Be More Confident On-Camera with These 6 Proven Acting Tips
“Just act confident!”
Confidence is crucial in virtual sales! Why? Because the camera picks up everything – including a lack of confidence. Salespeople must learn to be confident on-camera in order for potential customers to place their trust and business with a credible partner.
“Just act confident!”
… So much easier said than done! When preparing for a video call or message, you would likely find this common piece of advice entirely unhelpful! Not only does it lack obvious steps or tactics, it’s important you not only appear confident but that you feel confident in front of the camera as well.
Ultimately, my training as an actor has taught me more about being confident on-camera than video than any sales training I ever have. These six powerful (and easy!) acting tips are tactical and proven to work in an art form that really knows what it takes to appear and, more importantly, feel confident on-camera.
- First, sell YOURSELF
The first person you must sell is yourself. You must see yourself as a credible salesperson with something of value to offer and worthy of having a conversation with. Without that core belief in yourself, your prospect will pick up on your self-doubt and it will cause them to doubt you. Like an actor, you must be fully committed to your role once the camera is on in order to deliver a credible performance.
To reinforce your belief, focus on the value that you (and you alone) bring to the table. (Tip: thinking of a success story prior to being on video can help you get in the right mindset.)
- Assume you are equals
Even the actor with the fewest number of lines must see their role as integral to the entire production. As a salesperson, you too have a potential role in your prospect’s business, so step up and accept it with pride.
Don’t apologize for taking up your prospect’s time or excessively thanking them for it either. Being overly deferential gives an undeserved perception of lower status. Be courteous and respectful at a level appropriate for a respected peer or trusted advisor.
- Know your lines backward and forwards
Having nightmares of staring at the camera and not knowing what to say? Every actor has had that nightmare as well! The only thing that wards off such nightmares is preparation.
Luckily, you have more flexibility in what you are able to say than an actor beholden to a script, however, that is not an excuse to under prepare. Just as an actor would, practice until you have your lines down cold. If you rehearse correctly, it will give you a much-needed confidence boost and allow you to go “off-script” without panicking.
Learn how to memorize and practice your presentation or script like a professional actor here.
- Prepare your instrument
Little separates an actor’s instrument from a salesperson’s – both use their mind, body, and voice to achieve their goals! An actor wouldn’t dream of stepping in front of a camera without first warming up and neither should you. Take a page from the actor’s handbook and do a few physical drills and vocal warm-ups before your next video call or presentation for added confidence on-camera.
- Act as if
Just like you, sometimes even the most prepared actor just simply doesn’t feel confident. We all have off days – a rough morning, tricky prospects, looming deadlines. In those moments, I recommend “acting as if” to jump-start you into a confident state. Here’s how it works:
- Identify what confident behavior looks and sounds like for you. For example, you may gesture more broadly, sit a little taller, hold eye contact longer, or speak with greater authority.
- Apply these confident behaviors as you’re practicing before your call. Push through even if it feels awkward and uncomfortable.
- Now, maintain those confident behaviors on your video call. Very soon you will likely find that you have slipped into an actual confident state!
- Master the art of speaking on-video
Feel awkward when the camera is on you? Forget what you were going to say? Unsure what to do with your hands, your eyes, your face? You are not alone! Speaking on-camera is not a natural act, but you can learn the same techniques actors use to feel and appear confident and credible on-camera.
Julie Hansen is a video and sales expert, and the author of Look Me in the Eye: Using Video to Build Relationships with Customers, Partners and Teams. She is the creator of the Selling On-Video Master Class based on her work on over 50 commercials, films, and television shows, including HBO’s Sex & The City.