While the pros make being on camera look easy, it’s anything but easy. Here are 10 tips for being on camera and all you need to know to look calm, cool and collected!
talk to the camera like it’s someone you know.
This is my favorite piece of advice. Treat it like your mom, a friend, a sibling. Look into the lens and don’t think of it as a camera, think of it as a person inside that you’re communicating with. This should help you relax and speak more like a human being and less like a robot.
Warm up your voice.
This is key! You need to get your voice ready to go. Lie on your back and take deep breaths. This is great because it shows you how you should normally breathe: inhale and your stomach extends, exhale and your stomach deflates.
After you warm up your breath, move on to singing and tongue twisters. Try singing happy birthday loudly. Go for a deep, rich tone. You want to feel your breath in your stomach, not just high up in your chest. Use your breath to sing and hold those long notes. Tongue twisters warm up just that, your tongue and mouth muscles. There are tons of good ones you can find online.
Don’t have an image in your head of someone you think you should be – be you. While it’s easy to get it into your head that you need to “perform” you should focus on being as natural and as comfortable as possible. Of course, a journalist and a YouTuber may have totally different styles and types of content – but you can be either of these things and still be you.
Know your main points.
This will help you out with your confidence. The more you are comfortable with the material, the better off you will be (and sound).
When people talk they naturally move their arms. You have no idea how many people start speaking on camera and glue their arms to the sides of their bodies. Don’t do this! Move your arms and your hands as you usually would. However, don’t get too wild with these movements. I like to try and keep my hands close to my body. You are appearing on a screen, so remember how others will see you. You don’t want your hands flying about and exiting the shot. And you want to appear relaxed.
This is an easy one, but something you may forget to do if you’re nervous. And don’t just smile with your mouth, smile with your eyes too.
Practice good posture.
Seeing someone slouch is never attractive. Stand up straight and bring your shoulders down and back.
Speak slowly and concisely.
One of the most common mistakes people make is speaking too quickly. Try to sloooooowwwww down. And be concise with your words (cut the uh’s and um’s).
Don’t use advanced scientific or legal terms. Try to make the material easy to understand and relatable to your viewers.
Last, but definitely not least. This is an odd piece of advice, but I promise it works. Don’t overthink it. It’s not the end of the world if you make a mistake and stumble on your words. Say to yourself: ‘I can do this, I will do this and I will be good.’
For me, and many other people I know who have been on camera, it also helps to say: ‘This isn’t life or death. In the end, this isn’t a big deal.’ Take this moment of being on camera off of some imaginary pedestal. If you just care a little less and don’t overthink it you will naturally calm yourself, and that alone is a huge improvement.
If you really want to perfect your on camera skills, do it a lot. Practice makes perfect.