You can write amazing video content, but if the speaker doesn’t have on-camera presence, your content will fall flat. To keep the audience watching, the speaker needs to engage the audience with their energy, presence, voice, and non-verbal communication.
On camera presence is essential for gaining the trust of your audience, establishing yourself as a credible expert, and making your video engaging to watch. If you aren’t confident on camera, your audience will lose confidence in you.
Have you ever watched a video where you see this?
- The speaker talks in a monotone voice without varying the pitch the way she naturally would in conversation.
- The speaker looks stiff and tense.
- The speaker doesn’t make consistent eye contact with the camera or the person interviewing him.
- The speaker has a distracting amount of “ums,” “ahhs,” and “you knows” as she gathers her thoughts.
- The speaker looks like being on-camera is painful for him.
Many of us are not aware of our on-camera habits until an on-camera coach or director points them out to us. Case in point: When I watched some of my videos, I noticed that I often speak out of the side of my mouth like Fred Flintstone! It was a nervous habit that I wasn’t aware of. The funny thing is, I don’t do it in day-to-day life — just on video.
When the camera is rolling, it’s natural for our nerves to kick in, which can create all kinds of quirky habits.
The camera never lies. What you feel is often quite transparent to your audience in both your verbal and nonverbal communication. The audience will feel what the speaker is experiencing. So if you feel excited about the message you are sharing, the audience will feel excited. If you feel tense, the audience will feel tense. If you are bored, the audience will be bored.
Here are some tips that will ensure you, or the subjects who are speaking, keep the audience engaged with their on-camera presence:
- If you are the speaker, connect to the passion behind your message. What about your message excites you? What do you want your audience to know? Connect to the “why” behind your video.
- Whenever possible, put someone on the other side of the camera who can interact with you between takes. Speaking on camera should be like a natural conversation. If you position someone on the other side of the camera, it is easier to take on a natural, conversational tone.
- When filming yourself, imagine either your ideal client or someone you’re very comfortable with (a best friend, a significant other, a relative) on the other side of the camera. Really visualize them standing there and speak directly to them.
- Consider investing in On-Camera Training with a qualified On-Camera Coach.
On-Camera training can be one of the most effective ways to learn on-camera presence. You will learn how to convey conﬁdence on camera, speak in sound bites, and interview effectively. As part of your on-camera training, you can also learn teleprompter training, which can be helpful for those who tend to freeze up and forget their content.
With On-Camera training, you learn vocal and physical warms up that you can do before going on camera. You will get training in how to speak in sound bites, connect to the meaning of your words, and be relaxed, yet energized. You will also learn the non-verbal aspects of communication, such as how you hold your body and whether you convey confidence or insecurity.
If you are investing in professional video, doing the on-camera training first will ensure that you perform at your best and get the most out of your investment in video.
What does powerful on-camera presence look like? It’s when the subject is relaxed, speaks authentically and confidently, and conveys a passion for what they do.
Here is an example of a video we filmed for Angela Jia Kim of Savor the Success, where she has a powerful on-camera presence. Notice how she lights up when she speaks about her business. Her passion and confidence comes through and helps establish her as a credible expert.
Angela is an example of how practice makes perfect. She has made several of her own videos and has done media appearances on The Today Show and other network television shows. The takeaway: Get up on your feet and practice! The more you do it, the easier it gets!
Have you seen any videos where the speaker had an amazing on-camera presence? Who are your favorite people to watch on video? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
If you need support in with your on-camera presence, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We coach in person and on Skype. We’d love to help you step into your brilliance.