In our previous segment, we talked about why it’s the perfect time for you to have a TV show or video podcast.
Who are we talking about?
- Someone with something knowledgeable to share.
- A TV Host inside you waiting to burst out.
- A business owner who wants more prospects and customers.
Still, many of you are uncomfortable about being on camera.
In this blog, we’ll give you techniques to make you camera-ready while simplifying the video production process.
I Was Unwatchable
A bit on my background. I’ve been in television news and TV hosting since 1984 working as a TV news reporter, investigative reporter, a news anchor, and a TV host on TV shows seen around the world with millions of viewers.
I know, sounds impressive.
But at first, I was not good on camera. In fact, my wife Teri said she could not watch me because I was so bad.
And, she was right. I came from a newspaper reporting background, which made me a good reporter but not a watchable on-camera personality.
So, I learned techniques to make my appearances enjoyable and informative for an audience that I wanted to engage. It’s all about the numbers, right?
As my career and techniques grew, I trained other people — aspiring TV news people, people who were company spokespersons, or employees/managers being interviewed on TV shows such as Shark Tank — on how to appear on camera so they were relaxed and engaging while being themselves.
Simple Things To Try
So, let me share some of the things you can practice to make yourself an on-camera personality.
First, take the time to prepare what you’re going to say on camera. Very few of us can get in front of a camera and talk off the top of our heads in an engaging way. So, I suggest writing a script or at least an outline.
Check out our other blog and video on using a TelePrompter.
My script writing method is simple. Use the three W’s: who; what; and why.
It could be:
- Who are you?
- What am I going to talk about?
- And why should you care?
If you answer those three questions with three good sentences, then you have your intro to every segment you will do.
So, if I was doing a video for this segment:
Who am I?
Hi, I am TV, host John Daly.
What am I talking about?
You need to know how to host a video segment for your company.
Why am I telling you this?
Video is now the most effective way to reach your audience and customers.
Writing out the script allows you to rehearse your lines so the pitch, speed, and word emphasis are perfect. Many of the best salespeople stand in front of the mirror and say their sales pitch out loud to themselves.
Scripting out your message also shows:
- courtesy to your audience because you are not wasting their time. You get to the point.
- Your knowledge of your topic: you are not searching for words or saying distracting “um” a lot.
- You respect the time of your video crew by being efficient and quick.
- you value your time so you aren’t in front of a camera all day.
Here are a couple of other tips that work brilliantly especially for new people on-camera.
Smile A Bit Bigger
Don’t create a Joker type look; just add a slightly increased smile.
I experienced this in my first year of being a TV news reporter. While doing a stand up for a news segment, the photographer’s light came crashing down in front of me. My photographer Russell and I laughed out loud at the crazy circumstance that was caught on tape. Great blooper material, but needless to say, we didn’t use it in the new segment. We put the light back up and I redid the stand-up. When I saw the recorded second stand up, I realized I was still laughing and smiling at the incident — and it made me much more interesting to watch.
Why? Here’s my theory.
Recorded video diminishes a person’s degree of enthusiasm.
That extra smile makes you look interested and engaged about the topic which will make your viewers think “this is something I need to pay attention to”.
It also opens your eyes and forehead which psychologically tells the audience you are someone who is inviting.
Project Your Voice Beyond The Camera
In other words, speak louder than you think. I am fortunate to have friends, John O’Hurley and Bryan Cranston, two accomplished actors, who know how to speak to that audience in the back row as if they’re right in front of them. It adds to your enthusiasm and makes you seem more inviting and accepting.
Speak To Someone You Know
For many people, talking to a camera, an inanimate object, tends to make you more robotic and unfriendly. You should write your script and prepare how you say things by imagining you are telling a specific person — like friend or a customer. Most times, I actually dictate my on-camera script right into the Teleprompter.
Try out these three added tricks. Now, while practicing them, you may feel like your are over-affected or dramatic. Don’t worry. When you watch the video, it will come across as engaging and real.
Remember: video takes away a degree of enthusiasm.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The last bit of advice: get in front of the camera and practice as much as you can.
Don’t like what you recorded, then delete it.
If you do like it, show it to somebody who will give you an honest opinion.
Being good on camera is not rocket science. Almost everybody has the ability to do this. But it takes time. Eventually, this will become second nature to you.
Here at Wingding TV, we can help you with that in addition to your video production, social media, and digital marketing, and getting you your own TV channel. And, yes we can train you or find someone who could be a spokespeson for you.
Give us a call at 843-272-1901 or email us at email@example.com
In the meantime, check out our show on how to cover a hurricane safely to help your neighbors — without working at the Weather Channel.
John Daly and Susan Anzalone are the Co-Creators and Co-Hosts of Undercover Jetsetter, a show on travel, food, wine, mixology and, of course, golf. They show you how to jet set the world and at home. They also co-authored the book, The TV Studio In Your Hand: How to Shoot, Edit & Deliver the Easy Way on Your iPhone. Join them for tips and hacks on the road, at home, or in the kitchen. Yes, as you will see, all on the iPhone.