Monkey Monday - January 4th, 2019

5 top tips for speaking to camera

Communication | Video production | Monkey Mondays

Video footage is a highly valuable marketing tool, and a great way to make a connection with your audience, but stepping in front of the camera can be a hard thing to do. Chris draws on his years of experience to disseminate some valuable advice for those planning to take the plunge.

Here’s the overview:

  • Don’t try to follow a massive script (00:32)

  • Experiment with different approaches (01:12)

  • Relax and be yourself (02:19)

  • Mistakes don’t matter (03:00)

  • Kittens! (03:09)

  • Don’t be scared (03:35)

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Hi, I’m Matt!
I’m Chris! And this is another Monkey Monday. Today we’re going to be speaking about speaking to camera.
Which is what we’re doing now, I suppose. Hello camera.
Hello. And here’s a few tips on what you can do to make yourself feel more relaxed and look better on-screen.
Don’t try to follow a massive script. If you try to remember too much, your delivery will come across as over-rehearsed – or worse, you might forget it all!
So, number one – don’t have a massive script. It’s really tricky to remember loads of words, and I’ve worked on TV shows where – you can probably guess the TV show – it was in a church once in front of a load of people and the presenter took 58 takes to say two sentences.
So don’t do that, don’t try and remember anything like that.
Is it a case of over-scripting as well? You know, not just the length of the script, but trying to get every single word exactly as it should be.
Yeah, you’ve just gotta try and keep things nice and simple, basically.
Experiment with different approaches. Not everyone works the same way, and there are lots of ways to do this – find the one that suits you.
Number two – experiment with different approaches.
Yeah, so there are lots of different options for speaking to camera, or speaking on camera. So we obviously speak to you at home.
Yes, and when we do some shoots, some talking heads, occasionally I might be sitting in in a directorial position, and I’ve found that some people are pretty good at reading from a rough script, some people benefit from having somebody there, a human there to have a conversation with.
And speaking slightly off-camera. So if Matt speaks to me here… Hello!
Tell me something interesting.
I don’t know anything interesting at all, I’m afraid, my brain is vacant.
Some people find that a bit easier, rather than speaking to a lens.
Yeah, so I think it’s important to find the style that suits you the best. You might be great at memorising a few bits and reading that pretty close to what it is, maybe you can just get some bullet points and get the jist of what you want in your head and speak it naturally. But the important thing is to experiment and try and find the approach that you’re the most comfortable with.
Relax and be yourself. People don’t want to see a corporate robot, they want to be able to engage with a real human being – that’s you.
That leads on to the next one, which is just relax and be yourself. We’re not trying to be anyone else, we’re not trying to be a news reader. You’re the public face of your company, so people need to see you for who you are, rather than who you want to be.
Yeah, try not to be too stiff or formal. Just be as natural and relaxed as you can be. Some people find it very hard, as soon as you put a camera in there, but again the more you do it, and the more you practice, and the more you stick to your own personality, the easier you’re going to find it.
A good tip is you can also get a sparring partner. So if I run out of words, Matt takes over, and it works the other way around. That is also quite good to do.
Mistakes don’t matter. You can always edit them out later.
And mistakes don’t matter. If you fluff up something, it doesn't matter at all. So if I was doing a vlog on kittens and I mess up some words, I can just cut away to shots of kittens, and I can disguise some edits underneath. And you see lots of that in news programmes, when they randomly cut away from someone speaking, just to try and shorten what they’re saying. So just do that. Don’t worry about it.
I mean, we make mistakes all the time as well, and sometimes they may not be as bad as you think. And if you just fluff a few words, it doesn’t really matter. You can get away with it.
Don’t be scared. The camera can smell your fear!
And really, don’t be scared. Just do it! It doesn’t matter. No one’s going to really worry about it.
No one’s judging you. Apart from all the people who are judging you. So you should be scared.
Really, don’t worry about those. The internet is full of trolls, but there are equally as many wonderful people out there so just don’t worry about it. Put yourself out there and you’ll get some decent results.
Don’t be frightened, be brave.
Be brave. Right, that’s it. I think that’s good.
Concise. I like it Chris. Let’s get outta here!

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