It's something that every business owner who has tried to get themselves on camera has wondered... "how can I do this better?"
Actually their first question is usually "do I have to do this??!", but we'll move past that.
Once you're committed to presenting on-camera - be it when you work with us directly, or if you are recording yourself, then usually we get asked a pretty standard list of questions which all add up to 'how to improve'.
So today, we're running through our top tips for a better on-screen performance.
Let's start with some facts;- no one ever likes how they look or sound on film. Head Beard Bruce has been presenting videos on a regular basis for about 5 years now, and he'll tell you that it does get easier, but it's still uncomfortable to it.
The truth is that like anything - practice and regular upkeep of the skill does help.
One way to try and get around it is to look past yourself and concentrate on whether what you've said gives the right message. If yes - then it's brand building. If no, then it's time to adjust.
And Now Let's Crack On With The Tips...
Firstly, a successful video comes from planning. Turning a camera on to record blank airtime will not only waste shooting and time in the edit, but you'll get more frustrated. As you sit there planning what you're going to say, the camera rolling, you'll feel the pressure more and more, you'll feel unproductive and it'll start to show.
So get a plan for your video. For our videos we use a series of scalable plans. For videos like the one above its a series of dot points to make sure we hit all the talking points. For our client videos, we'll write a script or use a shot plan - which shows not only a script, but also documents what the viewer will see at each stage of the video.
As you shoot videos, you'll find when the right time of day works for you. Some like the mornings to just get it out the way, others like the afternoons because you've had the day to wake up.
Food and water. I cannot stress this enough. Food and water keep you alive, and they keep your filming alive. Being hungry gets you stressed, overeat and you get lethargic. Water keeps the dry mouth away. So keep your food and water levels at optimum for your video. For Bruce's videos which are regularly shot in batches, he keeps water nearby as well as some muesli bars to snack on.
Time. You'll be surprised how quickly time moves on a shoot, especially if you don't have a plan (get a plan). So allot yourself a decent block of time to shoot, and if you're not experienced, allot some more on top of that. Turn off phones and emails and make sure you're only working on the shoot. Bruce will tell you that he normally will hit a wall after a certain amount of time - so use that time wisely to get what you need.
With all of this, there is one thing to focus on and that's the end product. If you're not getting the right result, then its time to access and work a plan to get what you need. Shooting digitally doesn't cost you anything extra in 'film' so if you need to reshoot a scene to get it right, then do it.
Your presentation is all about energy and emotion.
There is a saying about the camera adding 10-pounds, and our belief is that this isn't about physical weight, it's about emotional weight. So if you act like a stiff-sausage that will reflect on camera even more.
Be passionate about what you're talking about and make the viewer feel it.
What about my Hands?
Probably one of the most common questions we get during filming, especially from the men - what do I do with my hands?
On our shoots we encourage hand use. It's a great way to add movement to the video and thus engages the viewer more. Plus you can really help add weight to your message by emphasising points you're talking about.
Show Passion In Your Voice
Your voice is the most powerful tool you have on video. So make sure that you're using energy to provide the viewer with interest. This means - stay away from mumbling and boring flat speaking... and this includes those shouty informercials. Instead try to provide interesting attenuation (the rise and fall in pitch/tone) to your voice so that the viewer remains interested.
Let's Wrap This Up
So there you have it, our top tips on how to improve your on-camera presentation - 1) plan up front to save time shooting and editing, 2) get prepared and allocate enough time and 3) stay interesting and engaging during your presentation.
As ever, if you have any questions or thoughts - chuck them down below and if you like this video and article, then head over to our Facebook Group;- How to Shoot Video for Your Business to continue your learning.