Camera Confidence

  • You wouldn’t care so much about what people think of you if you realized how seldom they do.
  • People are either haters, champions, or bored. Bored is the biggest camp. They’re not judging, and it’s your job to shift them to champions.
  • Practice, practice, practice.
  • Learn to laugh at yourself.
  • Camera confidence depends on true confidence. You develop true self-confidence by becoming comfortable in your own skin. That is built both by internal identity work and outward actions and accomplishments.
    • Thought and action have a bi-directional, symbiotic relationship. Your thoughts directly lead to your actions, but your actions also influence your future thoughts.
    • Think about the last time you went for a long walk, or went to the gym. You probably felt better afterwards, right? Perhaps you were in a better mood afterward, and even felt more motivated to do your work.
    • Action shifts thought. Though drives action. The two form a perpetual cycle.
    • So to develop camera confidence, you must:
      • Get right in your mind – change your self-talk around how you look and sound on camera.
        • Realize that you’re going to get better. Your current output is just one step on a journey.
      • Talk to the camera. A lot. The more you do it, the easier it’s going to get, and the better you’re going to get at it.
  • Remember: the audience will never know what you didn’t say.
  • Focus less on you – how you look, sound, how cool you seem – and more on others. What are you giving to them?

Small tips:

  • Edit backwards: You won’t to sift through all your flubs.
    • It also means it doesn’t matter how much you flub. It won’t really affect you that much in the edit (or inconvenience your editor if you have one).
      • You’ll learn to recognize patterns in the audio waveforms and edit very quickly.
  • If you’re stuck on a line, try saying it in a silly voice
    • [speech therapy technique, King’s Speech where the king can swear just fine]
  • Do a table read, or a “practice run”. Sleep on it, and re-film the next day. It’ll almost always be better the second time.
  • Try livestreaming, speaking live, and podcasting – both alone and with guests. The more modes of speaking under pressure you can expose yourself to, the more comfortable you’ll become.
  • Try a teleprompter. This can be especially helpful when you’re talking about something you don’t know well enough to speak extemporaneously on.
  • My technique: have the script or outline next to you on an iPad, your phone, or a piece of paper. Read each line off the script to yourself until you’ve memorized it (short-term), then say it to the camera until you get it right (or even more times if you want to “keep going until it stops getting better”)


  • Learn to laugh at yourself. Learn to be the butt of the joke and have a great time with it. If you’ve built up strong internal self confidence, then being the butt of the joke is fine.
    • And if you’re ok with that, you’ll be ok looking silly on camera or flubbing some lines.
  • I know even successful people who have a chip on their shoulder; they’re afraid to let their guard down and look silly from time to time. In my opinion, this limits them.
    • We’re all dinguses. We all fart loudly sometimes. We all accidentally run into the side of doorways. It’s fine.
    • Being unpolished is how you get polished.
      • This applies both to getting a polished final product with a single video, but also honing polished speaking skills in general.

My video on gaining more confidence:

Here’s an old video of me speaking very poorly in front of an audience:

Here I am about 5 years later:

About the Author

My name is Thomas Frank, and I'm a Notion-certified writer, YouTuber, and template creator. I've been using Notion since 2018 to organize my personal life and to run my business and YouTube channel. In addition to this formula reference, I've created a free Notion course for beginners and several productivity-focused Notion templates. If you'd like to connect, follow me on Twitter.

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Fill out the form below and I’ll answer as soon as I can! ~Thomas