Are you considering starting a YouTube channel or in doubt about whether or not to continue your existing one? Perhaps a lack of confidence is holding you back.
Here are five ways how you can be more confident in your YouTube videos as well as speaking or giving presentations in general: Physical activity – action first, allow time for confidence to grow, Clarify the focus and the purpose of your video, make continuous real improvements, and become more confident in real life.
It’s one thing to feign confidence or how to merely appear confident and another to be confident. Working toward being confident rather than acting confident is what will deliver long-lasting and solid results.
1. Physical activity
You might already be familiar with the concept that self-talk and self-affirmation can help you to be more confident. This is based on the belief that your mindset can positively influence your actions.
While self-affirmation can work, there is another effective way of gaining more confidence that is increasingly gaining traction in the psychological literature.
And that is that your actions influence your mindset. So instead of trying to get into a certain mindset first and then acting, you can do it the other way around.
Act first. That will, in turn, affect your mindset.
Start with a physical action first that will help you be more confident, instead of thinking yourself into becoming confident.
Here are my favorite things that I like to do before recording a youtube video.
I spend 5-10 minutes singing. I simply pick a karaoke song on YouTube and sing along to it. It gets me into a confident mood while at the same time warming up my vocal cords.
The other thing that I also like to do is laugh. I turn on my camera and start recording while practicing. Each time during my first few takes I make tons of mistakes. There are plenty of bloopers.
Instead of getting frustrated, I use that to my advantage. I simply just laugh at my mistakes or tongue slips. Laughing at myself and having a bit of humor gets me into a relaxed and more confident mood.
I first heard about Power Posing from a talk by Amy Cuddy, author of the book ‘Presence’. Power posing is a self-improvement technique where you assume a posture that you mentally associate with being powerful.
That includes postures such as raising up your arms in a V position or placing your hands on your hips. The theory is that by doing that before you give a talk or a presentation – or in this case I would apply it to recording a YouTube video – you will be more confident.
Although the underlying science of this is still disputed, I would say go ahead and try it for yourself. There is no risk to it. If it works for you, then it works.
It is common sense that your posture and physical actions can strongly affect your mindset and your mental state. If you have ever run or completed a workout session at the gym and feel euphoric afterward, then you know what I mean.
2. Allow time for confidence to grow
Becoming more confident is a process and takes time.
This might sound counterintuitive, but if you accept the fact that when recording your first 10, 20, 50 videos you’ll not feel as confident, your confidence can improve.
By not fighting your various anxieties, nervosities, and doubts, you’ll feel more relaxed. You’ll try less to be perfect on camera, be able to focus on the task at hand and be more confident.
Confidence will grow over time.
Resist the urge to review yourself critically from second to
second. That is just too small of a time frame.
Give yourself more time.
For example, set yourself a goal of making your first 10 videos. After that tenth video, see how your level of confidence has changed.
It is highly possible that after your tenth video your confidence level will have increased significantly.
After that tenth video, set yourself another goal. Make your next 50 videos and after that 50th video then look back and see how your confidence level has grown.
It’s okay and normal not to be as confident in the beginning. Try to put fewer expectations on yourself. If you pressure yourself too much to become confident in a short time, then it might backfire.
This is the definition of confidence from Psychology Today:
“Confidence can be described as a belief in oneself that one has the ability to meet life’s challenges and to succeed and acting in a way that conveys that belief. Being confident requires having a realistic sense of one’s capabilities and feeling secure in that knowledge.
The part “…having belief in one’s ability to meet life’s challenges” is crucial.
To have true confidence, you need to have faced challenges and see yourself being able to conquer them.
After you’ve completed your first video or a certain number of videos, you can tell yourself ‘ That wasn’t so tough after all!’. Then go on to make your next 10 videos and after that you’ll look at your progress and become more and more confident over time.
3. Clarify the focus and the purpose of your video
Think about what your main goal of making a particular video or giving that talk or presentation is.
What core message do you want to get out there?
What kind of transformation do you want your viewers to have after watching your video or listening to your talk?
If you’ve clarified this and you focus on this, you will not be able to simultaneously focus on all the other things that make you less confident.
Including the way you look, how your hair, your makeup, and your clothes look. How you think you come across and how your voice sounds.
There are so many things that could potentially make you feel less confident. But if you focus on what you want to say, then you can’t at the same time think of those things as well.
And the more you focus on your purpose the more confident you will be.
Am I confident all of the time? No, not at all!
I feel the least confident when I’m idle – not doing anything but just pondering and thinking.
For example, when I’ve not recorded a YouTube video for several weeks then my confidence level tends to go down.
But once I start and once I focus on my purpose, that’s when my confidence level rises again.
4. Make continuous improvements
Confidence does not come from being perfect.
Confidence comes from seeing yourself being able to tackle challenges and making improvements.
Confidence is not just a feeling – and this is why I am not a fan of
only doing self-affirmations. Self-affirmations or self-talk are beneficial, but just doing that is not enough.
Being confident means that you have the belief that you are able to tackle challenges. And the only way that you will believe that is if you had the experience of facing a challenge and were able to conquer it.
You also need to have the experience of having made improvements on a regular basis.
What this means for your youtube videos or presentations is that you have to try to make continuous improvements.
Even if you just improve 1% each time you record yourself, over time that will turn into a positive snowball effect.
And the best way to improve your videos is to break down what you think makes up a good YouTube video.
That includes things such as concept, speaking, production quality, including your audio, lighting and everything else.
On the other hand, if you merely think yourself into being confident, but don’t make any kind of real improvement, you won’t believe that you are capable.
5. Become more confident in real life
It’s rarely the case that a person is more confident on camera than they are in real life – except if they’re acting.
Let’s just say that we could assign scores to levels of confidence. Imagine that in real life your confidence level is at a ‘7’.
Then, once you start recording yourself, and once you hit the record button, your confidence level at that point might be a 6 or a 5. Some people will be able to match the level to their ‘real-life’ confidence level.
If in real life your confidence level is a ‘7’ it is rather unlikely that once you’re recording yourself, you suddenly get to a ’10’.
If you want to become more confident in your YouTube videos you need to be more confident in real life.
That also means that you have to be more comfortable with yourself.
You have to actually like yourself.
You don’t have to admire yourself. But you have to at least be comfortable with the way you look, your voice, the way you come across, and your personality.
And liking yourself is different than loving yourself. You might love yourself in the sense that you want the best for yourself, and you take care of yourself.
But you may not really like yourself.
Perhaps don’t like the way you look, your voice, etc.
There’s no way to become genuinely confident and comfortable on camera if in your real life you’re not comfortable with yourself at all.
This topic is too huge and I won’t even try to tackle it in post.
But the point here is that you have to work on your confidence not only online, but especially offline
One important thing to note here is that there is such a thing as the right dose of confidence. Meaning that there is such thing as overconfidence and that that can also have a negative effect.
Oftentimes in life, it is good if we are not 100% confident.
That means that we leave some room for error and we realize the fact that not everything is a hundred percent dependent on our efforts but that there are a lot of external factors that we cannot control.
But what about faking confidence?
It is often said that you should fake it until you make it. And I support that- but only in part.
It’s okay to fake it just a bit, to a certain level.
Earlier I was talking about the concept of power poses. Let’s say that you get into a position where you put your hands on your hips. Perhaps, in the beginning, you don’t feel like putting your hands on your hips because you don’t feel in that mood.
So by placing your hands on your hips in a way, it means that you are faking it. You are doing something that you didn’t feel like doing.
But did it anyway, so in that sense you faked it. Then, after a few seconds of putting your hands on your hips, what happened is that somehow you became a bit more confident.
If that technique works for you, then go for it!
Just be careful not to fake it to the level where you become disconnected from yourself.
That will come across to your viewers as a very ingenuine.
Which of these 5 tips did you find most useful? Let me know in the comments.