tips for being on camera

3 things we get wrong speaking to camera

I often record people speaking to camera and these are the three areas most of us struggle.

Big disclaimer here – it is super easy to point out how everyone else get’s it wrong on video. I’m not for a moment suggesting that I don’t make these mistakes too, but these are the three things that I see all the time when I record other people, and they are worth watching out for.

Can’t finish the sentence

Something odd happens when people are put in front of the camera – they waffle on a spectacular scale, because they somehow can’t finish their sentence. People are practically turning blue because they aren’t even stopping for air… There is this intangible pressure of the camera still rolling that means people just keep talking.
So know what you are going to say, and then stop talking. Less is definitely more!

Turning into a machine

I can sit someone down in front of the camera, we are chatting and laughing and they look entirely themselves, until they start their official camera bit. People sit up straighter, shoulders up, they loose all normal facial expressions in return for a super tense and unnatural look. They then start their very official sounding script, but the second they get something wrong, they laugh, look away and go “ohh that was rubbish”… and in that split moment they return to their normal selves… all their personality shines through, they are chilled and relaxed, and yet the moment they recompose and return to the camera they go right back to the super tense look!
So be the “oh no this was rubbish, I got it wrong, laughing” version of your self the whole time. Don’t have a tense camera version! You will be far more engaging in your chilled natural state, and people will by into your real(!) energy. The real you, is always the best you.

Talk too fast without gaps

I’m top of the list for this! I actually slow my self down by 10% in post production – yes honestly ;o)
The actual problem with talking too fast, is talking too fast in-between sections. If you get something wrong, leave a nice big empty gap, and that will make it far easier for you to cut bits out in post production. If you are talking at the speed of light, and not leaving gaps between your sections and/or parts you got wrong and will want to remove later, then you are really stitching your self up. Slow down, leave nice big gaps.
If you can’t remember your full script, then just say one part, stay in your position for 5 seconds (this will feel forever, but it isn’t) before you can check your paper work for your next sentence. Then come back to position (leave a bit of time again!) and continue saying your next bit, don’t start talking until you are completely back into the position. These lovely empty gaps will allow you to easily edit the video into one.

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