8 tips on how to appear on camera

One of the most common questions we encounter with clients preparing to make their on-camera debut is “do you have any advice?” I certainly do!

The more comfortable and professional you appear, the more impact the final video will have on the viewer. Read below for our top tips about appearing on camera.

How to look like a pro when appearing on camera

Choose suitable clothing

In order to stop your clothing from interfering with the picture quality, avoid stripes and checked patterns. Likewise, try to stay away from exceedingly bright colours. Don’t wear the same colour as the background or you will “blend in” – e.g. a green t-shirt if you’re filming on a football pitch. If you are being filmed in front of a green screen or blue screen, don’t wear those colours or else you might disappear! Don’t believe us? Check out this video!

Also, make sure your type of clothing is appropriate to the video. For example, jeans and a t-shirt wouldn’t be suitable for an interview with the local mayor; likewise, you probably don’t want to wear a suit to take part in a karate lesson!

Make sure you’re comfortable

Try not to wear anything that will cause you discomfort throughout the day. Your 5-inch Christian Louboutin heels might look amazing, but if you are going to be standing all day for the filming, your feet will start to hurt, which will impact on your performance.

Talk to the director about the position you feel most comfortable in – do you want to be standing, or sitting? Sitting on a stool, or an armchair?

Be confident

Quite often I find that people are nervous of the camera, and start to stammer, giggle or try to avoid looking at it altogether – especially if it’s their first time appearing on camera. To help with this, try to imagine you are talking to a friend, not to a camera.

It can be daunting being surrounded by equipment, but take the time to have a few “practice” runs to get used to it. If you have any questions about where you should be looking, or what the equipment is doing, then ask! The more comfortable you are with the setup of the shoot, the more confident you will appear on camera.

Have a script to ensure all your main points get covered

This doesn’t necessarily have to be a word-for-word monologue, it could just be fleshed out bullet points, but you need something in your head to make sure you cover all the main points of your talk.

If left without a script, you are likely to waffle on about unimportant issues or start repeating yourself.

Be familiar with your script

Smooth delivery is one of the key aspects that make a video a success. It needs to sound natural when you are talking, so make sure you practice beforehand. Ideally, practice out loud, with another person listening so that you can get their feedback.

Don’t rely on just reading the words in your head, as you will imagine it differently to how to sounds when you speak it.

Take your time, and don’t forget to breathe

It’s not an exam, it’s a conversation. Don’t rush over your words, take your time, speak slowly and add breathing points in your speech. If you speak too quickly, the viewer might not be able to make out what you are saying and you may stumble over your words.

Allow lots of time

Ask the producer in advance how long they think the filming will take, and then block out at least that amount of time in your day – preferably a couple of hours longer. Make sure that your colleagues know you are busy during that time and can’t be contacted. Don’t book anything important such as a meeting or conference call for the same day as your filming. You want to be as relaxed as possible; removing the pressure of having to be finished by a set time helps with this.

Also, I invade meeting rooms with all of our equipment!

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

You aren’t going to get it right on the first take. Maybe not even in the first five takes. That doesn’t matter! Your cameraman isn’t expecting perfection, and won’t mind if you mess up your lines, speak too quickly, start laughing, drop something, fall over, start sneezing – whatever! They will have seen it all before and will give you a couple of minutes to compose yourself before starting again.

Those are our tips. Let us know if you can think of any we have missed by emailing us!