We Are Our Own Worst Critics

Video is so hard.

We are most definitely our own worst critics.

A client once told me she refuses to turn the video on during our Zoom Coaching Session because she spends the entire call being critical of herself.

That sort of defeats the purpose of using video to try to replace the in-person experience.

But yes, it’s hard and we do spend time looking at ourselves and wondering why we hadn’t seen before how badly we need to pluck our eyebrows.

However, there is only one way to get over your fear of video: Actually do it!

In this Coaching Blog, I will share four tips to help make this task easier.

Allison Rose Tip #1: Get Some Less Risky Video Practice

The easiest way to get used to seeing yourself on camera is to conduct meetings on video chat.

This is also the less risky way because it’s not being recorded and you don’t have to listen to or watch yourself when it’s over.

You can practice getting yourself video ready with these calls.

For instance, move your desk or laptop around and find the place you look the best in daylight.

Get in a spot where the window is in front of you, not behind you.

Buy yourself a nice lamp and change its position as the daylight changes. Figure out what is most flattering for you.

Always get your computer’s camera above eye level, so it’s looking down at you.

There is nothing less flattering than a camera looking up at you (hello, double chins!).

Allison Rose Tip #2: The Camera Lens is Too Low

Many people who shoot video of themselves, flip open their laptop, adjust the tilt to frame themselves up, and hit record.

The first thing you can do to improve the way you look is to stop doing this!

Shooting from a low angle tends to be very unflattering unless it’s a highly stylized perspective.

Solution: You want the camera lens to be even with your eyes or slightly higher.

Think about how you take a selfie.

Prop up the laptop or camera on some books. Lower your chair a bit.

A side note on camera angle…if you can see the crease where the wall meets the ceiling in your shot, your camera is too low!

Allison Rose Tip #3: Bad Lighting

Most people just use the existing light in the room.

They don’t think of the source location of the light in respect to their computer.

Solution: Position your light source to be right behind the camera lens and slightly above it.

Think about all of those mobile news cameras you see on TV. Their lights are right on top of the camera pointing down at the people they’re recording.

If you can’t manage that, put the light just to the left or right of the camera…the closer to the lens, the better.

Also, if your camera situation is mobile, set it up in front of a window.

Natural light is perfect to light people on camera.

One more thing, one of the worst scenarios is when the room is fairly dark and the light from a computer screen is illuminating the person in front of the camera.

Avoid that at all costs.

Allison Rose Tip #4: The Wrong Chair

Comfortable, fluffy chairs are no good.

Chairs with high backs that can be seen in the shot are no good.

Solution: Look for the most uncomfortable chair in the room (a metal folding chair is great!) and use that.


It forces you to sit with good posture. Sit-up, smile, and be the star that you are.

Allison Rose Bonus Tip

If you are shooting video using your mobile phone, turn the phone on its side so your aspect ratio is horizontal, not vertical.

Do not contribute to vertical syndrome!

In Conclusion,

Once you get used to seeing yourself on camera through your video chat meetings, it’s time to move on to video content and livestreaming. Utilize these tips to maximize your video experience and increase your comfort levels!

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