Speaking on Camera – How To Look Your Best

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We are often asked how to help people look their best during an interview or piece to camera and the answer usually combines a couple of different solutions depending on the individual’s natural personality and experience.
As such we usually take a personalised approach for each speaker during every recording we do, but there are a couple of general rules which you canbring to the shoot to help you, or your company representative look their best.

Confidence

Confidence is something that’s very hard to teach, but inevitably people who are more confident come across better than nervous or awkward people, regardless of how well they know the information they are presenting. If you have the choice of a contributor’s poor delivery of a word perfect script, or a confident yet imprecise message, it’s much easier for a director or comms manager in the room to give direction on wording for an otherwise confident and natural performance than it is to tell someone who’s perfectly learnt a script by heart but struggles to deliver it, that their delivery is poor and they need to be more confident in order to look good.
Pointing out their flaws in performance can make someone feel even worse, whereas confident, comfortable people are less effected by a needing to add a couple of key words to a second take (this helps them feel that the issue is memory, not their ability to deliver).Blog speaking on camera

Confidence, when not naturally occurring, often comes through experience; the more someone appears on camera, the more they get comfortable. 

Confidence, when not naturally occurring, often comes through experience; the more someone appears on camera, the more they get comfortable. In reality, practice makes perfect, although be sure to see our notes on preparation below.  Other confidence boosters include allowing time for the interviewer and speaker to chat before recording, the extra 5-10 minutes allows the speaker to feel comfortable in the environment and comfortable with the person that will be leading them through their piece.  Finally, not putting pressure on a speaker to make everything perfect from the word ‘go’ allows them the freedom to be confident in being themselves as you and the director apply your skills to help them most naturally deliver the content that you need.

Preparation

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 13.44.27In our experience, unless your speaker has done huge amounts of interviews or public statements before, scripting and fully preparing answers tends to be problematic and reduce the quality and authenticity of the responses.  Often you can see someone trying to remember their script rather than engaging with the audience, awkwardness as they try to deliver the perfectly written sentences that have been prepared, or their responses become almost robotic in manner.  We always advise that people chosen to speak should know their subject area well enough to answer questions about it naturally and off the cuff.  If it’s questions about themselves or their area of responsibility, they will come across much more naturally by answering carefully written questions they haven’t seen and haven’t prepared specific answers for.  It is in the way the questions are formed to cover the narrative that the skill and value of the interviewer is shown.

Keep it clear and concise

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 13.03.52Naturally we feel the need to elaborate on our core message.  However in a short video elaborating too much on a point will take the narrative off on sidetracks or examples which can distract our audience from what you wanted them to understand and enact.  A point is so much stronger if it is said simply, to the point, and then finished.

Consider your audience in how you present yourself

Much like going ouT for an important meeting or a date, it’s important to understand what you would like your physical appearance to be and how you would like to control your body language. 

In general you should dress in a manner which is appropriate for how casually or formally you would like to relate to your viewers, but always on the ‘want to shown I’ve made an effort’ end of the spectrum of appropriate options.  You should also feel free to show an appropriate level of body language with your audience.  Try to avoid being to rigid, overly formal or different to the way you’d normally act when addressing a team meeting of a similar level of importance.  It’s important to be yourself and let that come across, that will be most relatable for people watching.
We hope these four quick tips will give you a bit of insight, and of course, we are keen to hear your thoughts on them!

What other advice would you like to see? Let us know!

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