WHY I STOPPED TALKING TO THE CAMERA

Last month I gave myself permission to not push myself talking to the camera on instagram stories anymore. What a relief. I know that my decision won’t have any effects on my connections, my insta-friendships, my engagement or business.

Am I authentic?

Many people try to tell you that it is inevitable to talk to the camera if you want to be successful but I disagree. For the simple reason that if you want to be successful happy with your stories authenticity is the key to success. I wasn’t authentic when talking to the camera. It was clearly not me. I love all my insta pals out there whose stories are worth watching all day long. They are captivating, entertaining, funny but above all I believe every word they say. 

The woman in my dreams talking to you like a freaking brilliant entertainer and performing on point and the woman I saw on my screen were two completely different characters. It suddenly dawned on me that maybe after all I wasn’t as destined for Hollywood the camera as I was hoping to be.

Performing on stories has nothing to do with being an introvert or extrovert person.

It is often misunderstood because a lot of people think that being introvert means being shy. It can be true but should not be a valid assumption. I know some rather introvert friends who are doing an amazing job in front of the camera whereas some extrovert people are struggling to even whisper „good morning“ into the camera. I am fine walking into a room packed with people I do not know. Speaking in front of an audience  is something I will survive and last year I attended a guitar concert although I hardly play AND I had to sing too. Admittedly I was dying but after all it has nothing to do with talking to the camera. That is different. It is simply not my best discipline.

Why do we expect us to be brilliant in every discipline?

It is a general assumption that being a creative person means being perfect in various fields. Therefore we often tend to focus on what we can’t do rather than focus on what we are really good at. Now don’t completely forget about your weakness. Try to minimize them, do what you can but don’t overthink it. Improve where you can but accept limitations sounds the best strategy to me. 

Did you ever join a talk to the camera challenge? Spend a lot of time on your story strategy analyzing why you’re not talking to your people? Maybe you did talk although it took you 23 takes. Ever felt like that? I did! What could I have done in that time. I could’ve written a blogpost, wrote a pitch, made a cake for my friend, do work that pay my bills, read a book or played with my children. Considering all this I thought that would be the perfect moment to quit besides it didn’t improve at all. I did try.

Stories are made for posting the simple and easy bits

Stories are supposed to make things easier for you not the other way round. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying all the creative challenges and helpful advice from people out there are not worth trying. They are very helpful. Do leave your comfort zone and find out if the place in front of the camera turns out to be a place for you. All I’m saying is if not, if after a reasonable time spend and practicing it doesn’t feel better, don’t get obsessed with it. Concentrate on what you are really good at and don’t worry about this as there are many other ways to create a good story and do your easy and relaxed marketing in a way that feels comfortable for you. 

You don’t have to talk to the camera to be successful.

After speaking to a lot of people I heard that many of you feel the pressure. But let me assure you that also very successful accounts don’t talk to the camera (some of them don’t even show their face). You can gather an awesome community of people without talking to the camera or showing your face. You are creative, you are authentic, you are passionate and have your own personal touch that your community loves about you. There is no wrong or right to this. There are just so many ways to get creative with your insta stories. 

Here are a few examples of how to use your stories without having to speak to the camera. 

Use subtitles

Do something you would like to show without talking instead write your message in the subtitles.  Go for a run „talking“ about three things that do you good while running. Show parts of your daily morning routine like commuting. Instead of talking show them parts of your daily life. People love that. Do your morning make up and write the steps and products in subtitles. Prepare a dish and use the subtitles and text editor for the instructions and recipes…By doing this people see you and get your message. Nowadays we open instagram everywhere and very often have our phone in silent mode. So if you use subtitles you avoid the problem that people can’t listen to you.

Make video content for your stories 

Take your stories to another level by editing creative videos and engage in a very dynamic way with your followers. Add a little wow to your filming. Play around with your camera. Try different ways to film what you are doing. There are loads of apps with fun and easy features like inShoot, miniatures, splice, stop motion and many more. I took a course recently with Xanthe all about making films with your phone. If you’d like to dive into film editing then I can highly recommend Xanthe Berkeley. You can check the tag #handfilmmaking on Instagram for some inspiration.

Use a voice over or music

Show what you are doing in a little video in but instead of talking use a voice over or music. This is a nice way of getting your message across. You do not have to speak directly to the camera yet people hear your voice.

Find your signature prop for stories

Find something that you only use in your stories. The prop can be related to your business or something you love to do. Your favourite hobby or activity, something your child likes to do. Something that people will connect with you when they see it. 

My15secondday

A lovely way of sharing little snippets of your life in just one story! Dominique @allthatisshe started this early ion in December and it is all over the place now. You simply combine one second videos of your activities during a day and edit your 15 second video individually. If you want to find out more about how to edit head over to Dom´s instagram highlights. 

Screen recordings and shares

Assumed that you strive to create informative yet dynamic content for your people, screen recordings and shares might be the best way to accomplish this. Use tutorials or demos to educate and engage your audience. „How-to-do-videos/Tutorials “ are a clever and easy way to make your audience a part of what you do. You can demonstrate or explain your new products. Further you can share all the above from other people whose content you want to share with your follower.

Instagram Stories Newsletter

Why not writing a little stories newsletter. The best of Instagram every Friday or a summary of stories one shouldn’t miss. Swipe up recommendations or best reads packed in little 15 second stories. Use the tag #myinstanewsletter so I can see it and leave some love.

At the end of the day no algorithm, statistic or app can make decisions for you. YOU decide what feels best for you or your business.

Let me know what you think about talking to the camera. I’m really curious to hear.

And never say never, maybe one day it feels good or it’s something I feel I NEED to talk about, but for now I’m happy without having to do it.

Speak to you soon,

Gila x

2 Comments

  • Maja says:

    Aaaah! I’m so relieved now! I’m an extrovert and I have no problem speaking in front of public, but the camera drives me crazy!!! Thank you for this very much needed very uplifting, absolutely helpful blogpost 😘

    • Gila Freudenthal says:

      So happy to hear it was helpful! I would consider myself more extrovert too, but struggle massively with talking to the camera 😉
      And I’ve heard the same from a lot of people.

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