How to Be On Camera Like a Boss
Throughout the first three installments of Video Like a Boss, we’ve tackled the importance of video in employee engagement and the TWIN strategy, a foolproof way to shoot authentic, leadership videos. At this point, you possess the skills to create a concise and coherent outline to effectively communicate your message.
Now it’s time to get in front of the camera. In this week’s blog, we’ll break down the basics of talking to the camera, leaving you capable and confident in your ability to produce high quality, entertaining videos.
How to say it?
Being on camera
On a video, how you say things can be just as important as what you say. Video is a visual medium; your facial expressions and body language telegraph your emotional engagement.
That might sound scary—but it shouldn’t. While many people struggle with feeling awkward on camera, there is a simple trick that can help you come across more personable and authentic.
You feel like it’s one-to-many, but they see it as one-to-one.
A video is a one-to-one moment. You may feel like you’re speaking to a large, anonymous audience, but your viewers will feel as though you’re talking only to them. If you act as though you’re addressing a crowd, they’ll feel more like a number than a name and will disengage. So talk to the camera as if you were talking to a friend or a colleague. It’s also a bit easier mentally to think about addressing a single person rather than a crowd—it takes away the pressure to feel like you need to perform.
In addition to just speaking more intimately to the camera, don’t be afraid to lean into your private persona. Revealing small details about yourself will help you come off warmer and more interesting.
Don’t let the camera scare you into being someone more formal, stiff, or serious than you really are. Before you shoot, shake out your limbs, relax your shoulders and approach the camera as you would a close friend.
Talk to the camera
Part of pretending that you’re talking to a single person is to make sure you’re actually looking at the camera lens. This can require a little practice since with many mobile phones the lens is actually on the corner of the device. If you don’t look at the lens, the viewer will feel like you’re not making eye contact which is at best distracting and at worst shifty!
Modulate your voice
When humans talk, we’re actually singing in slow motion. Our voices rise and fall, speed up and slow down. The more we want to captivate someone, the more we modulate our voices. Go watch a movie and take note at just how much a good actor changes his or her voice as they speak (and how bad actors seem to speak with a flat affect).
A common mistake in videos (and in speaking in general) is to end in a mushy way. “So…uh…well, I guess that’s it.” An ending like that is deflating, no matter how good the preceding content was. Practice ending with a strong, upbeat statement with some oomph to it. “Thanks for watching! You guys inspire me—keep up the great work!”
Never a good mode—so don’t do it. A monotone, lackluster demeanor is boring and fails to inspire.
Appropriate when discussing a layoff, death, or natural disaster. Serious doesn’t mean flat—it means slower, more thoughtful, more concerned.
This should be your standard mode. You should be infectiously energetic. Positive, optimistic, and engaging.
Not everyone can pull off a high energy mode like this. Do it when appropriate if you find that it comes to you naturally.
Perfect is the enemy of good
Every video does not have to be perfect. It might feel awkward at first. You may need two or three takes before you get it right. After a couple months, being in front of the camera will begin to feel natural. As you continue shooting videos, you will notice an improvement in your presentation abilities, gaining your own personal style. Don’t be surprised if your peers start to use video. Or ask you for help.
In next week’s segment, we will dive into the technical side, giving you tips on the best equipment for your budget and the skills to shoot high-quality videos.
If you missed any of our past installments, like last week’s TWIN: The Foolproof Video Plan, make sure to catch-up and get all the tools you need to shoot from our Video Like a Boss webinar recording.