September 29th, 2014

On Camera Performance Tips

Want to improve your on camera performance?

These 3 tips will lift your persona from average to professional and friendly!

All of a sudden there’s been a surge in the numbers of people who are calling me about on camera performance coaching. 

This reflects the fact that more and more businesses are using video in their content marketing to:

  • share information,
  • sell products, or
  • support and train staff and customers.

And some job descriptions even have “understand the skills of working to camera” in their selection criteria.

So, I thought you’d like a few tips and techniques to help you out next time you’re faced with a lens and a bunch of bright lights…and just don’t know where to look -literally!

Performing to camera can be:

  • something you’re really comfortable doing,
  • something that fills you with anxiety, or
  • anything in between.

The truth is, performing to camera is a skill. 

And the good news?

It’s a skill that can be taught!

It’s just a matter of understanding some simple rules that apply to working with the digital medium.

If you’re one of those who’s had experiences working to camera that have left you feeling disheartened, dismayed or downright disappointed, then this blog is for you.

The first technique you need to understand?

When you’re looking into the lens of a camera (an inanimate object) you’re actually talking to someone.

Think about the end product – you looking out of a computer screen directly at one person.


Here are 3 tips to help you approach the whole thing feeling like you know what you’re doing!

But first, ask yourself these questions:

  • What information am I sharing?
  • How do I want to make them feel?
  • What action do I want them to take?


Tip 1 – Information

What you’re saying is so important, but how you’re saying it is key to getting your message across.

The copy in your script needs to be conversational, completely natural and belong to you. 

Only use words that you normally use, structured as you would say them. 

When you first write your copy, or if someone else has written it, read it out loud.

This will tell you whether the language is:

  • clunky,
  • formal,
  • repetitive, or
  • boring.

Make changes and edits that’ll mean the language sounds natural and flows smoothly.

When you look at your copy or script, you need to take note of the power phrases, and key words. 

That is, the words that spell out, what this message is about.

You only ever place emphasis on words or phrases that are key to the message.

**The technique to placing emphasis on a word or phrase is to slow down through it – that way, you’re drawing attention to it and making it important!

The last thing you want to do is “gloss over” a key phrase – the viewer just won’t understand it.


Tip 2 – How do you want to make them feel?

In any kind of on-camera performance, you want the viewer to feel comfortable receiving the information. 

If you look uncomfortable, anxious or nervous, they’re just going to feel anxious and worried for you – which means your message won’t reach them!

You want to make the viewer feel good. And the best way to do that is to feel good yourself!  

Sometimes this feeling needs to be “manufactured”.

I often work people who are naturally reserved. So I suggest they think of a person they know who’s extremely exuberant and ‘do’ a version of them.

Almost always, they manage to add just enough energy and enthusiasm to the performance to make it work on-camera – while staying true to their own personality.

And don’t forget, you’re only talking to one person – it’s an intimate engagement.

You also need to understand how to create a level of performance in front of the camera that is both energetic and intimate.

**One thing you must do is keep your volume low.  But don’t replace low volume with low energy.  Perform as though you are just about to share the most amazing information, but want to share it with that one person only!


Tip 3 – What action do you want them to take?

These days, one of the most powerful things a video communication can do is build a relationship. 

Once you’ve mastered the above tips, you need to know what it is you want the viewer to do next.

Your video may be:

  • support or training for a product they’ve bought,
  • be a data base building exercise where you want them to leave their details
  • be the first in a series of videos that will build their business, or
  • about a new way to think, feel, believe or perform.

And by the end of it, you want the viewer to feel like they were in the same room as you – that you’ve given them value in a simple and effective way.

In short, you want them to join your gang.

If you or your staff are ready to be trained in the skills for on-camera presenting, take a look at this link to find out it worked for others and could happen for you.

And smile for the camera!

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Corporate Video Production | Video Production Melbourne | Corporate Video Performance |Corporate Video Melbourne