010: Video For Introverts
The podcast dedicated to giving you a no-bullshit look at what it takes to build relationships through video. This is for the scared, the overwhelmed, and the awkward as fuck, and all those who believe diy doesn't have to mean amateur but don't know where to start ...
Welcome to the Video Matters podcast.
In this episode ...
One of the things I hear a lot is people saying they can’t do video because they’re an introvert. They’re too introverted to be able to get on camera. And to that, I say bullshit. I’m calling bullshit on that excuse, in a totally loving way of course. But bullshit.
I think part of the reason why people say they’re too introverted for video is because there’s a general misunderstanding out there of just what being introverted really means.
I’ve mentioned it a couple of times on the podcast already, but I’m an introvert. On the scale of introvert to extrovert, I’m about as close to 100% introverted as you can get. I am not a fan of groups of people, virtual or in person. Because being an introvert means feeling drained around groups of people. Being an introvert just means your energy comes from being alone, which is why we tend to be a bit (or a lot) anti-social and prefer our own company, because people make us exhausted.
Extroverts, on the other hand, love people, because that’s where they get their energy from. People feed them, sometimes even literally if they’re nice. But for extroverts, their energy is recharged by being around people.
Where the misunderstanding starts to come in, is when you’re an introvert and are also shy and/or social awkward. I’m all three. Shyness is defined by Google as being nervous or timid in the company of other people, especially strangers. I see this as being slightly different to socially awkward because social awkwardness is more about the behaviours it provokes - fixed grin, nodding far too much, full on panic, word vomiting, coming across as stuck-up, making people uncomfortable with our behaviour.
When I’m around my friends, I can be one of the loudest in the room, but add in someone I don’t know and you won’t hear a peep out of me. Any of that sound familiar?
But here’s the thing, you can be an extrovert and still be shy, socially awkward, or just plain uncomfortable around people. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that’s worse than being an introvert, because an extrovert needs other people in order to recharge their energy. That combo must well and truly suck.
Being an introvert doesn’t automatically qualify you for a lifetime of anxiety around people you don’t know, and actually neither does being shy or socially awkward because you can learn to grow past those two.
But let’s say you’re an introvert, you’re shy, and you suffer severe anxiety around people, or because of your fear of people judging you. Let’s say you’re that person, and you want to get on camera.
It’s definitely possible. After all, I did it.
Here’s why I think you can do it too.
As an introvert, we’re used to pasting on a poker face that tells the world we’re a-okay. We’re used to being in situations that make us uncomfortable and do it anyway. Yes, we’re not happy being the centre of attention, but we can be out in a crowd and can pretend we’re okay.
You can do the same thing with video.
Even better, it’s just you. There’s no one else there! As an introvert, video is perfectly suited to us because we’re making it alone. That would feel awful for an extrovert, but we thrive in that kind of environment.
What’s actually stopping you is your fear of an outcome you think will happen if you make videos, and I hate to break it to you my friend, that fear’s there for most people, introvert or extrovert. It’s not tied into how you get energy, it’s tied into the stories you’re telling yourself. What’s actually stopping you is fear, not introversion.
And telling yourself you can’t get on camera because you’re an introvert? Is definitely a story you’re hiding behind because you’re afraid. What is it that you're telling yourself?
People won’t like me.
I feel uncomfortable around new people.
I won’t know what to say.
And these don’t have to be true. Hell, maybe they’re not even true now, you just believe they are.
Next time you start feeling shy or socially awkward, or even just afraid, I want you to take a step back and watch what’s happening. What’s the thought you’re having that’s causing it?
Trace it back, figure out the cause. Because you can’t change it til you know the root of the problem. Watch what your brain’s telling you without your permission or input, do it without judgement, this isn’t about beating yourself up. Understand what the story is that you’re so afraid of.
Then, move the focus from yourself to the person on the other side of the camera. It can help reduce the fear because it becomes less about you.
Stop beating yourself up, everyone’s shit on camera the first time they try it. Everyone’s first video is awful. This is not something you’re failing at because your first attempt felt horrible, you’re not a bad person because you feel this way, it’s just something that’s uncomfortable because you don’t know what you’re doing yet. Practice equals growth, not perfection. You don’t want to be perfect, that’s another procrastination technique that can actually put off your audience.
Pull on that persona you use when you’re around other people, the one with the awesome poker face. Mimic yourself when you’re talking to a good friend, use the body language and facial expressions you’d use with them.
Decide you’re going to work at it and you’re going to have fun while you do that. Treat it as an experiment.
Remember that being an introvert actually gives you step up over extroverts when it comes to video.
The real question to ask isn’t can I go on camera because I’m an introvert, it’s do I want to put in the work to become good at it?
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Going on camera isn’t easy for anyone, introvert or extrovert, but you can make it happen if you work at it.
Tors is a television professional, who studied all aspects of television production before launching her career spanning almost a decade. She's worked with a BAFTA nominated production team, has her own entry on imdb.com, and has even walked the red carpet several (terrifying) times.
She's had chips thrown at her by David Tennant (it was an accident, he's got terrible aim), she's interviewed some amazing actresses, and she attended the cast and crew screening of Empire Strikes Back at the grand old age of four.
Now she lives in south Wales with a large dog and a small cat, where she uses the knowledge she gained in her television years and beyond, to help online biz owners step in front of the camera and connect with their audience.