Confident on Video? Or Freeze, Fight, Flight?
Our body unconsciously adopts the “freeze » fight» flight” stress response, which causes cortisol (stress hormones) to rise. The release of these hormones can wreak havoc on your nervous system and mindset.
In stressful states, old negative thinking patterns or thoughts may surface, which can decrease your self-esteem and your motivation. Studies (MRI imaging) found that negative thinking stimulates parts of the brain that generates depression and anxiety1, 2, 3.
Our feelings have a significant impact on our physiology. How we use our brain to think has a big impact on how we feel, and how we feel drives a lot of our conscious or unconscious behavior.
Anyone can put themselves on Video. But NOT everyone is watchable
Throughout my 20+ years working in TV and Film (in front of and behind the camera), collaborating, coaching, and casting 1000s of people from all walks of life; from acting professionals, models, presenters, clients, and total newbies, here are some of the common performance “themes” that I see negatively impacting people’s on-screen performance.
Affects the head, eyes, face, neck, shoulders, mindset, body chemistry, mannerism, body language, and gestures;
- Tension can negatively impact your on-camera charisma, warmth, and likability factor
- Your screen presence and confidence take a dive
- It can affect the ability to influence in a persuasive way on video
- It drains energy
- Your expressive features become impaired e.g. speech, tripping over the tongue, being tongue-tied, having a dry mouth
- Your eye-contact with the lens becomes ineffective (e.g. eyeballing, bulging whites, darting excessive blinking).
Anxiety triggers negative thinking, insecurity, low self-confidence, self-image doubts, and fears increase;
- Impacts the ability to focus on the task at hand, affects present moment-awareness and connection with the lens
- Self-consciousnesses, internal self-monitoring, negative self-talk, guarding, shutting down
- Flip/flopping energy – overcompensating or underwhelming, neither is ideal onscreen
- More on-camera mistakes, mind blanking, speech flubs, forgetting movement (blocking), and missing marks.
In a filming situation, this can be very off-putting when you are not used to it. Rather than let yourself be intimidated by this “being observed” process, the following advice may help you.
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When we are too preoccupied with our thoughts (trying to “get it right”, recalling information, etc) we lose the connection with our body. Our breathing patterns can become irregular, which drives up stress levels and impacts our vocal delivery.
Other presenters struggle with sporadic, repetitive movements, and gestures. Fidgeting, head bobbing, and swaying are the common ones I see.
For a deeper dive into on-screen charisma, plus access to additional mindset strategies that can help you with an excessive blink rate, mind blanking, or how to observe yourself in the most empowering, constructive way contact me here).
Feel into discomfort – is a way into yourself
Feel into your Discomfort. It’s a way to Emotional Freedom
Behaviors that tend to keep you stuck are often felt as resistance and avoidance. They are the Ego’s protective mechanisms that keep you hiding or cocooning in the cave. It’s a form of escaping into a false safe space (psst there is no safe space, you cannot outrun your mind) because it’s afraid of the feelings that discomfort will stir up.
Unmanaged thinking patterns create unproductive emotional states. Your reactions to those patterns of thought (if you are conscious of them) are fueled by the stories you tell yourself. Many of those thoughts, or what I call story dramas (or soap operas) aren’t true or based on indisputable facts. Rather they are based on a judgment, assumption, opinion, or belief about yourself. These are not facts.
Lean into the Charge – Ride the 90second Wave
When you lean into the charge of your emotion (triggered by an attachment to your thoughts) by neither resisting, reacting, attaching, or getting caught up in the stream of them, you begin to build up your inner strength reservoirs to handle the seasons, the ebb and flow of life. You can face the good, the bad, and the ugly of life head-on. Join me for coaching strategies to deal with this.
To paraphrase Neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, we get to control our thoughts and negative emotions. Limbic responses like anger or fear that can be triggered automatically leave an emotional charge for about 90 seconds as they surge and discharge through the body. Once the 90 seconds have passed, we are indeed choosing to stay in the negative emotion, by fuelling the charge of that emotion with storytelling. We essentially become hooked (like a drug) to the storyline.
It’s not Personal. You Never have to Believe a Thought
Get curious and examine these thoughts, and notice what the mind does. Imagine yourself being a conscientious, scientist performing thoughtful, experiments. This way there is no need to resist, react, attach, or get caught up in the Soap opera drama of the thought, feeling, or image. Leaning into the sharp edges of any negative emotion can be an opportunity for growth. It’s a way into self-reflection, it’s a way into radical growth, a way to uncover and remove blocks.
Any discomfort to your peace of mind is a signal to stop and investigate your current level of mind (thoughts, feelings, images, etc) so you can redirect your mind towards thoughts that are more resourceful, empowering, and based on fact. This will enable you to be more effective as you present on video.
Get more on-camera confidence tips:
You can always book a time with me to get the tailored support and guidance you need on any of the performance areas covered in this post. Or learn more about my services here.
- On-camera Skills vs Stage. How to Be Engaging and Genuine on Video
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- Presenting to Camera? Avoid these Common Eye Contact Pitfalls
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- Look Good on Video. Make-Up Techniques for Men and Women
- How-to Dress for Success in Your Video Presentations (Part 1.)
Cheering you with your video creations!
If you have a question or you what me to cover a topic for you let me know. I’m always listening!
Established in 2006 Bianca Te Rito, founder of STEBIAN.com provides an exclusive, consulting service helping business thought leaders, speakers, award-winning authors & VIPs productize their thought leadership and present themselves, their products, services, or brand message to their target audience in the most effective way possible on video. Get the tailored expertise from a real-world operator with over 20 years of TV/Film industry experience working in front of and behind the camera. Learn more about our custom offers here.
1 Harvard Medical Health Publishing
2 Your Brain Can Be Trained to Self-Regulate Negative Thinking