A fear of speaking on webcam, or camera, such as via your phone or iPad is one of the current trending fears. Lockdown has witnessed a dramatic rise, and shift in the way that we now communicate. Speaking on Zoom has become the current ‘go to’ for people wanting to conduct a work meeting, or even socialise with friends or family. Though the pros include comfort (you can wear your pj bottoms!), and convenience, for some of us, the thought of logging on and ‘turning up on webcam, or camera’ is pretty well… let’s just say… terrifying!
But the fact remains, terrifying or not, speaking to your colleagues or friends or family from the other side of a webcam looks like its the long term new normal.So what do you do if just hearing the word Zoom scares you? Here are my top 7 tips on how to deal with it.
1. Test your webcam. camera on your device and get used to seeing yourself.
Have you ever logged onto Zoom and the first thing that you are thinking is ‘god, what do I look like?’. You then spend the next ten minutes discreetly checking yourself out on webcam. On most devices you can do what is called a webcam test. This gives you the chance to look at yourself on camera before you actually officially appear on it and this can boost your confidence.
2. Stay focused – Try to ignore the webcam or camera hole and focus on your audience.
Looking to the left or the right, and focusing on the camera lens, makes you look as if you are gazing off into the distance. You want to be focused on. what is happening in front of you so be sure to pay attention to your audience. Look at other peoples window, look like you are engaging, and remember that if you make your focus the happiness of other people, your fear will soon slide away from you.
3. Take your time and don’t feel that you have to rush things.
It’s no different speaking on cam than it is to speaking to someone in person. I know that it FEELS different, but in reality, the person at the other end of the webcam is still the same person. Take your time, relax, speaking with purpose and don’t feel like you have to rush things., Being sat on your own can leave you feeling like you are the centre of attention when you are spoken to, but just remember that everyone is feeling like you do.
4. Create a space in your home where you are ‘set up’ for video calls.
You can invest in a chair that makes you feel fabulous, create a shelf with a beautiful plant and some books on it, light a scented candle to help relax you during your video calls. Create a space where you feel inspired to relax and will not be disturbed so that you can ENJOY your video calls. Leave this set up in-between calls and only use it during them so it feels like a designated space that you look forward to going to.
5. Practise with friends and family as often as possible.
Tell those closest to you that you want to build your confidence on webcam and ask them to hop on a call with you. Try to do this as often as possible to begin with as the more that you do it, the sooner that you become used to it. It’s just a case of practise.
6. Try this relaxing technique whilst you are on the call.
Focus on your feet planted firmly on the ground and imagine roots coming out of the soles of your feet. Allow these roots to take hold, and feel grounded. Take a deep breath in, hold it and then let it out again and keep your breathing steady as you go through your video call. You can repeat this exercise as often as you need to to bring your focus back into the present moment.
7. Let go go the need to be perfect. There is no such thing, especially on a video call!
You do not need to be perfect, you just need to be yourself. It’s okay to forget what you are going to say, or to sneeze, or to say hang on I need to pop to the loo I’ll be right back. Just be yourself and remember that everyone else probably feels just as nervous as you do.
I hope that these tips help you and that you enjoy your calls and have some fun with the new normal. If you find that your fear doesn’t disappear, then it might be time to speak to me and we can work on it on a deeper level, so feel free to book a clarity call with me so that we can speak about what is going on for you. You can book that here.
I will speak to you again very soon with another post, but until then, have a lovely day wherever you are reading this,
p.s I have some exciting news, I have a book coming out very soon about How To Face Your Fear Of Public Speaking. Keep your eyes peeled and I will announce more soon!