I know what you must be thinking, “How Could This Possibly Be #1 On A List of On-Camera Myths?” Well, trust me. It is!
I can’t tell you the amount of times I have seen (and heard about) amazing experts during their appearances convince themselves beforehand that they need to be “super relaxed” and “calm their nerves” for their time on-camera. Wrong! Now, I’m not saying doing some deep breathing and relaxation exercises to center and focus yourself is a bad thing. Those are GREAT things to do.
The problem that a lot of people run into is that they are trying to temper their nerves so much that they end up being flat, unconvincing, and even sometimes downright boring on-camera.
The best advice I can give you is to KNOW what happens to you normally when you get nervous in life. Do you get fidgety, talk fast, or sometimes trip over your words? Or do get quiet, withdrawn, or serious? Maybe you look around a lot? Maybe you go off on little accidental tangents away from the point of what you are saying? THOSE are the things to notice and keep in check. But an overall “I will be calm” can be death on-camera. And could end up being your last appearance. Nervousness and Excitement are sister emotions. Don’t sedate your excitement. Use it! It will make you more dynamic to watch.
So, to sum it up, if you know you get quiet and a little withdrawn when nervous then you know to bump up your volume and energy on camera. If you know you fidget and talk fast, remind yourself to watch extraneous movement and slow down. But by all means, don’t try and “stay calm”. We want to enjoy you and hopefully even learn from you. And hearing YOUR enthusiasm is key!