Presenting on camera tips
Time after time I have gone to a business, set aside the day to shoot, filmed with the subject, got great content and the story of the business is well told. We edit the video and its great. We send off the video to the client, expecting a phone call within minutes from an ecstatic client, congratulating us for a job well done. 1 day passes. That’s weird, we haven’t heard from the client. 2,3,4 days a week passes and nothing. Oh oh. Something is wrong with the video. Time to reach out the client.
When a client is unhappy, 95% of the time it’s because of their performance. They say, “I wasn’t natural. My wife said it looks like I don’t know what I am talking about. I said ahhh too much”. Here are some tips for better performance.
Talk to someone in the room, not across the room.
People that are very good at speaking to a live audience, aren’t necessarily good at connecting with an audience in video. Staring at a lens is a foreign feeling. It’s a good practice to get accustomed to looking at a lens. Keep your volume at a conversational level, not “I’m in an auditorium level”. You will generally have a lapel mic or a boom above, even though the camera may be a 5 meters away, so you don’t need to project. Keep your volume calm and conversational. You will have a better chance of making a connection with your audience.
Don’t be boring!
Your business marketing, and what you do, may be very interesting to you, but you have to be engaging. Pick out the human story in you brand. Who does your business help? Tell us about the human hands that create your product. Don’t use industry jargon. Think about your audience, what will they want to hear? Don’t fill time with long long speeches just to fill time. Answer the questions that the interviewer asks, clear and concise.
It’s a good idea to move your hands, but not too much. An audience will see someone who is stiff and still, as boring. Some movement is good. To much is bad. Have you ever noticed the live “on location” reporter reading the weather? They quite often hold their hands together to limit movement. I notice it all the time. It looks un-natural. Some old newsroom editor back in the 70s probably said, “Tell that presenter to stop moving his hands”. We have seen this on our tv’s ever since then. Pointing, listing numbers, air quotes, gestures with open hands are great, and really warm up your performance.
Keep your head down.
Lifting your head up creates many problems with performance. Looking down your nose at the lens first and foremost, makes you look like you think you are superior to the audience. If you have glasses on and you lift your head, all the lights reflect back into the camera. This next one is just a bit of vanity here, but I have not seen a person watching back their footage, say “my neck looks so skinny and smooth.” So it’s best to keep your head down.
Umm’s and ahhhh’s hurt the ears, diminish your credibility and distract from your message, so cutting them out of your screen presentation, is a discipline, but worthwhile taking the time to eradicate. Click here to download my Guide to making disfluencies disappear.