20 Tips to be Camera Ready in your Business Video
By: Erik Qualman, author of Digital Leader: 5 Simple Keys to Success and Influence (McGraw Hill, 2012)
With the modern realm of video marketing, new avenues such as YouTube are being utilized to help companies and individuals get on a path to success and reach their planned goals.
Whether your marketing tactics are for a product or service, promoting a personal or professional endeavor, or simply sharing an event with friends, at some point you will be filmed and uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, or national television.
Whatever the situation, the below tips will help you be camera ready in your business video to put your best face forward:
1. Relax your face, starting with the rest of your body. Make sure your hands aren’t balled up and your shoulders aren’t scrunched. Some people find it helpful to give a little self-massage to the temples and neck. Rubbing your palms together to generate warmth and placing them onto your closed eyes is another trick that works.
2. When you smile, specifically concentrate on raising your cheek-bones. Raising your cheekbones will naturally give the illusion to the camera that your eyes are sparkling.
3. Focus on yoga-esque breaths that are deep and slow. This breathing technique will help relax your face and body and will also help prevent you from talking too fast.
4. When being interviewed, remember it is different than a normal conversation. Don’t use non-verbal cues like nodding your head as it will appear like you are a “know it all” and are impatient for the question. It also conveys to the audience that you already know the answer.
5. When possible, use a good microphone — they are worth the extra money.
6. Make sure the light is in your face and not behind you. Natural light is best at dawn and dusk.
7. Have good posture. Stand up against a wall and have your shoulders and the top of the back of your head pressed firmly against it. Then slowly walk away from the wall keeping this posture intact for the camera.
8. Overemphasize everything, including your words, excitement, volume, gestures, and eyes. Don’t shout like you are scolding a misbehaving dog (see #2 about being relaxed), but you need to project like you are on stage performing a play.
9. Be concise. If you are filming your own video, make it less than two minutes. Better still, see if the video can be under a minute. If you are being interviewed, answer the question with your most powerful statement first and try to do so in one or two quick bullet points.
10. If you are wearing a suit jacket, tuck the tails of your coat under your behind and place your sitting bones firmly on them. This position will give a nice line on your shoulders and help avoid wrinkles.
11. If offered hi-definition (HD) make-up, accept it. If you don’t use it, you might look tired, shiny, and old on HD. If you are at home, apply base make-up with a brush to dramatically reduce shine and lines.
12. Make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids before-hand. Have water nearby in case you need it. Avoid ice and sugary drinks. Sparkling water with lemon is the best.
13. The camera is your audience so spend the majority of the time looking into it. If you are on Skype/FaceTime don’t watch your little image in the corner. If you are being interviewed ask the interviewer where you should place most of your eye contact.
14. Before you begin speaking, a good trick to set your natural voice is to hum happy birthday then immediately say, “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”
15.Wear comfortable clothes and what you feel you look the best in. If you are comfortable then you will be confident.
16. If you feel like you have a frog in your throat, eat some cantaloupe. This fruit acts as a natural lubricant and helps clear congestion.
17. Make sure you are yourself on camera. This can be difficult. Some speaking coaches say not to use your hands, but when I pay close attention to Jim Collins (Author of From Good to Great and one of the best speakers in the world), he definitely does. The difference with him is that every movement he makes has a purpose, so the use of his hands assist his message rather than detract from it.
18. Use the tips mentioned here when filming others. Make them a star and they will shine brightly on you!
19. Have Fun!
20. Do post mortems. The beautiful thing about video is you can review. Act like you are the head coach of the New England Patriots and review video to get an advantage. How many “ums” do you say, are you slouching, do you look better with your glasses on or off, do you say “like” or other “pet” words too often?
Some of the best speakers you can learn from: Benjamin Zander, Dan Heath, Jim Collins, Seth Godin, Tim Sanders, Guy Kawasaki, Andy Stanley.
From Digital Leader by Erik Qualman, reprinted with permission from McGraw-Hill Professional. Copyright 2012.
Erik Qualman is the author of Digital Leader: 5 Simple Keys to Success and Influence (McGraw Hill, 2012) and Socialnomics, an AMA “Book of the Year” finalist. For the past 18 years, Qualman has helped grow the digital capabilities of Cadillac, EarthLin, EF Education, Yahoo!, TravelZoo, AT&T, and many other highly recognizable business entities. He has keynoted alongside Al Gore, Julie Andrews, Alan Mulally, Tony Hawk, Sarah Palin, James Carville, and many more. He sits on the advisory boards of Manumatix and Bazaarvoice. He lives in Boston and is an MBA professor at the Hult International School of Management.