How to come across as a natural on camera
Presenting to cameraHas someone asked you to be interviewed in front of a camera but you haven’t done it before? Do you want to present your company video, but you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing?
The following tips will help you to present yourself confidently and professionally:
1. You are engaging one-to-one with the viewer
This is the key difference between presenting to a camera and presenting to a live audience. When presenting to a camera, your relationship with the viewer is far more intimate and it’s important to be aware of this. Seek to build a relationship with the viewer through your presenting.
2. The camera is your friend
Try to imagine that the camera lens is your friend and that you are engaging in conversation with it. This will make you appear more relaxed and in turn, make the viewer feel friendlier towards you, enabling them to trust you more easily.
3. Facial expressions will be noticed
When presenting to camera your audience can see your face very clearly and therefore every facial expression will be noticed. Making sure you keep eye contact with the lens, remaining focussed and feeling confident but relaxed will come across in your facial expressions.
4. First impressions never meant more
Are you nervous or concentrating too hard or are you relaxed and smiling? Practice your smile because the first impression will set the tone of your entire message. If you are being interviewed, it is important that you remember to always look at the interviewer when being asked a question and to resist the temptation to look at the camera or notes.
5. Know your message but don’t learn your words
This may sound strange but it’s generally only experienced broadcasters and presenters that can get away with learning pre written scripts in a natural and believable style. It can come across as stilted and unnatural if you try to learn a script word for word. Be yourself using your own natural language, and talk in a conversational style.
6. Pause for thought
If you’re being interviewed you can often feel rushed and pressurised. It can often be tempting to talk, and keep on talking – desperately trying to avoid awkward pauses. It’s much better however to pause before you start, compose yourself, think about your answer and keep it concise and to the point!
7. Practice and then practice again
…and then practice again! If you know the questions you’re going to be asked, get a friend or colleague to help you practice – or practice in the mirror. Look for what you can improve on next time and ask others to point things out that you may not have noticed – body language, twitches, excessive ‘ums and ‘ers’.
8. What should I wear?
By far the most important thing when choosing your outfit is that you feel comfortable. That said though, it is important for your appearance to reflect the style, content and message of your video and that you bear in mind the intended audience. For example, a CEO message to staff should probably be presented by someone wearing a suit and tie, not jeans and T shirt!
Most importantly, if you are being filmed in front of a chroma key green-screen then don’t wear anything green. Red clothes are worth avoiding, as are pin-stripes and finely chequered patterns.
9. What if I get it wrong?
It doesn’t matter – remember, unless you are broadcasting live, if you make a mistake, it can be filmed again – and again if necessary. Don’t forget that it’s in the video crew’s best interest to make you look and sound as good on camera as possible!
10. What if I’m really nervous or my message has to be word-perfect
As a last resort, if your message is long, needs to be word-perfect or you’re sure you’ll crumble into a bag of nerves, then an Auto-prompt can be used. This reflects your words from a screen on to a piece of glass positioned in front of the camera lens. An operator will scroll your script as you read at your own reading pace. Again, practice is the key to ensuring that you look and feel natural.
Still not confident? Feel free to contact us about the training we offer in presenting to camera.