Damn! You Look Nervous! – 1 Simple Trick to Look Calm On Camera

Posted by on Jun 15, 2016 in Learning, Making Money with Video
Damn! You Look Nervous! – 1 Simple Trick to Look Calm On Camera

You doing business videos? You know if you seem nervous, people won’t trust you. — Today I have a SUPER simple trick to look less nervous on camera. It takes a lot to ‘get your act together’ so you look good and connect with your audience. You concentrate on what to say and where to look and what to do with your hands. There’s lots to remember. So here’s a simple little trick to look less nervous…

Show Notes

If you’ve followed me for a while, today isn’t a new topic. But I put together a little test so you can see exactly what I mean.


Hey, Larry here. No matter what type of camera you use to capture a person-on-camera video, one of the things you learn quickly is that you need to add light. Maybe it’s to help the camera sensor so your image isn’t grainy. Usually it’s to help cancel out some bad looking shadows.

So with that added light, because of how camera sensors work, people of every race will tend to look shiny. Some more than others.

Here are 2 images of me in the exact same light. These are stills from a video shot minutes apart and the only difference is makeup.

In the no makeup shot, my face is nice and clean, but because of how the camera captures all that extra light, I seem a little shiny. Possibly a little sweaty. Except for my smile, which is kinda automatic, I definitely seem a little nervous.

In other videos I’ve covered about presentation style, I point out that it helps to smile. And while I naturally smile a lot in real life, it took a lot of practice before it became natural on camera. So if you’re new to being on camera and it’s a little tough to smile on camera, to cancel out some of that nervous appearance, not wearing makeup will make you look even more nervous.

Right now you’re going through a little internal dialog. Maybe you’re thinking, “Larry just looked a little shiny. Not really sweaty. He didn’t look nervous.” But that’s because I told you what was going on before you saw the shininess.

We actually make a lot of our judgements about people subconsciously. Even when you see someone sweaty or shiny, you may not primarily be thinking about their state of mind. You might be thinking about their message but you’re also thinking… do I believe this person? Do I trust this person?

As your target market watches you on video, they’re always judging your trustworthiness, and a little makeup powder will diffuse the extra light you use for filming and make you look more calm. It will help you look more trustworthy and less nervous.

Just find some kind of powder to match your skin and you’ll connect better with your audience.


  1. Max
    June 16, 2016

    HAHAHa! You just nail one of my most anxious moments in life… facing the camera! Thank you for your tips!!! Really appreciate it!

  2. Maureen @Raising The Capable Student
    June 16, 2016

    This looks awesome! A timely topic for the age of Facebook Live!

  3. Brenda Niemeyer
    June 16, 2016

    I have lots of powder. Guess I’m set! 🙂

  4. Tandy Elisala
    June 16, 2016

    Great tips for being comfortable on video. The KLT factor is huge and these tips help build that. Thanks

  5. Carol Rundle
    June 16, 2016

    I hadn’t thought of that, Larry. Since I hardly ever go on camera without makeup, it didn’t seem like a problem. What is a problem is the light that reflects in my glasses. Nothing seems to help. Do you have a suggestion?

    • Larry Becker
      June 16, 2016

      Absolutely! The answer is in 2 parts. First, you need to get your lights in a place where they light YOU as the on-camera talent, but don’t reflect into the camera. That may seem obvious until you try to find out where that magical place is.

      What we did on set in the studio is to get them as close as possible to minimize reflections, then we would put “flags” in the room so they would block the reflections but not the light shining on the subject.

      Unfortunately it’s one of those things you need to see someone do rather than just describe it in writing. I’m inspired to cover the topic in an upcoming daily video tip.

      But there’s another possibility here too. Can you get the lights somewhere that they are ALMOST not reflecting? Like maybe they show up in just the top corner of each lens of your glasses?

      If you can do that, then just tip the earpiece of your glasses up off of your ear a little so your glasses are SLIGHTLY tipping forward (like reading glasses). This is a minimal movement and you don’t scoot the glasses off the bridge of your nose at all. You just tip the arms of your glasses off your ears by an eight or quarter inch.

      That might do it. Let me know.

  6. Marie Leslie
    June 16, 2016

    Great tip. So many people skip this when just a minute or two of effort can make such a difference. I found this to be a constant battle with creating still portraits (they get shiny too). It really does make a difference under those lights–or even with natural light.

    Since I need to get back into video, I will definitely be watching more of your videos to get started on the right foot.

  7. Mui
    June 17, 2016

    What a great tip! I always wear a little make-up so I’m all set 🙂

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