Jerry Seinfeld once joked – “more people are afraid of public speaking than of death. This means at a funeral most people would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy”. While I’m not that scared of speaking in public and have given eulogies at both parents funerals, the idea of appearing on camera brings up my fears and insecurities.
I have long been aware video is a powerful way to get your message out and those who conquer their fears can turn the ability to appear on camera into gold. But, I have been reluctant to face these fears. Instead, I have just been a voyeur.
At the end of 2018 that changed when I participated in a 10 day Webcam challenge. The challenge was designed to get participants over their stage fright, fears, uncomfortable feelings, etc of appearing on camera.
The challenge was the brainchild of Fred Ferguson, who himself was paralyzed with fear when appearing on camera. I saw his challenge in a Facebook group he runs – Webcam jailbreak – and thought what wonderful idea. Initially, Fred put out a challenge to post to the group using video. This morphed in short order to a 10 day challenge of posting a video, or a FB Live daily for 10 days. almost on a lark, I uploaded a video. I simply recorded a short video using free software that came with my pc. I made two trial runs, before just saying ‘fuck it” and posting my third attempts without reviewing or editing.
This act of pulling the band-aid off sort of propelled me forward. I went to sleep. The next day I was shocked and amazed at the number of positive comments and encouragement from members of the group. Of course now I was trapped. I had to make a second video. Then a third. All the way through to the 10th.
Along the way, several more members joined in and posted their videos. These members got similar support and encouragement.
I’m in the process of setting up a website where I answer questions using video. I hope to have it off the ground in the next couple of weeks.
If you want to get over your webcam fears, here is a link to Fred’s group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/WebcamJailBreak/