Picture the scene: you’ve been positioned in front of a camera, a boom mic is fixed inches above your head, two bright lights are spotlighting you from either side, and a third one behind you. A lavalier mic is clipped on your collar, the record button has been pressed and all eyes are on you.
For some people delivering lines on camera is something that comes naturally, but for others it can be nothing short of an ordeal. Here are four tips to prepare for the moment the clapperboard claps.
1. Know your subject matter.
It may seem obvious, but if you feel comfortable with your subject matter then that will come across on camera.
2. Don’t be distracted by self-conscious thoughts.
One of the biggest challenges is staying focussed on what you’re saying and delivering your soundbites with meaning. Whilst you may be thinking: “Do I look as nervous as I feel?”, entertaining those thoughts really isn’t useful and may result in you freezing up – so try to just focus on the subject matter.
3. Remember: it will all be edited.
As long as it’s not live TV, your delivery doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s easy to get hung up on trying to articulate everything as concisely and accurately as possible, but the reality is that if there is some ‘umming’ and ‘ahhing’ then we’ll remove it in post production anyway. And even if sentences don’t make perfect sense, we’re adept at rearranging words in post to make things right!
It’s also worth remembering that, typically, talking heads interviews and scripted deliveries are ‘covered’ for the most part by cutaway footage in the final film.
4. Be conversational.
A common phenomenon is for somebody’s tone of voice to drastically shift once they step in front of a camera – suddenly they sound like Steve Wright in the afternoon. There’s a fine line between trying to sound professional and coming across as cheesy – and that’s why professional presenters go through years of media training and voice coaching to finesse their tone of voice. Our advice is to be natural: speak as if you’re talking to a friend or colleague – it will come across more natural and less contrived.
As with many things, if you’re feeling anxious about speaking in front of camera often the build up is worse than the actual event. Our team fully understand that standing in front of the camera is often outside of people’s comfort zone, so we do everything we can to make you feel relaxed when the record buttons are pressed. We have autocue technology available on all shoots too.
JOOKA is a South West based film production agency delivering innovative brand content through thoughtful production. We’re based just outside Bath, at Glove Factory Studios in Wiltshire. We also have an office in Old Market, Bristol.
We are bold.
We are imaginative.
We are Jooka.