Be A Duck in a Video World

Be A Duck in a Video World

Be a Duck in a Video WorldWe all have fears, get nervous, or are scared of different things: spiders, snakes, wooden objects, heights, loneliness, and one of the most common fears, the fear of public speaking. I fit right in with many of you; I have a fear of public speaking. I feel silly, stupid, ridiculous, and I started feeling light headed and dizzy, the list goes on and on; I’m not any different from the many people that I have talked to. We are truly our own worst critics, which can be a problem at times.

“I keep messing up, I’m stumbling over every word.” “I don’t like the way I look. I have a face for radio.” “Can we have something playing over me and just hear my voice?” These are all things that I hear people say when I talk to them about doing a video. The reply I give all of my clients and prospective clients is that you can cover the video and only have a voice over, but the viewer likes to see you talking and getting to know you. I know being on camera is scary. Trust me, I am not one to jump in front of a camera very quickly, friends and professor alike used to spend some time convincing me to go on camera, so that I could get the experience and practice. It usually ended with me running off camera as fast as I could when I was done the read, but why? It’s just a camera, right?

Yes, it is just a camera and a few people are around, because I need someone to hit the record button. As I thought about why I was so scared to talk to a camera; I quickly realized, I was not scared of the camera, it was my fear of public speaking, that caused me to be nervous talking to a camera. You’re probably saying, “What? Video is public speaking?” The answer is yes, recording a video is public speaking the reason why I say it is, is because once you are done recording the video, it goes out the world wide internet.

Recently, I read an article by Kate Thome called “Got Executive Presence? Part 2 Be a Duck. Kate says that while you are feeling nervous, scared, and can’t remember what you are suppose to say, be a duck. When a duck is sitting on top of the water, it is seemly just sitting there floating, and enjoying the water. In reality the duck is not just sitting there, it is paddling its feet to stay in one place, or to move about the lake. Those who are above the water don’t see that, we only see the duck moving around smoothly, missing all the swirls the duck creates. So why don’t we copy the duck when presenting to a camera for our next video? Taking that built up nervous energy (the swirls from the duck) and putting “under the water,” will help us be able to talk in a normal tone of voice and not seem really nervous.

Putting that nervous energy somewhere for the time of shooting the video will help. Some other tips and tricks that I have learned from others and figured out my self are:

  1. Get to the place you are shooting in early, this way you can see how the room is setup and where you will be shooting.
  2. Practice in from of the camera with the lights and camera turned off. This helps because you have had some time spent with your newly found friends (the camera and operator) and it becomes a lot easier because you are “friends” now.
  3. Remember there is a camera operator behind the camera. The operator is not just there to hit the record button; you can talk to them and act like they are your best friend, your next prospective client, or the one person you can tell anything in the world too.

I know it all sounds so simple to write about in a post, but if you watched my video for this post you’d be able to see that I am taking my own advice and going through the same steps as I am telling you now. We all have fears, but F.E.A.R.s are just False Evidence Appearing Real.


“Bless you for your fear for it is a sign of wisdom. Do not hold yourself in fear. Transform the energy to flexibility and you will be free from what you fear.” — Yoko Ono from Ed and Deb Shapiro’s book, The Way Ahead


Do you have a fear of public speaking? If not, what is your fear? Let me know, I’d love to hear about it if you are willing to share.


Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Professional head shot by Tonya Moken.

Tonya Moken is the owner of TLM Productions, LLC, a business focusing on you in Somerdale, NJ. Please call TLM Productions’ Tonya Moken at 609.440.6176 or email her at for a project quote today!





Tonya Moken created TLM Productions, LLC because of her love of story telling through the mediums of videography and photography. Everyone has a story to tell, and Tonya wants to help you tell yours.

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