How To Appear Natural On Camera

7th February 2018 | Posted in Resources

If you’re a business owner, Director or CEO, chances are at some point you’re going to be asked to appear on camera. However, this can be a daunting process if you don’t feel natural on screen. Here are a few tips on how to appear natural while being filmed so that you can get the best from your time in front of the lens.

1. Don’t Panic

One of the most uncomfortable things about appearing on camera is dealing with your own self confidence. Appearing on camera is very unnatural for most of us – even for those of us here at Southpoint Films who are around cameras all day every day. (Although most often behind it!)

The truth is that people won’t think badly of you for appearing on camera. And if you have a good production team supporting you any potential issues will be picked up during the filming process so you won’t look foolish later down the line.

If anything, getting yourself worked up will make you appear frigid, stressed out and unfocussed when it’s your time to shine.

2. Practise

It may seem quite obvious, but with a busy schedule it’s easily forgotten. Whether it’s a pre-written speech or you’re talking off-the-cuff, it’s not a bad idea to get some practise in before your filming date. Being familiar with your subject matter is essential in staying cool and calm while filming.

When preparing to give a speech it’s quite common to rehearse in the mirror. This can be ok, but we have a better suggestion for video appearances. When you’re rehearsing film yourself on a digital camera or your smartphone and play it back. There’s actually a bit of theory behind this.

Duncan Davidson explains it best in a TED talk from 2012 titled “Why Do We Hate Seeing Photos Of Ourselves?” (embedded below) – to summarise, he says that when you see a photo of yourself you have an immediate knee-jerk reaction of dislike toward it because most people are only ever used to seeing a mirror image of themselves. It’s a really fascinating idea and it’s worth taking three minutes to watch it. If you can get accustomed to how you look and sound when you’re on camera you’ll have a much better experience when you come to watching the first cut of your video.

3. Clear your diary

Don’t let yourself get stressed or distracted by the outside world. You will appear, well, stressed and distracted. Let your colleagues know, let your clients know and set an out office in advance so that you can’t be disturbed on your filming date.

4. Be Ready To Make Mistakes

You will make a lot of mistakes on camera. You’ll forget lines, slur words, and perhaps you’ll cough or sneeze halfway through a take. Don’t worry, it’s all normal. Everyone’s seen those late night TV blooper programmes. Even the best do it! Don’t let it knock your confidence.

Unless you’re in a live broadcast situation, don’t be afraid to try again if you feel like you’re not doing your best. Everybody who’s working with you on your video wants to make it the best that it can be.
If you don’t feel like you’re performing at your best then don’t be afraid to pause and restart when you’ve collected your thoughts.

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