10 tips for speaking on camera (and having a better on camera presence!)

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So you have a video shoot coming up that requires you to say a few words on camera! Here are 10 great tips to help prepare you for your upcoming video shoot. Touching on tips for speaking well on camera, and having a better on screen presence.
 

 

1. Know your main points – Avoid being scripted

When being filmed on camera, it’s important to have your audience feel like your coming across as being genuine. Scripting out what you want in some cases can make your camera performance feel a bit…well…’scripted’.

Of course if you have a really good on screen presence, or you’re a professional at being on camera, reading something scripted (from a teleprompter let’s say) can be a piece of cake and the results will be good.

Otherwise, for those who aren’t professionals on camera, I find what yields better results is familiarizing yourself with your material, write down the bullet points you’d like to make, then speak naturally as if your having a conversation with an old friend.

 

2. Be Animated.

This one is short and sweet, when speaking or performing on camera, you’ll get a better final result if you’re animated and full of life. You have to sell your performance, come across as genuine, and be enthusiastic and passionate as your subject matter permits.

 

3. Remember to smile.

This one is pretty straightforward. It’s been proven many times that smiling opens more doors and helps create positive attitudes in human communication. Of course we must take in to consideration, the mood that we’re shooting for. In most cases by default however it’ll be true to just learn to smile more.

Not all cases depending on the content or subject matter of the video will merit remembering to smile, but I suppose this point can be interchangeable with remember to emote!

 

4. Posture is power.

Making sure to maintain good posture is an essential point to embed into your camera performance. You must always try to keep good posture, it will help lots with your on camera presence as a whole.

Maintaining a positive body language such as keeping your shoulders relaxed and your back straight, will help you come off as more authoritative giving more perceived value to what your speaking on.
 

5. Don’t let the fear of making a mistake take away from your performance.

When recording on camera don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The great advantage of recording on camera (when it’s not a live application) is that we can cut out all the mistakes, and just take the best pieces to deliver the most powerful performance.

When the time comes and you do make a mistake, or want to rephrase or retake something you’ve said, all you’ll simply need to do is pause...centre yourself...backup a bit... and restart from the top of sentence you were speaking.
 

6. Talk slow and concisely.

Some of the time, similar to public speaking there is a natural tendency to sometimes speed up and speak too fast while delivering your performance. This can seem to come off as somewhat of a nervous energy. Just remember to slow down. Which helps with our next point as well.
 

7. Brief pauses between sentences for edit points.

When editing video of someone speaking on camera, it helps immensely to have points to cut in and out of within someones speech patterns. These “edit points” help in the editing phase to stitch together the video as whole.

How can we integrate this into our performance? By practicing leaving small pauses in between each one of our sentences and paragraphs. That way if there is a mistake made, the footage can easily be edited to start at one of these small pauses or edit points.
 

8. Pretend your addressing someone.

It may help when speaking in an interview context or addressing the camera to just pretend like your speaking with someone you know, address the camera as if it were a person, emote as if it were a person, like your trying to connect with that person through the words your speaking.

 

9. Record yourself on camera to see what needs improvement.

One of the best things you can do is record yourself on camera, then playback the footage so you can see how you look on camera. This allows you to focus on any areas that needs improvement, and allows you to be comfortable with how you look on camera.

More importantly it helps in practicing the content to be said on camera. Almost everyone in todays modern world has a camera right on their phone that they can use to practice their on screen presence.

Use this to your advantage, the more well-practiced you are before your shoot date, the smoother the shoot will go, and the better end result you’ll have.

 

10. Keep hydrated!

Keeping hydrated is one of the best secrets to recording vocals, whether it be singing, or conducting an interview. This will actually allow you to pronounce your words better, and it’ll allow you to speak for longer.

Also, keeping hydrated helped to reduce what known as “sibilance”. Otherwise known as the natural hiss sounds when pronouncing T’s, S’s, SH’s, & Z’s.

ResourcesJulian Meli