Beat Your Video Fears

Shake Off Your Fears Over Creating Videos for Your Library

Do you have fears when it comes to creating and marketing videos for your library?

You are most definitely not alone!

Nearly every organization that’s put out a video in the last few years has had teams or individuals who are worried they won’t look or sound good on video. They’re scared to be IN the video. They’re worried about even just using their voice in a video. They fear they have to have special gear, expensive cameras or pricey software to make a really ‘good’ video. They’re worried they don’t have a clue about how to get started with making effective videos for their library.

I really do get it.

Because despite my undergrad film minor, my years working in advertising and marketing, my photography skills, my pro videographer friends, the courses I’ve taken, all my practice, my work with other nonprofits and associations ….

I was scared too about making videos – well, the ones featuring ME at least …

How silly?! I know how important and powerful video is. I’m here telling you that.  Yet all those worries I just mentioned … yeah, I had them too.

Until I just shook them off.

Until I just went and made some videos.

And stuck ‘em in a folder on my computer. That’s right. Made ’em and didn’t do anything with them. Didn’t post ’em, or share ’em all over social media.

I did watch them. And I studied them.

Then I made some more videos. Just short ones.

And I tinkered more.

Then I showed some to really trusted friends and colleagues. Colleagues who had already seen the videos I made for other organizations and clients and who had raved about those videos.

So I shook it off.

Time to practice what I teach and preach.

And now it’s time for you to do so too.

Time to conquer those video fears!

That’s right, time to just ‘Shake it Off!’ Let’s bust those myths and break down the barriers between you and your first library videos.

If we expose the myths we can conquer the most common fears and together work through how relatively easy it is to overcome our fears and start creating videos that have an impact on our library communities.

5 common video fears

The 5 Most Common Fears or Myths About Making a Video

  1. You Don’t Know Where to Start – this is the ‘gear dilemma’. You don’t know what equipment you need, or you think you must have special, expensive gear to create share-worthy, effective videos. WRONG!  Well, that might have been true 8 years ago. But with the explosion of really, really good camera lenses in smart phones, tablets, laptops, and webcams – I’ll put the odds of you having a darned ‘good enough’ video camera at 100%. Or there’s a good enough video device within easy access in your library already. Lack of camera is NOT a valid excuse these days. With some tips on using available lighting, better framing, using a mic for audio, and more – you CAN get good quality video without major gear.

Plus, don’t forget there are plenty of ways to make a video that don’t involve a camera at all! You do NOT have to appear on-camera to have a share-able video. You can use PowerPoint or Keynote to create slides or images that you can animate and turn into a video, or you can record a narration of a presentation and export it as a video – all from PowerPoint or Keynote itself.

Have Jing, Snagit, Screencast-o-Matic, Camtasia, (better yet – the free CamStudio) or any other of the screencasting or screen capture software options [Psst – I just learned you can capture videos in Windows 10 with the Xbox app!!]? You probably already make demos of software, databases, online searches, or more. You can make demos and tutorials that have a marketing focus and purpose too. See, no camera needed there!

Laptop or desktop have a webcam? Then you’re good to go for recording a ‘webinar’ and using that as part of your marketing – even if the only person on the webinar is YOU!

Want to learn more about the tools, apps, or software you could use for videos – or other marketing tasks? Check out my new FREE webinar series and sign up to attend the next one. Let’s lunch-n-learn together and expand our toolkits.

  1. Your appearance – you worry you have ‘a face made for radio.’ This is a real, HUGE fear for many, many, many people. If it’s your fear, I get it. This is my main fear too – for some special reasons. BUT … there are workarounds. Like several of the no on-camera options mentioned above – or slides with voice-over, screencasting, webinars, or animations. Sure, it’s powerful and more engaging if you can appear on-camera, face-to-face with your audience, but it’s not a deal breaker. Tricks that help you look your best – soft, natural lighting – such as having a window off to your side or facing you, behind the camera. No harsh shadows – add more lights and don’t make them too bright. Position the camera at – or slightly above – eye level – it’s a flattering angle. Wear something you feel comfortable and powerful in. Smile while you talk – it loosens your face and jaw and is welcoming – but don’t force it. If you give it a try, appearing on camera is likely to turn out a lot better than you anticipate.


  1. Your voice – maybe you have an accent or a soft voice or something that makes you think viewers could be distracted or won’t like it. The right mic and audio tools can help you sound appropriately loud. Practice speaking a bit louder than for a normal conversation, and do practice with your microphone. You can practice a script or notes to raise your comfort level and practice your enunciation before you hit record. Figure out the spots where it helps to be extra emotive, to emphasize a point, to raise your voice a little and show off your enthusiasm. And in the end, remember, you will never please everyone, no matter how hard you try. So stop worrying about those mythical reviewers out there, and do think of how many people you are reaching and helping with your videos.

  1. Not sure what to say – you don’t have to write a full script, nor think up things from scratch for your first videos. You can turn a popular blog post into a video by simply reading it out loud like a conversation with a friend. Add images or slides and you have a video! You can narrate a video of current news or trends that your audience should be aware of and help them stay up to date. You can do a review of the newest book to come into your library. You can narrate a screencast of your favorite, hidden gem of an online tool or database. There are so many ideas they will be a separate post!


  1. Just plain feeling scared – Fear, especially fear of new things, is understandable. It can be scary to appear on, or even create, a video and share it online where ‘everyone’ can see it. But keep in mind, every time you hit record and talk into a camera, every time you create a demo, every time you record a webinar – every time you create something, your video will improve. Your skills will improve. Your feedback from your colleagues and audience will improve. Your confidence will improve. As you get more confident, you can try new tools, add new effects, find better graphics, layer in music and sound effects, edit together more footage, appear on camera more often. Your videos don’t have to be perfect to be perfectly effective. With practice and time, your videos will evolve and so will you!

beat your library video fears share online

See, it’s not so hard. It was pretty easy to conquer those fears. You CAN show video that you’re the boss!

Now your next step will be planning out your first video and just DOING it, creating it. Remember, the first video is your ‘shitty first draft’ in the immortal words of Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird (I highly recommend!).  It can be a test that never has to have an audience. Just do it and see how it feels and how your confidence builds.

Don’t forget to check out my new FREE webinar series to learn about useful marketing tools. Sign up now to attend the next one. Let’s lunch-n-learn together and expand our toolkits.