We interact with video subjects on a daily basis, and only a small percentage of our subjects are seasoned actors. Typically, our video subjects are business owners adding a personal branded touch to their websites, hopeful entrepreneurs marketing their products on Kickstarter, or wedding guests celebrating a magical day together. A question we often get asked by clients is “how do I look natural on camera?” So we wanted to share the insights that we have gained in the last few years of filming people. Acting natural on camera is a lot harder than it sounds.
Here are six effective ways to help you feel more natural on camera.
1. Practice, practice, practice!
Even if you’re familiar with the subject matter being covered in your video–practice is important! Familiarize yourself with your script, what ideas you want to convey and even how you’d like your voice to sound. If being in front of the camera makes you nervous, do a few practice runs in front of a camera without filming. The more you practice with the camera in front of you, the more comfortable you’ll get with it.
2. Wear something you feel comfortable in.
Even if you have to wear formal attire in your video, be sure it’s clothing you feel comfortable wearing. If you are able to be flexible with your video wardrobe, pick items that fit your body. And don’t be afraid to add accents or accessories that showcase your personality—just be sure to keep distracting jewelry to a minimum to keep your viewers focused on you. If you are wearing clothing you feel uncomfortable wearing—it will show. Feeling good about yourself and your outfit will make you appear natural and confident on camera.
3. Relax and don’t forget to breathe.
On-camera jitters can happen, even when you have rehearsed and memorized your script. Practice whatever helps calm your nerves down before sitting in front of a camera. Many video subjects will go for a quick walk, meditate, or listen to music. Once you’ve collected yourself—don’t forget to breathe easy when the camera is filming as well.
4. Pace yourself.
We can’t stress this enough. Many video subjects rush through scripts without even realizing they’re doing it. If you seem rushed during your speech or spiel, your audience may see you as unreliable or unprofessional. Pace your words and use language that is colloquial (in most cases). Simple words are best for videos, so that you can easily communicate with your audience.
5. Mind your movement.
Body language is important! The camera tends to exaggerate movement because you are the main focus. So be sure to sit up or stand up straight—no slouching. Good posture conveys confidence. If you tend to fidget while talking, find a comfortable place to plant your hands. These may seem like minor details but your audience will notice!
6. Don’t worry too much!
If you’re still nervous about your on-camera stint, just remember that the right professional videographer can edit your video to perfection. Obviously, videographers aren’t magicians but they are exceptionally great at creating moments and making them look seamless. Even if you mess up, a videographer can piece together the moments that worked. So really, don’t stress! With the right professional crew to back you up—you have everything you need to make your video great.