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There are many causes for a substandard camera performance: fear, anxiety, unpreparedness. In general terms, you need to be able to project a level of confidence in order to act and perform effectively in front of the camera.

Even though you're just being "yourself" in front of the camera, it can still be difficult to get into the proper mindset to allow for a good performance. Here are a few ways to improve your acting chops and lower your on-camera anxiety.

  1. Keep practicing and make it a habit. Instead of only acting in front of the camera for your video-on-demand content, also try doing short social media videos too once a week. Even if you never post them publicly, it's more about getting over the awkwardness of talking to yourself.

  2. Take public speaking classes or toast-masters. Everyone can find some use out of learning how to improve their public speaking skills, and this is helpful even outside of your live stream performance.

  3. Get out of your comfort zone. Do some karaoke with friends or take dance classes, or art classes. Expand your artistic repertoire and allow yourself to be more vulnerable with others.

  4. Create challenges for yourself. For example, film jokes and pranks, do fun TikToks, or an Instagram Live Q&A. Think of these videos like diary entries. You want to get your creative juices flowing and open your mind to new possibilities of creating. You may not want to share these videos in the beginning, but the goal is to become more comfortable with sharing your work.

  5. Be yourself. Whenever possible, bring yourself out in your performance. This is important because what makes you unique is what differentiates yourself from the competition. It's what cannot be replicated. However, this is also what requires the most vulnerability. So, this skill will be one of the more difficult to master.

If you can only remember one thing, try to change your mindset from "I'm calm" or "This is going to be easy" to "I'm excited." A Harvard study by social scientist Alison Wood Brooks was done on stage fright and this mindset was proven to be very effective.