05 Jun 10 Tips To Speak on Camera
With the rise of Zoom meetings, Virtual Summits, and Social Media usage, learning how to speak on camera is a skill anyone can learn. As a live streamer, public speaker, and all-around on-camera personality I’ve learned a thing or two when it comes to communicating on camera with confidence and charisma. Today I’m going to cover 10 tips + a bonus tip to speaking on camera.
#1 Just Get Started
I cannot express this enough, getting started and just recording and getting yourself out there gains the confidence you need to speak on camera. This isn’t a skill that you can watch on Youtube and get better, you actually have to practice. When I first started I was nervous as heck, but now I love to share my thoughts and ideas with the world.
If that’s a little bit too much for you right now and you’re a little bit scared. Well, then tip number two is going to be a little bit easier.
#2 Do Practice Runs
Grab your phone, throw it in selfie mode on video record, hold it up and speak to your phone for about two to five minutes every day for 30 days. Don’t post it on social media, don’t delete it, don’t really worry about it. Just the act of recording and forcing yourself to speak for two to five minutes to a camera will naturally build up your confidence. If it’s easier try recording a song or a speech or a thought for the day or anything like that.
#3 Rewatch Your Recordings
Look at the footage once you get through 30 days of recording yourself speaking to the camera. Then see the progression you’ve made from day one to day 30. Also look and see the weird funny facial reactions you do, the arms movements you make, and the “ahhs” and stumbling and slurs and all the mess-ups you have. Practice getting better.
If you don’t like the weird facial reactions you make, practice not making those reactions OR become okay with the stupid faces you make… That’s what I did, I make lots of stupid faces. Practice speaking eloquently without stumbling, fumbling, saying ah or uhm.
#4 Look at The Camera Hole
When you start out most people will look at themselves when the phone is in selfie mode. When you do this though you are not looking at your audience. Practice looking at the camera itself, if you are on a phone it’s the little tiny hole. Especially if the camera is very close to you as a minor shift in your focus looks drastic.
Looking at the camera makes it look like you are looking at the audience.
#5 Pretend You Are Speaking To A Friend
When you are speaking on camera you want to pretend there is someone behind your camera who is a friend. Maybe sitting 1-3 feet behind the camera. See them smiling and rooting you on because then you will naturally project your energy past your phone to that person, you’ll naturally start smiling. That smile is contagious and people love it. And it’s an easy way of just holding that charismatic energy that we all have.
This also ties into tip #6.
#6 Project Your Energy
There’s a saying that the camera adds 10 pounds. Well, it also reduces the energy output you’re delivering by about 50%. If you speak to the camera how you normally talk to a friend it will come off as dull and monotone. Check out the Youtube video to see for yourself. Instead project that energy past the camera, if you use tip #5 you will naturally do this.
Your breath is your power.
There are two ways we breathe, one is with our chest the other is with our diaphragms. 90% of the time we breathe with our chest, they are short shallow breathes. If you speak and only breathe with your chest, your energy will come off as nervous and insecure.
Practice diaphragm breathing techniques. A simple one is to lay down on your back, put your hands on your belly, and breathe deeply with your diaphragm. Your hands should slowly raise up and down.
You can also take singing lessons to learn how to breathe with your Diaphragm. Breathing from your diaphragm while we speak is how we can communicate that power and confidence in our energy
#8 Master Lighting and Sound
Pay attention to your lighting and your sound. (Watch the video to see and hear the difference.)
These are two simple things that you have 100% control of, get softboxes or ring lights for lighting. Grab a lapel mic or a shotgun mike to attach to your camera.
#9 Learn the Equipment
Practice with the equipment you’re using. Nobody wants to get on that zoom meeting and have that presentation where they stumble and fumble with the program the whole time. As a speaker, you are going to get thrown off your rhythm if you are stumbling and fumbling with software. That’s going to drive you crazy and make you so nervous for when you actually have to give that presentation. So do a dry run.
Get on by yourself, go through the system, do the whole thing. Mess up, and learn how to recover without missing a beat. Learn the program. If you’re doing a live stream, start doing them and actually learn what it’s like when your phone gets knocked over because your cat goes running by.
#10 Practice Your Script
How we write and how we speak are drastically different. Take your script before you go live and read it out loud. If you start to fumble, rewrite the section to something a little more natural to how you speak.
Remember, the longer your script, the more you have to remember, or the more you have to edit. If you are having trouble remembering your script check out this video.
Bonus Tip: For My Fellow Men
If you want to look good while you are speaking on camera, do not underestimate the power of makeup. Our faces are unique and not uniform. A little bit of cover-up under the nostrils and under the eyes, takes out some of that redness that’s going to appear and it’s going to make you look a lot better. If you don’t know how to do this (which I didn’t when I first started), find a local girl who knows how to do it or go to Sephora. Sephora has trained makeup specialists who can match your skin tone, teach you how to use it, and will do it for free.