Confidence is key: The biggest mistake companies make in B2B Video Productions
Updated: Dec 2, 2022
Stephen Fry is rightly regarded as one of the greatest television presenters in Britain. His wit, intelligence and fluency are all reasons for success. However, these qualities hinge on one thing: his confidence.
Fry has written and spoken about the importance of confidence in a number of interviews. Surprisingly, Fry admits that this didn’t come naturally to him. It was something he learned over time, to the point where he was willing and able to appear comfortably on live television broadcasts.
Presenter confidence is one of the most overlooked parts of video production. It’s also one of the most important. Whether you’re filming a training video, an explainer, or a promotional shoot, the confidence of the speaker is going to affect the overall quality of the material. The authority with which the speaker talks and acts affects how the audience perceive a particular brand, service or product. The right attitude can also turn a video shoot from a chore into a positive experience,
Unlike Fry, most of us won’t ever be presenting on live television, but that doesn’t mean we should neglect our confidence in video shoots. Fortunately, presenter confidence is something that can be learned surprisingly quickly.
The problem of ‘camera shyness’
In 1994, the Los Angeles Times published an article on ‘camera shyness’. The author, Emily Adams, mentions scientific studies which prove that ‘mood and self-esteem plummeted’ when people were filmed. Furthermore, Adams finds that the majority of people do not regard themselves as ‘photogenic’.
This was at a time when portable video cameras were still in their infancy and this might explain some of the findings. Surely, 30 years on and 7 billion smartphones later, we should be more comfortable in front of the camera?
Unfortunately, studies show otherwise. Psychology Today reports that most people still freeze up when a camera is pointed at them. If you’re recording a TikTok, this isn’t a big deal. If you’re recording an expensive corporate video production, however, it might be.
If people freeze up when an iPhone is pointed at them, then imagine what a professional video shoot might do. Multiple cameras, lighting, microphones, various cables - these can be potentially overwhelming. It’s hard to remember a script in normal situations, less still when you’re in an unfamiliar and self-conscious environment.
How this affects a video shoot
Imagine you’re being sold a car. The dealer nails the wording of his pitch, but while he’s talking, he shifts his weight uncomfortably. He avoids eye contact. He speaks in a monotonous, flat tone. His body language is guarded. Would you trust this man enough to buy a car from him?
People buy from people. More specifically, they buy from people they trust. How we present ourselves is a crucial part of this (up to 93% of communication is non-verbal according to some scientists). Video is no different to this. In fact, one of the biggest advantages of video is that the audience can see the other person, unlike a sales email or a picture advert. It is a more natural way of communicating and so helps the audience connect. In other words, you can build up trust faster.
A lack of effective presentation can undermine this unique quality of video. It is for this reason that the BBC pay news broadcasters upwards of £1,000,000 a year. Simply put, they know that the extent to which the British public takes them seriously depends largely on the confidence and authority with which their mouthpieces speak. Therefore, they want the best.
Most of us don’t have £1.3 million spare to pay Gary Lineker to pitch our product, service, or brand. Even if we did, this might not be helpful in a business context. People like to see who they’re buying from. That means you might have to step in front of a camera, at some point.
Whilst post-production and reshoots can fix some of the issues associated with an unconfident presenter, it can’t solve everything. Not to mention that these things are timely and expensive anyway. This is where presenter training comes in handy.
Like Stephen Fry, people can learn how to be confident and authoritative in front of a camera. The time saved from presenter training easily outweighs the time it takes to reshoot entire scenes or edit them in post-production. Furthermore, it also carries over into all future shoots, as well as other aspects of public speaking. Perhaps most importantly, it makes the whole process of shooting a video more enjoyable, while enhancing the overall quality of the end result.
Some people are naturally gifted enough to step in front of the camera and act as they ordinarily would. But most of us aren’t. There’s no shame in recognising that you need on-camera support in order to present a video in the most effective and professional way, especially if it’s something you’ve never done before.
To find out more about presenter training, please email firstname.lastname@example.org