When you first begin to create video content, it can be difficult to know how to begin. After all, you want to make sure that you communicate the right messages in the right ways, while maintaining your unique voice as a speaker. It can be hard to strike and maintain the right balance in your video content, but there are several things that you can do as a presenter to ensure that your audience can fully receive, understand, and enjoy your content.
Whether you are just getting started as a video presenter or have been presenting in front of the camera for years, there are several things that you can do to make your presentation better almost instantly. Each of the tips we’ll discuss in this article is easy to understand and to implement right away, making it easy to see a difference in the quality and professionalism of your video content immediately.
Here are the top 10 ways that you can present like a professional while on camera:
1. Dress the Part
Research shows that most people form their first impressions within about seven seconds of viewing something. Therefore, it is so very important to consider how the way that you dress and style your overall appearance will impact your audience.
Your appearance can also make it easier or harder for people to watch your content. Consider what kind of background your video will be shot against and dress accordingly. Look for fabrics that will move well with you as you are shooting and avoid noisy patterns, which can cause the camera to appear to “swim” if the pattern or lines are too small and detailed.
Avoid loud accessories that will detract from your message and distract your audience. For women, this might include earrings that will dangle and catch the light or other pieces of statement jewelry that could be distracting.
Last, but not least, consider inviting a makeup artist to help you to put your best face forward. Even the most polished men usually need to wear at least a little bit of translucent powder to reduce the shine of their skin when they shoot video content.
2. Reset Your Mind in Between Takes
Even the most experienced professionals can get tired after attempting to complete a number of takes on the same content. If you want to stay as engaging as possible for your audience, it is important to take a minute or two in between takes to reset your mind and renew your energy.
A great way to do this is to stand up for a moment in between your takes and do a few simple stretches. Swing your arms across your body a few times, as cross-lateral movements can help you to focus your brain on the task that you’re trying to perform. If you include one or two people on set who can make you laugh, it can be even better for your overall mood and presentation style, as well.
By taking some time to reinvest in your energy and attitude, you make it more likely that your next take will not only be accurate to the things that you want to communicate, but also to your natural personality and level of engagement with your audience.
3. Prepare Your Script Well, Then Adapt as Needed
One of the most important things that you can do as a content presenter is to know your script well. Whether this means practicing it out loud for several days in a row, until you know it backwards and forwards, or writing it out by hand to cement the main points into your mind, there is no such thing as too much practice when it comes to presenting on camera.
However, when it comes to the day of your shoot, it is also vital that you be able to adapt your content to your natural speaking style. One of the keys to a great presentation is authenticity. That means that if you are bringing in words that don’t seem natural to your vocabulary, your audience will likely sense that something is amiss in your message.
Yes, you should always be as prepared as possible for your presentation, but that also means being prepared for some degree of flexibility when you actually sit down in front of the camera to record your material.
When in doubt, you can always record extra takes to see which one seems to fit the flow and style of your overall message the best. Preparation and flexibility go hand in hand when it comes to an excellent presentation on camera.
4. Film in Small Segments
As you prepare to present, one of the best things that you can do is to film in smaller segments. Not only will this help you to communicate your message more clearly, as you’ll have fewer things to remember and more opportunities to reshoot smaller parts if you want to adjust the way that you say something, but it will also provide you with easy-to-use sound bites.
Just think about it… if all of your phrasing and key points are long and connected, it will make it hard to later go back and create short clips that can be used to catch the interest of your audiences. By filming in small, pointed segments, you can go back in later and find smaller portions for previews and samples, revise the order of the segments that you’ve created during the editing process, and keep your message on track.
5. Consider Your Audio Quality and Vocal Tone
The audio portion of a video can make or break the entire presentation. Whether you are in charge of the entire filming process or are simply performing as onscreen talent, there are a few things that you can do to make sure that your presentation is clearly communicated.
First of all, make sure that all microphones are appropriately placed, whether they are worn on the body or held on a boom. If your microphone is attached to your clothing, make sure that it is put in a place that will not only pick up on your voice in the right ways, but also won’t snag on clothing or catch any miscellaneous sounds from jewelry, fabric rubbing, or hair falling over it.
As you speak, you can also consider your vocal tone and pitch. In general, when people are nervous, they tend to speak more quickly, which can seem unnatural. Women also tend to speak in higher pitches, which can be uncomfortable for people to listen to for long periods of time. Focus on slowing down your words and speaking in lower tones, which tend to be more pleasant for the ears of your audience members.
6. Watch Your Body Language
Most of the experts agree that the majority of communication takes place in a non-verbal manner. This means that your posture, gestures, and facial expressions can change the ways that your viewers receive your messages. As you film, consider what things you might be doing that could send an unintentional message to your viewers.
In regards to your posture, think about the way that you will sit or stand as you film. Leaning and slouching are not attractive, so if you don’t tend to have the best natural posture, consider perching on the edge of a stool, walking, or finding other creative ways to help your posture.
After filming is complete, always take the time to review your shoot so that you can catch any unintentional gestures that may be awkward or even offensive. Gestures in and of themselves are not bad things – in fact, they can make a presenter seem more relatable. However, if used too often or if they muddy your message rather than clarify it, you may want to adjust what you’re doing.
7. Never Read Your Presentation Material
When professionalism and quality are important to you, make sure that you know your material well enough to be able to present it without reading. Not only can it seem unprofessional to read directly from a script, but it also tends to lead to disengagement from your viewers.
If you are reading from a teleprompter, make sure that you are comfortable with the steps that you need to take to look natural on camera. It can take more practice than you might think to get used to the flow and feel of a teleprompter. While technology makes it easier to access the content of your message through this device, you’ll still need to find the right balance of distance and readability with your teleprompter to help your eyes to be properly positioned to look natural on camera when you use them.
In the end, there is no substitute to being adequately prepared to present your material. Whether that means memorizing and practicing your script or running through a practice session or two with your teleprompter, invest the time up front to avoid editing time on the back end.
8. Stay Positive
One of the hardest things about presenting on camera is that you can easily become hyperaware of your flaws. In most cases, you will be your own toughest critic. Over time, self-criticism can start to drain your energy and chip away at your confidence.
To combat this, get into the habit of finding at least one positive thing from each take. Perhaps you said a particular phrase in a potent way or didn’t stumble over any of the words. Maybe you weren’t as nervous during that particular take or maintained really good eye contact with the camera. If you have trouble finding the positive naturally, invite others to the set to comment on the things that you are doing well.
By reflecting on the positive from every take that is shot, you’ll tend to end up with a better end product when the filming is done, while also enjoying the process a little bit more along the way.
9. Warm-Up Before You Begin
In many professions, warm-up exercises are not only helpful but can actually make or break the results of the work put in. The same is true as you present on camera. The more “warmed up” you are, the better each take will tend to be.
When filming, take a few minutes to stretch out your body, which can help you to calm your nerves. Warm-up your lips and tongue by reciting a few tongue twisters. Warm-up your mind by thinking through the key points of your presentation and practicing any words or phrases that are likely to cause you trouble during the presentation.
If you work with others in a shoot, consider inviting them to participate in your warm-ups, as well. The more warmed up each person in a video shoot is, the better they will be at working together and communicating clearly and effectively.
Although it may seem silly at the moment, you’ll usually find that by taking the time to perform these simple exercises, you’ll be less tense and more engaging, which will attract more viewers to your content over time.
10. Stay Hydrated and Well Nourished
Last, but definitely not least, you should always prepare your body and mind for any presentation, whether that’s a job interview or shooting a new video, by staying adequately hydrated and fed. Not only will this help you to maintain the focus and clarity that you need in order to speak well, but it can also cut down on unexpected verbal clicks and mouth sounds that can occur when you become parched or hungry.
For those who have a lot of content to get through, keep a couple of apple slices on hand. This simple snack provides a great way to keep your mouth hydrated, eliminating a lot of the potential post-production work in cleaning up mouth sounds on the audio. It can also serve as a great way to keep your energy up throughout the shoot!
It can be difficult to put yourself out there as a content presenter, but as you follow these ten tips, you can begin to develop a more confident and professional appearance during your time on video. Not only will these things help you to increase the level of trust that your audience has in your message, but they will also help you to feel confident in the final product that you put out.