22 Jan

How to Look and Sound Amazing on Camera

Published in: Blog
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The thought of being in front of a camera can be terrifying for some. Will I look ok? Will I sound intelligent? Will viewers like me? Will the camera really add 10 pounds?

If this is you, don’t worry – with a little prep you can look like a video star! Here are our top five tips for looking and sounding amazing on camera.

1. Find the right outfit

Colors for Camera

The colors above don’t look too muted or too bright on camera and tend to work for most skin tones.

Fashion designers always say that when you’re looking your best, you appear more confident, and they may well be right. What you wear on camera will play a large role in how viewers perceive you, so ensure you look professional and smart, but most of all, feel comfortable in your choice.

When it comes to choosing an outfit for shooting day, consider color carefully. You should steer clear of shiny material, bright colours, solid red, white, or black tops, and anything with a heavy pattern. Patterns and bright colors don’t translate well onto camera and can look blurry and distracting to viewers.

Heavy jewelry and excessive makeup should be avoided for the same reason. Jewelry can also be noisy and can bump your mic – which is both distracting to the audience and it can make it hard to edit the video.

Instead, keep jewelry to a minimum, remove glasses if possible, iron all clothes beforehand and make sure your hair is neat and out of your face. If you’re unsure about what to wear, bring a couple of options and ask the videographer for their opinion.

2. Rehearse

Rehearsing for Camera & Video CreationThe more confident you feel about what you have to say, the easier it will be to talk to the camera – so rehearse. Most companies will provide you with your questions at least 24 hours before shooting time, so dedicate some time to reading through every question and mentally formulating an answer. For some, you may even need to make notes. Practicing with a friend or family member can help you feel more at ease but there is a very fine line between practice and over preparing, and you definitely don’t want to do the latter as you’ll appear canned and stagnant. Instead, practice the main points and let the rest flow naturally.

Try not to get too caught up in how you say things – it’s more about what you say. Some people get caught up—and eventually nervous—with trying to remember the exact way to deliver a line. Instead, just know the idea you’re trying to get across and focus on that, the sentences will take care of themselves. If you want to split the difference, plan how you will begin and end a thought, but leave the middle open for natural “freestyle” answers.

On a side note, remember to watch long pauses, as well as your ums and ahs as this will be very distracting for a viewer.

3. Get your area ready

create a clutter free background to look great on camera

Clear and clutter free vs. a distracting background

If the interview is going to take place in your office or building, ensure any area visible to the camera is clean and free of clutter. You want the viewers to be focusing on you and not what is behind you so check the background for anything distracting and either move it or change the filming angle. You don’t want plants covering your face or messy files cluttering your desk!

It’s also important to make sure that the background doesn’t clash with what you’re wearing, so consider this when choosing your shooting day outfit.

4. Check your body language

Body language is incredibly important when it comes to connecting with viewers, and they will know whether you’re feeling comfortable or not. One important technique to remember is to maintain eye contact with the interviewer – don’t let your eyes jump around the screen, as this will make you seem uneasy and untrustworthy. Instead focus on the person asking you questions.

Another important thing to remember is to avoid excessive hand gestures or fidgeting. For some, this is a natural reaction to nervousness but it’s incredibly distracting to viewers and makes you look like you’re not in control.

Your body language can even affect the way you feel about yourself. By adjusting your posture so that it’s in line with someone who is confident and comfortable, you can actually make a large impact on your self-esteem and confidence.

Right body language to look great on camera

To take this one step further, you can even try “power posing” – adopting a stance associated with power – for two minutes before filming to boost confidence. Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy has proven that this simple trick – standing with your head high and arms up in the air or on your hips – actually boosts your performance and confidence, and reduces stress and cortisol levels. Worth a try!

5. Be yourself!

If you’re not a funny person, now is not the time to become a comedian. Keep it simple, smile, breathe and don’t be afraid to ask to redo a question if you aren’t happy with your answer. You don’t have to be perfect, but being lively and happy will help viewers connect with what you are saying. Act as though you are speaking to a real person, like a colleague to create a natural, authentic environment.

Some people get way too professional sounding, and this can make you seem like a robot, or someone reading an essay. Picture how you would deliver information to a friend, after all, the camera is your friend! This will make your lines easier to listen to for the audience and you’ll come across more authentic.

The power of the editing booth

It’s ok to be nervous when you’re filming, but it’s important not to let this feeling overtake you, so try not to overthink it. And if this fails, remember that production companies are here to make you look good and that their editors can do amazing things. It’s not uncommon for an hour of filming to be trimmed down to a 60 second clip for example, which means you can say almost anything and there should still be useable footage. So relax…and who knows, you might even have some fun! 

Chad VanCalster

Chad VanCalster is a businesss development specialist with Sonix Studio, a web development, design, SEO and hosting firm with offices in Green Bay, Wisconsin and Dallas, Texas. A Computer Science graduate of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Chad started his career consulting for large corporations in the northern Wisconsin region, including Wisconsin Tissue, Georgia Pacific and Schneider National, among others.

Through experiences with marketing within his own company, Chad became a student of Internet Marketing, with a focus on Social Media.  That eventually branched into helping clients with THEIR Social Media Marketing.  Chad is an expert at using social media to expand your credibility and impact in your chosen markets.

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