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Talking to Camera for Instagram Stories (Everyone Can Do It – Honest!)

This is a timely post as I’m doing an ‘Instagram Stories Talking to Camera Challenge’ from Mon 11th Feb – Sun 17th Feb. Although less timely if you’re reading this after the event of course.

Firstly if you’re a business and you’re unconvinced as to why you should be talking to camera at all – let me persuade you.  It’s the fastest way of allowing your audience to get to know you. You may be posting the excellent photos, the funniest captions and nailing it in all sorts of ways on Instagram, but it’s putting yourself on camera that gives your audience the best chance to really connect with you, your personality and your brand.  One of the biggest things you can achieve on Instagram as a business is to allow your audience to know, trust and like you.  Then they’re more likely to want to buy from you.  And talking to camera during Instagram Stories fast forwards that process big time.

And yes, it may seem TOTALLY daunting, and most people do not want to do this, but for those who are willing to be brave, here are some tips to get your courage up and help with your delivery.

  1. Find somewhere with nice natural light to film from – you want to look your best after all. By a window is a good starting point.
  2. Similarly if you’re vain like me, make sure you’ve got your phone at an angle that is flattering.  I find the higher up the better.  Perhaps prop your phone on a book shelf. I use a manfrotto smart phone tripod – it’s brilliant if you want to make the investment (you do need to buy an attachment to hold the phone vertically though)
  3. Record your story using your smart phone camera rather than straight onto the Instagram app.  This will take the pressure off you to get it right.  And once you’ve done a few versions, you can pick the best one to upload onto stories.  It takes a while to feel comfortable in front of the camera and taking loads of takes allows you to find your voice and style.  You will get there I promise.
  4. Imagine you are talking to a friend or your partner.  No-one wants to see you delivering information or telling a story in a really dry, boring way.  The more relaxed, warm and fun you are the better.
  5. It’s a great idea to include text once you upload your story – a lot of people watch stories without sound, so by subtitling your video you give everyone a chance to enjoy it.  You can do this manually or I’ve been using an app called Clipomatic which automatically subtitles what you’ve said. It’s not 100% accurate, but it does a pretty good job.
  6. Look at the camera lens (top left of your phone on iPhones – sorry I’m not sure where it is on androids) and not at the screen itself when you record.  If you talk to the lens you will be looking directly at your audience, talk to the screen and your eyes look a bit weird and disconnected.  Talking to the lens is harder, because it’s counter intuitive and you can’t see  yourself, but it looks much better.

I hope that’s been helpful. Since summer and a bit of practice I’ve gone from feeling very uncomfortable and stupid in front of the camera, to actually quite relaxed.

If you’d like to join in my Insta stories challenge I’ll be posting prompts every day for a week from Monday 11th February.  The posts will appear on my Instagram and my Facebook Group. The prompts will be pretty light hearted so be prepared to have some fun.  I will try to share as many of your stories as possible.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, you might like to try The Art of Storytelling on Instagram

Photo credit: Jill Jennings

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