How to look great on video

Congratulations, you have decided to embrace videography as a part of your branding and content strategy, great work! But the cold sweats and tight throat as the shoot gets closer have you wondering why you decided to branch out of your comfort zone.

The good news is, from our experience, everyone gets nervous about video work. 90% of clients we have worked with have experienced a scale of light nervousness right through to full-blown terror. You are not alone.

The second good news is that our trusty team is well-versed in helping people look and feel great on camera. We can coach you through the process, including reminding you to breathe, remember what you want to say and offer valuable tips on professional speaking such as pace, pitch and intonation.

To help settle your mind, you may like to know that while you may think that everyone is ready to criticise your video for how you look, sound, and speak. It is incredibly rare that this ever happens. We have never had any client record video with us and receive any negativity at all. People love to see people doing their thing and speaking their truth, so you will no doubt receive all the love from your network, just like our other clients.

Before you book us to help you become a total pro, we thought we would give you some handy tips…

Smile Even Though You Think You Will Look Weird

Smiling to yourself for no reason when you are doing something nerve-wracking feels odd, but honestly, it reads well on camera. Seeing someone smile makes you happy; you automatically feel sunnier. You will often hear Annelies saying “Smiley, Smiley Carole Smiley” on a shoot, and the result is a warm video that is much more personal. It is easy to look and act too serious on camera, but even when relaying a serious message, a little joy on the face encourages people to connect to the speaker and listen.

Give More Energy Than You Think You Need To

Similarly, it would help if you gave the attitude a little welly too on camera. Another Annelies quote is, “Now imagine you are the Energiser Bunny.” You will feel that giving it some gusto is weird, especially in a room with two cameras and one videographer. Still, the recorded translation is entirely different from the filming process. The more energy you have, the more enthusiasm and the more interest and dynamism you will foster in the audience.

Start Strong And End Strong

This is probably the most essential tip in this list and is generally relevant to public speaking. It would help if you had your “in” and your “out” sussed out. All too often, people start talking into the camera, get a bit muddled and then ramble before just ending the sentence or tapering off to obscurity. For clarity, confidence and impact, you need to command a presence and consider how you open and close succinctly, confidently and purposefully. I suggest practising your start and ending sentences a few times before getting on camera. I would also suggest formatting your content into:

  • Strong open
  • Point one
  • Point two
  • Point three
  • Strong close summarising and referencing your start

By following this pattern, you give the viewer what I like to call a “full circle moment,” introducing the topics, giving them short information, and then summarising it. They feel sure of what you have said, and you told them what they need to know without requiring them to do any mental legwork.

Wear Something Comfy And Never Experiment With New Clothing Choices On A First Shoot

If you are uncomfortable or unsure of your hair or jacket, feel like you need to breathe in, or feel spotty, it will ruin your jam. It would be best if you felt confident, happy, and self-assured. Whatever you can do to be prepared in advance would be helpful to you. This might include bringing all the make-up, hairspray, a change of shirt, and deodorant. Anything you might need, bring it and get comfy. Likewise, don’t book to shoot a video if you have a back-to-back day of stressful meetings; give it some investment and time and allow yourself to get into it.

Bin The Script

The worst thing ever… The script. I beg you not to script. The reason is that scripts become a crutch, a life raft, especially when nervous. While that might sound like a good thing, darting eyes and trying to remember what your script said makes for terrible takes, stoppage, and frustration. If necessary, we can use autocue or large printed bullet points to aid you; we also use a multi-camera set-up so that we can cut between cameras when you stumble. Again, while relaying precise information is essential, we always want to remain personable, relatable, and relaxed. We will encourage you with questions and support you to get across what you need.

Trust The Process And Videographer

We are professionals, and from experience and dedication to the craft, we want to get the absolute best from anyone who sits in front of the camera. One thing we ask is for trust and to relax and enjoy the experience. Also, be reassured that as a female videographer, I always have a firm eye on posture, hair, make-up, and style, so I will ensure you look and sound your best.

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