occurred to me that we should be led by our excitement and passion. Video is a conversation – we want to keep our audience in mind, but we also want to be led by what fires us up. If the online audience isn’t as fired up as us – that is okay, we just change the conversation. How do you know what the other person is interested or not if we don’t start the conversation? Anyway, those were my thoughts as I listened to your video. Thanks! (:
In 30 years of Photographing average people I discovered one universal truth that applies to Humans Globally. We all seek to believe we are someone we’re not. The constant disappointment and realization resulting from this delusion engenders criticism which has little to no basis in reality. We all love to criticize ourselves, but most other people are not near as critical so before passing judgment on yourself always seek two fundamental viewpoints.
1) Allow other people to react to your image (Video, Photograph, and Voice) and pay attention not only to the responses and opinions, but also to the context within which said opinions and responses are being presented.
2) Remember that CONFIDENCE can carry you through vast fields of uncertainty. Boldly confront your audience with quality ,valuable information and make every effort to build a relationship with each and every prospect and customer equally.
Most people are highly critical of themselves, especially when performing in front of a camera or microphone. By surrendering to this natural tendency you are lowering your confidence level and hindering your ability to build quality relationships with your prospects and customers.
I love your points about not letting how you think you look get in the way of achieving your goals. Made me think…..I do want to make one important point though: It’s different for women. because society still evaluates women based on how they look. “Get over it” indeed! 🙂
Smashing video, loved it 🙂