Have you ever had to present to camera or be interviewed on camera? If you haven’t had a tonne of experience (or sometimes, even if you have) you’d be forgiven for feeling some degree of nervousness.
We regularly work with people who have to perform to camera; whether it be as a presenter or an interviewee. Sometimes, there is even acting involved. We have seen many different reactions from the people we work with; some become hyper active, some extremely nervous and tongue-tied, others beat themselves up for making the slightest ‘mistake’. Even a very confident public speaker can become spooked by the prospect of being recorded on film.
Today, with the ever increasing significance of social media in business, it is essential to add films to your communication and promotion strategy. YouTube is the second largest search engine next to Google, after all! So let us help you brush up on your on-screen skills.
At RBM, our producers are also trained as presenters, so they can help anyone through the on-camera experience. We even dare to declare our film shoots are… fun!!
1. Be prepared
Make sure you know the style of the film shoot.
Is it an interview? Make sure you know what questions you will be asked. Yes, prepare succinct answers but do not try to memorise them. When it comes to the interview, respond as you would in a real conversation rather than trying to recite pre-planned lines. This way, you will come across more naturally and dynamically on film. Usually, you will look off camera at a interviewer, so you don’t even have to take notice of the camera!
Will you be presenting an idea? This is the time to memorise your speech; just as though you were doing a keynote presentation. It’s important to stay on point and avoid waffling! Usually you will look directly into camera.
Will you be reading from a teleprompter? Is it a voiceover you are recording? Have a good practice of your script until you feel confident.
2. Dress to Impress!
Consider your on-screen appearance. Make sure you choose an outfit that suits your message and the style of the video. Choose a colour that suits your complexion and does not clash with your setting. Take a few outfit options on to set with you. Avoid extremely bright colours, bold stripes and loud patterns.
Will you be sitting or standing? What will the shot frame be? All of these factors will help determine what to wear.
Do your hair and make up if applicable. You should wear a touch more makeup than normal- but not too much!
Feeling confident in your appearance will make your experience more enjoyable.
3. Be At Ease On Set
Know who your point of contact is and let them guide you on the day. You can focus on staying clam, adjusting to your set, going over your content and just enjoying the experience.
Some deep breathing exercises can help you if you are really nervous.
Most importantly, remember that with film comes the wonderful tool of editing! Don’t feel too badly if you make a mistake. Just pause and carry on, or your director may want to start again. In any case, the end result will never show any blunders; only the best takes will be presented. Even the best presenters fluff their lines or lose their train of thought sometimes. Relax, take as much time as you need.
4. On Screen Enthusiasm
The camera tends to diffuse energy, so it might feel a bit weird, but adding some extra enthusiasm to your performance will come across well on screen.
Smiling and moving your eyebrows while making your points will look more dynamic on screen. Minimal facial expression comes across as bland and dead-pan.
If being interviewed, remember to repeat the question in your answer. This will keep your response in context and will make your statements more bold and impacting.
If you are particularly camera shy, let your producer know so you can take a bit more time to get used to the process. After a few tries, you will feel more comfortable and almost always, you will be surprised by the end result and how well you come across!
Anyone can perform well on-screen with the right preparation, practice, enthusiasm and willingness to try.
For any more questions about presenting well on camera, please contact our RBM team via email, phone or @Really_Bright.
Dr Terry presents regularly to camera (still from her latest RBM film shoot):