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5 Ways to Get Comfortable on Camera Without Hiring a Coach

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Presenting on camera can be a really difficult thing to do. Whether it's dealing with the fact that you're slightly older or fatter than you thought you were, or realizing that you don't phrase things very well, it's not easy. These tips should help you to go from dud to stud.

  1. Presenter or Interviewee? If you're speaking in videos for your business, you're going to have to decide whether you want to speak directly to camera or speak to someone sitting or standing beside the camera, so your eyeline is off to the side. For almost everyone, we recommend being an interviewee and looking off-camera. While looking into camera is a more direct and engaging way of communicating with your audience, it requires strong presentation skills. You need to actually be a media personality to pull this off. Looking off-camera, however, the audience will see you as an interviewee, like in a documentary, and will be far more forgiving for any flaws in performance. So unless you have to or you're very good at it, avoid it.

  2. Bullet points. Just like a speech, don't try and read directly off a script or memorize the exact wording. You'll come across as robotic and lifeless and you'll have a much harder time remembering what it is you're trying to say. Bullet points allow you to be yourself, and people want to do business with people they like, know and trust. Speaking off the cuff is much closer to the experience of talking to you in-person. Another great way to do this is to have someone ask you questions that prompt your responses - just make sure you give full sentence answers that include the context (eg. "tell me about company x?" "company x is [blah blah blah...]").

  3. Practice makes perfect. Actors memorize and rehearse performances, and you should do the same. Keep repeating what you need to say with the script in your hand and try not to look at it. Once you can get through each bullet point 3 times without stopping to look at it on paper, you've memorized it. THEN, get through each point at least 3 more times to fine-tune performance.

  4. Perform and review. Film yourself with your phone, watch it back, film again. Each time you'll learn something about your performance you didn't know and you'll improve. You might have to do this 10 times in a row at first but that's okay, be brave and push through, you'll get there. Another fantastic trick we recommend is to use a teleprompter app on your phone, like Teleprompter. This will allow you to read the words of your script off the screen while you're recording yourself with your phone. When you're comfortable on camera, your audience will be comfortable.

  5. Lighting, aperture and lens. Using a wide angle lens gives you power in the frame, so if you're going the route of presenting to camera, this can be a great way to go. If you're being interviewed off camera, remember that the bigger in the frame someone's face is, the more the audience identifies with them, so make sure that at some stage you are seen in a Medium Close-Up (MCU). Also make sure that you are facing towards camera as much as possible. If we are looking at the side of your head it makes it very difficult to relate to you. Try to avoid holding the camera yourself unless you're making a vlog or social live video, it makes more of a powerful statement to have someone else film you. Also, a short depth of field (background blurred out) will help to add a layer of depth to your shot and helps a lot with making you presentable.

As a bonus point - a good editor can work wonders to make a performance shine. If you talk for 20 minutes in total, a good editor can take the best 5% of what you say and turn it into a compelling 1-minute video. There is always at least 5% of what someone says that is compelling enough to create a good video.

If you feel that you're comfortable enough for a professional commercial filmmaker to help you create an awesome video, feel free to book a strategy session with us now to see if we might be a good fit to work together. #performance #interview #comfort


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