Ever wondered how some people just seem to have a knack of being comfortable in front of camera?
Yes, it can come naturally for some people, but for most it takes some work and coaching to look and sound comfortable on camera. There are many things we like to do to create a relaxed environment when we shoot, but there are several tricks and techniques you can utilise to make yourself as natural and authoritative as possible.
Warming up isn’t just for athletes, it can be a huge benefit for presenters too. Start with some vocal warmups and tongue twisters to get in the right frame of mind and to get your elocution just right.
Warming up can also continue into the filming process. Once the camera and lights are set up, it’s wise to do a few run-throughs of your script before the cameras are rolling just to get the feel of the script and to become accustomed to the lights and camera.
If you are using a teleprompter, ask for a rehearsal with the operator so that the speed, font size and spacing are right for you, and you can also use this opportunity to check for any mistakes or quirks in the script.
A good way to prepare if you are presenting is to record yourself practising before the day of the shoot. It can be quite daunting to watch yourself being recorded and it’s normal to not like the sound of your voice on video, but the main purpose of this is to pick up on any nervous habits you may have that can be distracting on video. When nervous, many people can rock back and forth, tap their feet or clear their throat. If you notice yourself getting into any of these bad habits, it’s much easier to fix these minor problems when you’re aware of them beforehand.
There are many things to keep in mind before you face the bright lights and present on camera, but some preparation and knowledge of what’s going to happen on shoot day should calm your nerves. Try watching some professional presenters on YouTube to get an idea of the way they deliver their lines and listen to the cadence of their voice.
Whether you’re presenting in front of a green screen, on location, or being interviewed at your home, the setup for each is basically the same. You should get accustomed to looking down the lens of the camera, the lens is your audience and you should address it like you were talking directly to it.
It’s highly unlikely that your presenting will be “live,” so you should take solace in the fact that you won’t be required to get everything right on the first attempt! Even the most seasoned professionals require several takes to get through a script, so if you stumble and need to start again, don’t worry!
And if your camera crew are shooting with two cameras the process will be even easier for you. Using two cameras means that editing your presentation is much easier and if you stumble, you can just start again from the beginning of your sentence.
One thing that can often cause headaches on shoot days is a tight schedule. Wherever possible schedule an adequate amount of time for set up, multiple read throughs of your script and some time to review your performance to make sure you’re happy with your performance. Pressure never helps performance so allow yourself time to get accustomed to the scenario and most importantly have some fun with it! Stress shows in your body language, whereas a relaxed presenter is much more engaging and easy to watch.
This will alleviate stress to get it right the first time, and the pressure to perform will be lifted, so take your time, take a deep breath and stay hydrated and you’ll find it is much less daunting than it seems.