7 Tips to Build Instagram Story Confidence

instagram tips Sep 22, 2020

Have you ever recorded something on Instagram Stories, watched it back and deleted it because you made yourself cringe a little? 😬

Been there!

But here's the thing. You can't let it hold you back from showing up because Instagram Stories helps to create stronger bonds and brand loyalty with your ideal clients/customers.

There's a concept in psychology called the "Familiarity Effect", also known as the "Mere-Exposure Effect" and it says that the more someone sees something or someone, the more they start to trust it/them. Simple, right?

Well, taking it a step further, people respond best to faces. Faces grab our attention and appeal to our emotions more than anything else.

That said, I know it's harder that it looks to get on camera and it can definitely feel awkward.

The 7 tips in this post have helped me get more comfortable using Instagram Stories, show up consistently, build my brand and build deeper connections with my ideal clients.

If you want to feel more comfortable on camera and in particular, look and feel more confident on Instagram Stories, press play below or keep reading.

7 Tips to Build Instagram Story Confidence:

1. Plan before you press record

Your plans certainly don't need to be elaborate and you don't need to write out what you're going to say word-for-word. In fact, the less scripted the better for Instagram Stories, but having a general idea of what you're going to say and how it's going to flow goes a long way.

I have a super easy Instagram prompt that you can use daily and practice with. It will help build up the Instagram story muscle, while still creating a connection between you and your ideal clients/customers. Watch the video here. This prompt helps you show up consistently without overthinking it.

If you're looking for brand-building Instagram story ideas, I have 12 more prompts for you in my Instagram Story Cheat Sheet, so be sure to download that as it will give tried and tested Instagram Story prompts that work to build your brand with Instagram Stories.

2. Reframe your nerves as "Performance Adrenaline"

Being nervous before you hit record isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Just like with everything else in life, the meaning you ascribe to your nerves is more important than the nerves themselves.

Rather than think of your nerves as a signal that you're too anxious to show up, reframe those nerves as "Performance Adrenaline". It's the rush of adrenaline we feel before we have to perform. Singers, actors, public speakers, politicians - everyone feels Performance Adrenaline before the moments in the spotlight.

If you start to view your nerves this way, you'll realize that, not only is it normal to feel this way, but it can actually help you show up even better than if you didn't have those nerves.

Adrenaline gives us the burst of energy we need to get through the task ahead, so you can really play off of that energy and use it to your advantage.

3. Do a breathing exercise to centre yourself

Just taking a few deep breaths before you record can centre you and help you collect your thoughts.

In the previous tip, I mentioned the hit of adrenaline that courses through your body when you're nervous. To use this energy in a productive way, channel it by taking control of your breath.

Before I share my energy online in any way, I take 3 deep breaths, while doing a quick visualization exercise. The exercise doesn't take long at all, but it helps me to fill myself up energetically, so that I'm not unnecessarily drained or burnt out creating content.

Watch this quick video to learn more about the exercise I do to prevent burnout, show up more authentically on camera and create consistent content.

4. Use filters unashamedly 

We put on makeup to make ourselves feel more confident in real life. I don't see any difference between that and using filters online. 

If using filters makes you feel more confident and energetic so that you're ready to show up, use them!

I like to to use the "subtle by Instagram" filter as it doesn't completely alter my face, but it makes it seem like I have amazing lighting every time I use it.

Chalene Johnson, online marketing queen, puts on lashes every day to make herself feel ready. It's like her cup of coffee. You certainly don't have to put on lashes, unless you want to. 

The bottom line - just do you. Do whatever makes you feel confident and helps you show up consistently and don't worry about anyone judging you for it. Those aren't your people.

5. Focus on the message

We have just a few seconds to capture someone's attention before they skip to the next story, so start strong.

Don't apologize for how you look. You should never apologize for how you look in any circumstance, but unfortunately, it's a common opener in Instagram Stories. Not only does this give off an unconfident vibe to start with, but you're also using valuable time to apologize, when you could be using that time to capture their attention and get them to keep watching.

There's another common opener you should avoid. Lots of people start with "I just wanted to hop on here and say...". Again, this is a waste of valuable time. One Instagram Story is only 15 seconds long. Don't spend 20-30% of it apologizing or using fluffy words that don't add to your message.

Connect to your message and the bigger "why" behind your business. Why are you on Instagram Stories in the first place? Who are you trying to connect with and help? Focusing on that bigger picture helps to get over any fears you have about showing up.

6. Watch your intonation

Intonation is the pitch pattern or melody of your sentence.

Ending your sentences on a high note, as if you were asking a question, makes the viewer feel like you're unsure of yourself.

In order to convey authority and confidence in what you're saying, end your sentences on a low note. Here's a good video about this on YouTube.

Re-watch your Instagram Stories and any other video content you have to see if you're doing this. Minor adjustments like this can make a huge difference and it's a positive reinforcer. When you hear yourself speaking like this on video, even you'll feel the confidence that's being communicated and it will help you continue to improve your speaking.

7. Clear your throat chakra

The chakra system comes from India's oldest, most sacred text, the Vedas and it explains the energetic centres in our bodies.

We have seven energy centres - root, sacral, solar, heart, throat, third eye and crown:

Each energy centre corresponds to different organs in the body and if they're out of balance, they can affect us physically, but also emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

The throat chakra, called Vishuddha in Sanskrit, is blue and it's the centre for communication and self-expression. When it's out of balance, it's difficult to speak your truth or communicate clearly. 

Anyone that does any sort of public speaking, including on Instagram Stories, should be paying special attention to this chakra.

First, take note of any painful memories that have to do with communication. Were you ever made fun of for how you speak? Were you ridiculed for something you said? Have you ever been ignored or felt like you weren't being heard?

These memories are stored in our throat chakra and its associated organs (thyroid, parathyroid, jaw, neck, mouth, tongue, and larynx).

Bring those memories to your awareness and write them down in your journal.

Second, work on reframing them or letting them go.

This isn't a quick fix and it can be difficult to overcome memories that particularly painful, so if you need help with this, don't hesitate to reach out to someone you trust or a therapist. 

I had amazing, transformational success releasing blocks from my throat chakra with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, but there are tons of methods of therapy that can help, so choose the one that resonates with you.

Some other ways you can unblock your throat chakra are:

  • meditation (watch the YouTube video I recorded on these tips to learn the meditation I do regularly to keep my throat chakra clear and healthy);
  • yoga (certain poses help clear your throat chakra like shoulder stand, supported fish and plow pose);
  • reiki (this form of energy healing can release blockages stored in the body);
  • crystals (keep aquamarine, turquoise or sodalite on your desk or meditate with one of these crystal on your throat as you lie down);
  • affirmations (reciting affirmations like "I honour my truth", "I speak clearly and effectively, "I allow my fullest self-expression", help to reprogram your mind and release any limiting beliefs you might have about communication or expression);
  • "ham" mantra (this mantra sounds like "hum", and is the sound associated with the throat chakra. Chant it, just like you would chant "aum" or "om");
  • scream therapy or laughing yoga (this helps to release trapped sound and get your vocal cords vibrating in a way that you may not feel very often).

Those are my 7 tips on how to be comfortable filming yourself, particularly on Instagram Stories. Leave a comment below and let me know which one resonated with you the most.

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