Stop looking at yourself. Look at the lens!
My eyes are up here! I’m talking about looking at the lens, of course.
That little glass dot on your phone or laptop is your friend, guys. Unfortunately, it’s also not where most of us are looking. And we’re all guilty from time to time (🙋🏽♀️).
We’re all a bit narcissistic, to be fair. So we open up our camera and see ourselves there in all our glory and that’s exactly where our eyes go: to our own face.
We fix our hair, we adjust ourselves, we fidget – and all of that distracts us from the whole point of shooting the video in the first place: connecting with our viewer. And it distracts them from whatever it is that you’re trying to say. And it was the subject of this Instagram reel recently, which featured n adorable guest star, who has trouble looking at the lens himself.
If you want to make eye contact – and a connection – with your viewer, you need to LOOK AT THE LENS. Yes, it feels weird, but that’s how you’re going to make your strongest connection.
That said, just like a real conversation, it’s not a staring contest. It’s okay to look away, look at your notes … whatever you would do in a real, face-to-face conversation (remember those?). Just like in real life, it would be weird if you never broke eye contact with the person on the other end of the screen, just as it would be weird if you never made eye contact. And that’s exactly what it feels like when you’re looking at your own image on video, and not your viewer (the lens).
To make it easier, you can put a post-it or one of those sticky arrows on your laptop or phone to serve as a reminder. I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas where that came from, too. Drop me an email if you’d like more info.
Whatever you do, locate that lens – LOOK at it – and enjoy connecting with your viewer.