In 2018, small business operators are moving rapidly towards video and photo-rich platforms, as these sites are projected to take up more than 82% of bandwidth by 2021.
The toughest part of this for some is featuring in their business videos, as many of us have reservations about our physical appearance.
We live in an image-driven society
Whilst the rise of television and beauty magazines in the 20th century is primarily responsible for obsessions with perfection, the internet has kicked this trend into overdrive.
From YouTubers who shoot to fame largely because of their good looks to Instagram accounts featuring flawless models, the stakes have been raised to lofty heights when it comes to appearances.
Most of us will never meet these standards, but that’s okay – rapport in the real world is driven more by real humans and the substance of our message rather than whether or not we meet unrealistic beauty standards.
Scopophobia is a real thing
Despite this, some judge their looks harshly – convinced they are not photogenic, they avoid the camera at all costs.
Some are so disturbed by the prospect of their image getting out into the world, they disappear or make excuses if there is even the slightest possibility their picture might be taken.
Whether they feel like they’re not good enough or fear the criticism of others who see them on video or in photos, it can be taken to extremes.
People who suffer from this level of apprehension likely suffer from scopophobia – the fear of being seen or stared at by others.
Even Miss Universe can be camera shy
Think only those whose appearance is less than perfect suffer from this affliction? Even the most objectively beautiful women can harbour the fear of being captured in an unflattering pose.
In 2016, Miss Universe Puerto Rico winner Kristhielee Caride was stripped of her crown for refusing to be photographed.
After admitting to officials, she had a photography phobia, they took away her title, as they maintained it was part of the job for her to be recorded during her attendance at public events.
Was it abhorrent for the people behind Miss Universe to take such a stance? Certainly. However, we tell this story to drive home an important point – if you are terrified of cameras, you are far from alone.
Getting comfortable on camera is not an impossible task
Putting your image out there is increasingly essential for business success today, and if the thought of stepping in front of the lens makes you nauseous, it’s worth doing what it takes to move beyond it.
One helpful technique is deep breathing exercises. Slow your heart rate down and just focus on the most important thing you want to say on camera. Thinking of funny memories can momentarily distract you before you begin to re-focus prior to filming.
Finally, taking courses can also help to build confidence behind the camera. At this point, we’ll go ahead and toot our own horns here: we run a 30-day video course which will get you up to speed on handling confidence, preparing for filming and all the elements of creating your own business videos.
The course involves just a few hours commitment per week over four weeks and additional support is always available. Leap ahead in your presenting skills and seeing the improvements you make will quickly knock any fears into the past. After a month of training at your pace, you’ll emerge skilled and poised for any on camera opportunity.