How to be confident on camera with Elisabeth Valentine
bit, voice, camera, people, performance, talking, sound, video, script, Elisabeth, feel, uncomfortable, practice, message, important, edit, tips, call, stand, front
Simon Banks, Elisabeth Valentine
Elisabeth Valentine 00:00
When you're thinking about going on video, first of all, why do you not like doing it? Because often we it's a bit blurry we think, Oh, I don't want to do that I don't like, I don't like that thing. But actually, what is it about going on video? Is it because you don't like the way you sound? Is it because you don't like the way you look? Is it because you're unclear about what your message is?
Simon Banks 00:22
Does this resonate with you? Do you have resistance and get in front of the camera, and this episode is for you. I interview professional voiceover artists and performance coach this Valentine and we share lots of tips and insights so you can get confident in front of the camera. And if you're listening right to the end, I have a special offer on my course how to get confidence on camera Welcome to the Simon Says video podcast with your host me Simon banks, where we talk about all things video, and how this powerful medium can help you grow your business. We focus on how you can get a return on any video content you create. We talk about strategy production, content, distribution, marketing, how you can get visible gain new leads and get new clients. And now on with the show. Joining me this week is Elisabeth Valentine. She is a voiceover artists, singer, speaker and performance coach. She has been a professional performance since the age of eight, and lends her voice expertise and coaching to some of the biggest brands in the world like Disney, Apple, Netflix, h&m, just Dede Fisher Price and my little pony. Her company the voices campus, she coaches people to develop their public speaking, pitching presentation and networking skills. So they can confidently share their message and make the biggest impact in the world. Welcome to the show. Elisabeth, it's great to have you on. Look, I know we've known you for a while now a number of years. And I'm really impressed with what you do. And I do a lot of voiceover work. I guess many in Danish, and I know you do voices as well as that, right?
Elisabeth Valentine 02:09
So I Yes, you say thank you so much for having me. First of all, I'm I'm really loving what you do as well. And I think it's so important, especially, you know, especially nowadays, you have to be on video so. So it's great that you've also started this podcast that has so many great tips for people. So yeah, I do a lot of voiceovers primarily in Danish, even though I've lived in London for the past 20 years. But yeah, I do. I do do some voices, which I like doing. And a lot of kids toys I get to do which is fun. And because I'm a singer, a lot of the a lot of those toys you know, you press it's its stomach, and that goes a B, C, D, E, F, G, ba, ba, ba ba, you know. And then he presses Paul, and it goes, I love you. So, so I do do a lot of those. And I did some Princess Twilight Sparkle for for my little pony some years ago, which was great fun.
Simon Banks 03:14
I mean, that's amazing. I guess that must be I would find that a bit weird. I just do a voice and then ending up on a toy, to be honest with you. Yeah. I guess you know, that is the nature of your job. And I guess, I guess you love the variety of what you do. But today, I wanted me to talk about video is obviously what I want to talk about. But I know you do video, I also know you do performance. And I think the two are related in the way that if you're going to be on camera, you have to do some sort of performance. And that's what I want to talk about today to get your tips and insights on, on how we can all be better in front of the camera. Because I know one of the biggest reasons why people don't want to be on video is because they don't like the way they look and sound and they have this fear of the camera. I mean, I mean, obviously you probably don't suffer from that being of a former since eight. But for us mere mortals. How do we Why don't we Why don't we like ourselves the way we look and sound on on camera.
Elisabeth Valentine 04:18
I mean, it is so true. And sometimes I don't like the way I look and sound on camera. But you kind of have to separate your personal discomfort or some days you just don't feel so great or you feel like oh, I look terrible today. Oh, don't take my picture. And some days you feel amazing. And you go hey, everything I'm doing today is great. So we have to remember that how we feel isn't objectively how things look and sound. Often obviously I coached a lot of voiceover artists as well as people who want to do public speaking and pitching and stuff. And and it's the thing in the beginning you hate the sound of your voice because it doesn't sound like that to you. We don't the way we hear our sound because we hear it both inside of our head, and then the sound that comes back into our ears. But when you just hear, hear your voice on a recording, and you go, is that what I sound like? That's awful. That's because you only hear it through your ears at that point in time, so it sounds different. So the most important thing is, when you're thinking about going on video, first of all, why do you not like doing it? Because often we it's a bit blurry, we think, Oh, I don't want to do that. I don't like, I don't like that thing. But actually, what is it about going on video? Is it because you don't like the way you sound? Is it because you don't like the way you look? Is it because you're unclear about what your message is? Or? Do you not know how to use the video later? Are you worried about oh, but then I have to go and edit it? And I have to look at it? What actually is it because often when we when we don't like something or we're afraid of something or we feel nervous about something, we need to dig a little bit deeper. So if you are someone who is feeling resistant to creating video content, I first of all, I'd say spend a little time analyzing what is it about creating video content that makes you feel uncomfortable?
Simon Banks 06:26
Yeah, it's a mindset issue, basically. I mean, there's a lot going on in our minds. And I think a lot of us, it could be confidence as well.
Elisabeth Valentine 06:33
And the thing, the first thing you want to do is fall in love with your reflection. And that's something that feels very, maybe uncomfortable. But then we see a lot of people at the moment who are loving themselves on camera, you know, the influences and the Instagram models. And you think oh, I think for a lot of people who don't inhabit that sphere that feels very confronting and maybe a little bit arrogant or a little bit more. A little bit sickening. So but but still fall in love with your reflection, fall in love with your voice and that comes from it really comes from thinking about when do you feel your best? When do you feel the most passionate? When do you feel the most engaged, and think about when are you feeling those things and then go and talk to yourself in the mirror. Some, I've coached a few, quite a few people over the years who've been going to job interviews, and they have all the qualifications, they have all the skills, and they just don't get the jobs because they don't know how to talk about their success or be proud of what it is they have to contribute or what the value is. And I remember one time I was working with this woman and I got her to stand in front of the mirror and, and really own her success. And and it was powerful and she was crying. And it was very well I was going to I think it's very emotional, but actually connecting with the amazing person that you are in the mirror. And one thing so I used to perform a lot in a I had like a like a do blues jazz band a little bit Marilyn Monroe whoopee doo. And one of my rituals was I would stand in front of the mirror, I do my makeup. And I would flirt with myself in the mirror until I felt just like so great, until I inhabited that space. Now you might not want to flirt with yourself in the mirror. Maybe if you're a guy you want to be like, hey, yeah, I am powerful. I am this. But I want you to look in the mirror and find the amazing things about yourself. And that might take a little bit of work and it might be super uncomfortable. However, every for all my clients that I work with, and for every person I meet actually there's something great and unique and valuable in them and beautiful. There's something beautiful about every single person in the world and it's about reminding ourselves what that is. And I've grown up in Denmark where there's a lot we have somebody who went alone, which I don't think you're anything special don't think you're better than anyone else. Don't think you're this dope stay low, you know, don't shine too much. So I know the uncomfortable feeling. acknowledging your beauty or or your talents or your gifts or whatever, but it isn't, but it is essential that we do it.
Simon Banks 09:45
Yeah, I think for some of my for that it's from our culture English. It's a little bit more introverted in a way and particularly, I feel I am an introvert as well. You know, I don't like putting myself out there. or being on the stage and having the the limelight shine on me at all. But I know that you know, and I find it hard, I guess it's maybe male that I'm trying too hard to stand there and go, hey, hey, good luck and how you're doing, you know, but I do know it is it is practice. It's practice, but it's sort of, you've got to accept for yourself. I mean, I know like, I've interviewed hundreds, if not 1000s of people in my career, for the videos that I create. And pretty much I would say, I've guarantee that 90% of pretty much 90% When I play it back to people, that is the horror of the oh, do I look and sound that way? But I've never actually played it back to someone else. And they go, Oh, my God, what is that person doing on camera? They should not be on camera at all. They look awful. They sound awful. People don't people just don't do that. And I think we need to get over ourselves. Actually. Yes, do I think it's a confidence thing? Yeah, two competencies that you need to get in front of the camera, I really love the idea of getting in the mirror first. Yeah. And I also think it's also getting the mirror and talk a bit crazy, but talking to yourself, Okay, you may as well
Elisabeth Valentine 11:15
know where you must. And, and I'll tell you, I did a degree in popular music performance at the London College of Music. And one of the performance classes we had we performed every week or every other week, and it got filmed. So then the next week, when you when you're then not in the performance space, then you get into the editors space, or the the space where you are no longer emotionally attached to the performance you're doing at that time. Because that's not the time to make any judgment call on what it is you're doing. And then the the next week, we would look back at our videos. And it was really uncomfortable. Because you're sitting there with with your peers, you're sitting there with your teacher. And at first you would give yourself feedback and analyze, then the teacher and then it opened up to the group. It wasn't fun. However, it did facilitate great and quick growth. Because it's very, very simple to say, Ah, okay, when I stand like that, it doesn't look great. How can I improve that, or when I sang that note? In my head, it sounded great. But actually upon reflection when I'm looking at it, again, you need to remove your own personal feelings a little bit, and look at it objectively and go. And sometimes you might need someone else there to go hang on a minute. Yeah, you felt uncomfortable in that moment. So you feel like you look uncomfortable. But actually, as someone who's not in your body, you don't look uncomfortable. So I would say again, in front of the mirror, but also get in front of the camera, because you have to unfortunately break through it. And you have to do it and do it and do it. But you Assam sure that you work when you work with your clients as well, you do need some frameworks to help you so that you're not just frustrated. And that's when it comes down to looking at how do I stand? How do I sound? Am I waffling? Where was the message? Unclear? Where did where did my eyes go like that? Because actually, I wasn't sure about what I was saying. So that you get really specific about things instead of just dismissing it as Oh, that was shit. Well, I look horrible.
Simon Banks 13:42
I think there's a great tip there. I'm surprised when I do lots of interviews, people don't want to don't want to see it play back. And I think that's a mistake. And I think you should actually record and play back because that's how you learn. And even and I would agree that I think, you know, the most people have a smartphone. And I think you want to start out is actually video yourself, record yourself on a smartphone, and then play it back. as uncomfortable as it may be for the first few times like I hated. You know, I'm not a natural in front of camera. I remember my first few times on camera back but probably 10 years ago, you know, I was I cringe I really do. I thought I sound like that. And I looked at that and I thought my performance is not great. And you know well. I need I've got a you need to just do it. You do it you practice does make perfect eventually. But now I'm a lot more comfortable of actually seeing myself back and that's purely because I'm doing it enough times now to get more comfortable. Am I happy with my overall performance? No. Ultimately, does it matter? Not really. Because I've talked to people and they just think you seem fine in front of the camera. You seem natural. I don't feel that Yeah, it's not natural to be in front of cameras. I mean, I think that's really hard to be natural.
Elisabeth Valentine 15:05
Yeah, it's not natural. It just isn't because it is a performance. And I think some people get that, get that little bit confused thinking. But if it's a performance, I'm not authentic, or it's not real. But that's not the truth, our performance is there, to spread your message in the best way possible. It's all ticks, the ticks, tricks and tools that you use to enhance something so that it's as easily digestible for the viewer, or for the listener, or for the audience as possible. And that's another thing, like, if you find it very uncomfortable, you know, get really clear on why you're doing these videos. If you don't, if you think, Oh, I don't like the way I look, I don't like the way sound, okay, but then get really clear on on the impact you're making. For the people you're talking to. One time someone told me, I was at a conference or something. And we had this amazing, amazing speaker there. And she put on the music and she was telling us this very heartfelt story about a man and a woman and they were walking down the the beach and all these jellyfish or starfish had been swept up on the beach. And one of them starts throwing out a starfish into the sea and they walk a bit further and then throw another starfish out and the other person goes, What are you doing? It's pointless. You can't make a difference. Look, there's hundreds and 1000s of starfish on this beach. And the person picks up another starfish throws it out to sea and goes but I made a difference for that one. And I think that's the thing to also remember when we're doing things if your video it makes a difference to one person. Is that worth it? Is it worth it? And only obviously, we can answer that.
Simon Banks 17:20
Of course it is but I think also we get a little bit I do believe we get this matrix which were views as vanity views is what I call it where we just want everyone to watch and love but I would I argue that it doesn't really matter. You're not in it for to get a massive audience really not initially want to become a YouTube or Instagram influencer. But you know, we're talking about video for business. Therefore, when you create videos, it's getting in front of the right audience. Okay, and you don't need a massive audience for that as long as you are your audience, your want to watch are watching. And I think that it is about consistency. I use this term a lot creating consistent video content. I know so many people create one video for that was awful give up. Right? They're never going to do video again. But it's really got to push through talking about that, push through that, that barrier, that pain barrier. And keep going. I'll guarantee the first video that you do will be awful. Okay. And no, unless you're, you know, your letter, unless your practice, practice, practice and perfection, some have amazing people around you, you know, it probably not in I will say it's pretty much you can look at and go, that's awful. But the idea is not to stop, is to do the next video and do the next one. And like I have and eventually, you do get comfortable with it did you get used to it, because I know that I have an important message that I want my audience to to understand and and reach to which is which is about how video can actually impact them and grow your business. And if I know if I don't do video, because I'm a video guy that you know, they're gonna miss out and I feel that I do have an important message do have insights and great knowledge that I can share. And it's sort of my responsibilities my mission almost to do this. Therefore, I have to get around the camera. I have to do this for sure. Because I want my my audience to know about video and how they can use video for business. I just want to go back to performance but particularly on a camera because sometimes it's been hard to look at this sort of lens, okay. I mean, it's a little bit different. I know if you're in front of an audience doing public speaking, you can get the energy from from an audience. But talk to me about performance. I mean, how should you perform in front of a camera? It isn't performance, but you know, how do you become as natural as possible? Or do you need to sort of up the game and become an actor Irvin do almost comical panto mode where you sort of deliver over the top. I mean, what's your views on on performance in front of a camera? And how do you get the best performance?
Elisabeth Valentine 20:10
So, I would say we don't want you to become a panto character. However, you do need to become a little bit larger than your normal self. Perhaps that depends totally on who you are. Because ultimately, your unique person, your unique greatness, is why people are going to buy from you or your company. So but of course, you're not going to be you in your pajamas and slippers. In the morning, maybe you are depends what the message is and what you're selling. Maybe if you're selling, selling, chill out pajamas, yeah, then that's appropriate. But think about the thing about being slightly larger than yourself. And I want to go back to that thing of going, when do you feel best? When do you feel most passionate? When do you feel most engaged, and think about that person, that version of you, because we're many, many versions of ourselves. So tapping into that version, where you're just like, boom, I'm gonna, I'm gonna smash it, I'm gonna have one of those moments where you can't shoot through me, I'm invincible, or I'm just like, Yeah, I'm in my power. And by the way, that power can be very quiet and understated. Think about, I always get into the song before I do anything, before I do any performance before I do any kind of video. And, and because you want to have energy when you're delivering something. Because if you don't have energy, then the audience isn't going to have energy to look at it. Because they're going to be bored, they're going to be turned off. And if you're not connecting to what you're saying, then you're not going to be connecting to them either. So the first thing is getting the right state of mind for performance. When I get ready, that's part of me getting ready for the performance. So I'm putting on clothes that I feel look good on me. And I Oh, colors that I felt like okay, I was in the mood for these colors today. Because I feel like they pop a little bit and on the camera, and and then you look Okay, does it complement the background? Of what of where I am? Do I stand out? Or am I blending in with the background. So all these things, so you put on something that's almost like a costume, even though it's just a normal clothes, but something that makes you look and feel great? If you are someone who wears makeup, then that is part of the getting in the sewn. It just says when I was doing my hair this morning, I was thinking about talking to you on this call today. So I'm kind of gearing myself up, I'm setting myself up energetically. I'm thinking about okay, what can we talk about in video. And so that's part of it, then of course, you want to make sure that you hopefully have slept well. You know, you eat something that's nutritious, that isn't going to make you burn up halfway through the video, or give you heartburn, you know, or give or not eating anything, and then you get a rumbling stomach. So just think about how do I set myself up for success? And how do I feel? Great. It might be that if you're a bit tired, you know, you want to do a few push ups or some shadow boxing or running up and down the stairs a few times to get the adrenaline going to get the blood pumping to get the energy in your body. And you can see I'm sitting or if you can see I'm sitting down. But I'm sitting with a very straight back here. So I'm, I'm ready to pounce, I'm ready to spring I've got energy in my body. If I was sitting and talking to you all the impact like this. The energy is different. It doesn't push through the screen as much. And if you're very nervous, you can do some deep breathing and some meditation. Do visualization. How do I want to come across? I do a lot of future diary writing, especially if I'm a bit nervous about something. I remember I had a big show a few years ago and I'd lost my voice. And I didn't feel prepared and Seneca was anybody going to turn up to this solo show I was doing where I was singing. And I remember the day before as I sat in a Starbucks in Camden, I think and I just wrote a diary entry and I dated it to the day after the show. So say it's Monday. Okay, Wednesday. And then I just wrote Wow, yesterday went so well, I cannot believe it. My voice was incredible. The place was filled, I painted a picture with really powerful language. And I felt the energy of going, oh my god, that was so amazing. And the next day I did the show, my voice sounded incredible. The place was full, I did a great, it came true. So thinking about pre empting, painting the picture of the future that you want. So let's say you have a big video filming day coming up, paint the picture. And you can still be like, Oh, wow, I was nervous beforehand. But then everything just fell into place. I remembered what I was saying, we had a great fun lalalalala. And the videos when they came back look fantastic. Do what you can to just make to put yourself in the best state of mind for the performance that you're going to be giving. And it might be that in between takes, you need to reset yourself a little bit that you need to do a few breaths and if things go wrong, and if you keep well all over the same lines, shake it out, just shake out your body. And actually that just doing that shakes up the energy, it's the same if you feel if you feel stuck, you go for a walk, then your whole energy changes. And then you come back, you're like, Oh, now I have the solution to the problem. Because you moved your body.
Simon Banks 26:40
Totally agree, I really think it's really about energy, I know when before I go on camera, I often bounce up and down just to get my energy level up. And I also do sort of some deep breathing just to sort of calm and relax a bit. And I think it really is a performance. I think it's sometimes hard to get, you know, to engage with this little black.of Quarter lens. And I think it's really important that you need to look at it. Yeah, I sort of thinking, I'm always thinking, I'm talking to someone at the other end, it's a friend, or maybe it's a client that I'm talking to. And I try and make that sort of, like we're having a conversation. I mean, we've got any tips about how do we connect with this lens, if if particularly if you've got you're not actually talking to anybody else,
Elisabeth Valentine 27:27
actually is one of the things that I see so many people do, especially when they're talking to their phone, and they can see themselves and then they're looking at their own reflection or their own picture. And, and, and it just creates disconnect. So engaging with the lens, it does feel weird, because you're looking at a little black spot, or little green, or a little green light. But if you find that it's difficult to not look at yourself, which creates disconnect, you know, you can put a little stick up by the camera and say, Hey, remember to look here. And again, it is a it's a case of practice makes perfect again, which I know is annoying, but you just have to train yourself. Like, like, you have to train yourself to look in the side mirror when you're driving, and you have to turn, you have to just train yourself to do it. But as you also said, thinking about who is it I'm talking to at the other end. And that's where working with the mirror can actually help you because there you can look at yourself and talk to yourself. So you can see, when do I look bored? When do I look engage? What am I doing with my face that because of course we can, even though we're biased, because it's ourselves, we still have a reaction to our reflection. So I would say do that. And and also, the more comfortable you are with what you're saying, the easier it is to connect with the person. And especially if it's something that hopefully you're passionate about, that makes your job very easy. Because then you get excited when you're talking about it, hopefully or there is there is a connection to the material. If you have if you're delivering something that that maybe you're not as personally invested in, then it's your job to find something in that that you can get personally invested in, or find. You know, the bigger reason why that you should be talking about this, if that makes sense.
Simon Banks 29:44
I think for a lot of business people sometimes you have to deliver a script that maybe you haven't written and I think it's really important to sort of own that script as much as possible. So don't just turn up with a piece of written word and just expect to be out To deliver it, I think might appear is when I find when I work with my clients is actually no, you need to read it out loud, and then make the edits, it will save time because so many times I've got to do the CEO of a business, someone else has written this, this was the script, you know, might be the end of year report. And we spend probably half the time rewriting it to make it sound like it's spoken well, rather than than written. Yeah. And I think, you know, from from, from your perspective, is it better to write a script and try to memorize it? Or is it's better to do bullet points? I mean, I think you need to have some structure? I don't know, I hardly know anybody, you can sort of ad lib to a camera for five or 10 minutes. Perfectly. I mean, if you have any sort of a form of a presentation point of view of opponents, what's the best thing? Do you think? Should you write out your whole written script verbatim? And then try and memorize it? Or use an audio cue? Or is it bullet points?
Elisabeth Valentine 30:58
See, I think writing a whole script is can create a lot of problems. Because if you're trying to memorize something, and then you get that one word wrong, that can throw the whole thing, however, saying that though, often, I will write the whole script out. And then I will read it through I will, because that's often how I how my brain works is like, I will, I will kind of talk and write what it is I need at the same time. And then I will look at okay, what are the bullet points? What are the, what are the themes here? And usually, we want to, we want to keep it as simple as possible, because there's only so much information the viewer will take in anyways. So think about can you make the segments or the videos short and succinct. So for instance, have one message with three sub sub headings or sub messages, generally think about one message or three. And keep it to that, of course, you can have, within the video, a list of more things. Yeah, think about how you can really integrate what you're trying to say, in a natural way. Because trying to read a script. And also, I would say this, if you are someone who is using like teleprompter software, you have to practice it a lot for it to look natural. Like I haven't, I haven't learned to use the teleprompter software, it will probably be a really good skill to have. And again, remember, it's a skill. And if you're doing someone doing more corporate videos, or for businesses, that actually being on camera isn't your expertise, your expertise is what you're talking about. So you have to remember that, that you should as you say, you should do all the prep beforehand, so that filming actually is what should take the least amount of time. And then the editing takes the time. But the other end which either you or someone else will be doing. Often, if I go to do a video, you know will record in small little chunks, as I'm sure that you do as well for videos. And then if you have a couple of camera angles, that's good, because then if you make a mistake, then you can go back to the last point where you where you are on track. And then they can just change the camera angles. So it still looks like it's one smooth performance. What I sometimes do, especially if I have a camera that's on a tripod, and I'm there on my own, and it's a longer video, I might write out the bullet points or the headings, and then stick on by the camera. So I can just glance down but still look at the camera. So it looks natural. Because there's nothing worse if you're looking at a video and someone's talking in the camera, and then they go read read, read, read, read, and then they go back and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And again, it's a skill to kind of let your eyes gaze quickly pick up the one word or two words that you need to remember. And again, if you're doing doing a doing a talk or, or a video where you have slides on the one side, which sometimes you can have, then that's a great way to keep you on track and sort of keep those anchor points in throughout the throughout the performance of the video.
Simon Banks 34:36
And some really good points there. I mean, for me, the magic comes in the editing, because that's where you can edit the way I do the same as you I basically break my talk or my video down into bullet points. I tend not to script them out totally. And I sort of delivering a paragraph at a time and I'm using the magic of editing to stitch it all together and I can then cut out my errs and my Allen's in my hesitation. And I think when you doing a video for business, you remember that editing is really important. And it'll make us sound and look so much, much better. And then what I do with my videos often put what we call B roll, we put our footage over it, which does make it much, much easier. But the main point here is to have an idea, we're going to say, I often what I would do, if I got an idea for a video, I will record it on my iPhone, I just record my voice, which sort of creates a script from then I can edit it out and then have some bullet points. So I know what to say. When it comes to tele prompting, I sort of recommend not using it because you said it there is a it's a bit of a skill set you need to learn it is about practice. And when clients say I'll cut out a teleprompter, I prefer not to, to use it, I don't try to use it personally, because it just makes me come across as wooden. And then what I ended up doing is sort of reading the script like this just sounds very monotone and boring. So you know, it's better to try and memorize or little chunks, do different takes and then and then rely on your editor when you edit together will make it more seamless.
Elisabeth Valentine 36:17
And another point I just want to make in terms of this do practice before you start filming. And it takes a few days for things to settle in your brain anyways. But you want to make sure that you've practiced before you start filming, because you don't want to be getting really frustrated on the day and you're having to retake and retake because that's when your energy gets lower your shoulders get up here and you get stressed out. And then you end up having a video where you're like, where you're totally not natural and and it doesn't come across? Well. So filming is supposed to be a, you know, a fun thing to do. It's not supposed to be something that's horrible. You know, of course, it can feel horrible in the beginning when you're new edit, but only because it's uncomfortable. And then you have to remind yourself, ah, and switch it around, go, Oh my God, what an opportunity, I have to learn something I've never ever done in my life before. Wow, I'm so lucky I get to practice this thing. And most people also business people, and a lot of business people are very creative people who forgotten it. It might be that you can think wow, you know what, when I was a kid, I actually loved goofing around and performing in front of my family in the living room when I was four or five years old. You know, think, Oh, this is a new chance I have as an adult to play and have some fun.
Simon Banks 37:51
And I think it's a really important skill set to learn actually from especially for business owner is a new skill set that it's all about communication. It's about communicating via the form of video. But you can apply these principles across anything you're doing in terms of talking to your team, if you're standing up in front of your staff, or even if you're given a presentation. These are all skill sets, which are important. And if you're a business owner or leader, it's a skill that you need to learn to practice.
Elisabeth Valentine 38:21
Unless we will you don't want to give prospective clients or your staff or your partners or anyone, you don't want to give them an excuse or reason not to buy from you. So we do have to practice. And as you say it is a skill set. And it is more and more important when we look at some of the big become for instance virgin. I don't know how many instagram or twitter followers they have. And then you look at Richard Branson, who has so many more followers and that's because your personal brand is really important in your business. And it's you people want to see from and hear from, but I will also say that objectively, if you are maybe this ruffle a few feathers objectively, if you are terrible on camera, think about what else you could do. Whilst you're getting good at it behind the scenes.
Simon Banks 39:20
I think you know, I've interviewed lots of people who are literally shaking because of nerves. I think the way I would do that if you're really uncomfortable in front of the camera. What I've done in the past is actually be interviewed by someone else so don't actually have to think you have to stand on the camera and look down this lens and then try and regurgitate a message or learn some message. Okay, what I would then what I've done in the past is actually okay, that's that's too hard for you. You need to practice that simple way of doing it is actually getting someone to interview you, but like what we're doing here, just having a little chat. And that way you're far, far more relaxed and you will like to get come across more naturally and give the information that you need, might take a bit longer to do that you will feel more comfortable. So think about, right, I can't do this camera thing. How about someone interviewing me, and they can either be a member of your team, or you can bring in a video professional to actually help you with that. I mean, the key is part of the way you asked the way the questions are asked and the way you answer the questions. But I've done this many times, to do an interview, and basically asked the questions to make sure that we're now answered the bounce of the question in the answer. And then we just edited it together as a series of short videos. The other way of doing it as if you is not to be on cameras, actually, then we've done in the past, when people just can't perform, I get them, then get them to sort of read the script off, you know, not recording them, but recording the audio. And from that, we can then what we do put other pictures on what we call B roll over it to tell the story. So there are ways to get around this. I do believe though, if you're a business owner or business leader, you do need to be in front of the camera. At some stage because people buy from people, people need to hear from you, whether it leads audience teamstuff stakeholders, you do need to learn to get in front of the camera. It does take practice. And if you're really uncomfortable, you can get help. I mean, here we are Elisabeth, I know you can help people. So so that we don't that you can do the you know, don't feel you have to learn this by yourself. There are plenty of coaches out there, such as if you could, you can help you through this, and help you through lots of things in terms of, you know, clarity of message, the way you actually stand, how you actually present to connect with the audience, whether it's a live audience or for camera. And the other thing I want to talk about is voice. Yeah, that's one thing I don't particularly like is my voice. Yeah. Because I'm British and Australian, I do feel I have Australian accent. And I feel I'm quite nasally I think I sort of, you know, feels like I've got a cold all the time. But maybe that's just the straightening way of speaking. And I would love to, you know, work on my voice is like, how could I be a bit deeper and more authorities? And I think a lot of people don't like their voice because you're right, because when you play your voice back, it's not how you think it sounds. I don't think I sound Australian. For me, my voice is you and your mind first, right? So it's what I call hearing myself in 3d. And when you play it back, it's like too deep and you think, Oh, that doesn't sound deep and resonant and has versus going with this accent. So I'd love to hear about, you know, how you some voice tips.
Elisabeth Valentine 42:51
Last thing, because because I don't think that yeah, okay, you don't have a deep, deep gravelly voice, but you don't have like a super high voice either. Yeah, you have an Australian accent. And that's part of what makes you you. Either your voice is lovely. It's not to necessarily compare ourselves to anyone else. However, there's of course, things that you can do to lower your voice. And it is simply practicing talking a little bit lower. So you can go, huh? Ah, oh, well, maybe you start doing some before you're talking to some who who who was if you're the Father Christmas. You know, and you can also think about because the thing about the nasal notice is it's a natural way of how your mouth and nasal cavity is built up. If you practice doing some, what we call an internal smile or an internal I'm getting a surprise and you go if you just try that, because what that does is it lifts the soft palate at the end at the back of your the roof at the back of the roof of your mouth. And then so I'm not a vocal coach. By the way, I'm a speaker coach. So my words might not be exactly correct. But when you lift the soft palate, then there's less airflow going through your nose, which is my wishes. What makes you sound more nasally is when you push the night you can hear me I'm more nasally because I'm pushing the air more through my nose than through my mouth. So there are definitely exercises you can do. And what you can do is try and tuck in there kind of you know those monk a monk mas when they do that the thing. So if you try and talk then you can actually see almost singing and that's how you can you can get the pitch a bit lower in your voice Some of
Simon Banks 45:00
the exercises you can do to warm up your voice before you go on camera
Elisabeth Valentine 45:05
before Sure, I mean warming up your voice is essential, really, especially if you're talking for a long time because your voice gets tired. Because normally when we're having a conversation, I talk a bit, then you talk a bit. But if you're doing all the talking, first of all, make sure you drink lots of water. Because if you're doing all the talking, you're getting lots of air in and that dries out your voice. So that's one thing, start drinking water, it takes about 20 minutes from when you've drunk water for it to reach your cells. So in the morning of when you're going to be recording, or when you're going to be talking, make sure you drink lots of water, not too much. So you have to go to the toilet all the time, but enough and then keep sipping water in between takes, then you want to firstly actually warm up your body and you know doing some stretching net structures is very important, kind of get some of the kinks out. But if you've done some jumping up and down, your body's already getting warmed up, then the first thing I do is some what we call sirens. So I'll start off, it's very, very gentle just to go from the lowest part of the voice to your highest and back down again, almost like a roller coaster. So you can do it on a button. Or you can do it on what we call a lip bubble. So you do I love this, it's so gentle, if you have any sort of phlegm that stuck in your in your throat that kind of gets carried away without having to go, which isn't great for the voice because that kind of slaps the vocal cords together and can make them a little bit inflamed. So so doing not everyone can do it, then you can put your your fingers at the side of your mouth that helps it or you can do a tongue trill. This is wonderful way to warm up your voice and, and you're kind of just stretching like an elastic band to the highest to the lowest. And the more you do it, you can kind of widen that range a bit like how you stretch your muscles when you go to the gym, or, you know, when you start yoga, maybe, you know, you can get your leg halfway there. And then the more you do, the more supple you become. And it's the same with the voice. The other thing I like to do, if I'm talking a lot is what we call a creek. So you go oh, and you're kind of sounding like a door or and that really accesses that low part of your voice as well. So those are kind of my, my very quick, easy that everyone can do warm up voices, warm ups, warming up the voice in the body. And sometimes you might need to warm up your face a little bit too, especially if you're talking a lot and, and because we can get a bit stiff in the mouth. So you know doing a bit of sort of your tongue behind your lips on. And you can kind of do some lip or tongue agility where you're placing the tip of your tongue, the top of your lip beside the bottom and the other side. So and we have a lot of we actually have a terrible lot of tension in our tongue, we never stretch our tongue really. So stretching it out is great. And you can feel that tension actually underneath here as well. And the other thing I want to tell you is if you are having to deliver some text, now that I remember that you're having to deliver some text and you are you can't remember it or you are tripping over the words, a great thing is to read it really slowly and exaggerated. So you are saying things and you look ridiculous. But when you are exaggerating your mouth movements, it's almost like you're teaching all the muscles what they're meant to do. So if there's a really difficult part or maybe it's a bit technical. First of all, we tend to stumble over the paragraph. So the sentences where we don't feel 100% sure that we know what we're talking about. That's also when a lot of the arms come in that we all have that are very annoying, but it's because our brain isn't quite keeping up with us. So if you then go over that bit and maybe edit it. Normally when I do voiceovers if I'm because I'm the voice of a Danish TV channel. So I do that next up this evening, we've got the new episode of blah, blah, blah, blah. If I have an I write those little links, and then I go to record them. And if I have to record more than twice, I rewrite the script, because it means the script is not good enough. Bad script, bad delivery or hot delivery. Good script, it should be easy to just because it should just make sense to you when you're saying it. But if there is something that where the script is still good, it's just a little bit hard. Try and do it slowly. It's like if you're training for a race, and you have the I see runners and they have the weight on their ankles, and they're running. And then when they go to race day, they take them weeks off. And and it's so much easier. It's the same kind of principle.
Simon Banks 50:56
But I love that I love the bit about speaking in slow motion. And I think it's also about any particular difficult words pronounciation. So many people get trapped on words or stuck on words. And it just they do the script, they it stumbled with that particular word. My tip there is change the word. Don't try and win that battle by pronunciation. You just say, Yeah, can I change the word for something I can say easier. And I think I love the facial, lots of things are taken away from this. Yeah, though, I might sort of jump up and down like a Tigger to get my energy going. I should really, you know, my big tip here is is to do some voice, you know, some scales in my voice, and also warm up the face. And I think one really big tip here is to smile is really when before you when the camera rolls before you say your first sentence, big smile, because a smile goes a long way. And even when you finish the video, keep the eye contact and smile. Yeah, I think it's really important because people you know, because video is quite tight. Normally, you know, you're normally sort of head and shoulders or waist up, you know, you have to sort of perform with your face a bit more. And therefore, you know, smiling goes, I think a long way we smile
Elisabeth Valentine 52:21
with our eyes. That's, you know, that's important as well, because you can just, you know, you can just raise your raise your cheekbones and widen your mouth. But actually want to smile with your whole face.
Simon Banks 52:36
Elisabeth, I've just loved all the tips that insights that you've shared with us today. I will definitely before I get on camera, doing some of those exercises. Where can people find out more about you? If they think yes, I want some support from Elisabeth to help me be a better performer. Where can they find you?
Elisabeth Valentine 52:56
So you can go on my website which is www dot Elisabeth valentine.com. Remember Elisabeth is with an s because I'm Danish. So there's no said in Elisabeth. It's Elisabeth with an S. You can find me on Instagram at Elisabeth Valentine underscore someone else stole this for Valentine. Yes, Elisabeth Valentine underscore, Elisabeth found time on Facebook as well or linked in Elisabeth Valentine Christiansen. So. So yeah, find me, give me a you know, send me a message if you feel like you need some help with any of this. And also, if you go on my website and go to free resources, you can get my free ebook, How To Find Your Voice and become a confident speaker.
Simon Banks 53:49
I'll put all the links on how you can connect with Elisabeth in the show notes. Now if you're interested in becoming more confident on camera, I have a special discount offer for you. I have a 25% discount off my get confidence on camera mini course. I'll put the link in the show notes where you can check this out. And don't forget to use the coupon code. It's only valid until the end of March. Now remember if I can get on camera, so can you thanks for listening, and have a great week.
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