Videos can be done a number of different ways – all graphics and music, animation graphics with a voice over, a person speaking the lines on camera, combinations of styles – and a lot of the how depends on the why.
A growing trend, particularly on company websites, is to feature short video clips that provide a more targeted and engaging way to give visitors information about products, services, how something works, or just an overview of the company.
If you have worked with your marketing and production team, either in-house or professionals you hire, and determined that you will be featured on a video, there are a few things that can help you be the star of the show.
Tips For On-Camera Success:
1. Practice! Once you have your script, you need to practice it, out loud, and preferably in front of a mirror. Nobody has to watch you, so don’t feel silly. You need to be comfortable saying the words, and see yourself as the camera will see you. Gestures, pauses for emphasis, body language, and your facial expression will all be part of your message as much as the actual words you are speaking.
If you continually struggle with a word or a phrase, ask your scriptwriter to change it for you to something that flows easily. Getting comfortable with practice is essential to being comfortable once the camera is on.
2. Treat the camera like a person. One of the biggest mistakes people can make is to freeze up (even after all that practice) and lose their personality. You need to imagine the camera is just a person, and you are having a conversation, like you would with a business associate or friend if they were standing in front of you.
If it helps, ask your production team if they can have someone standing in your natural line of vision so that you don’t appear to be looking elsewhere but can still feel like you are talking to a person.
3. Don’t look like you are “reading” the words – you need to be saying the words! Part of the point of all the practice is to be so comfortable with your script, you don’t feel uncomfortable once you are using a TelePrompTer or cue cards. Be sure you get some practice with whatever method you will be using to see your script while on camera before any video shoot starts.
4. Select the right wardrobe. The camera does not like prints, stripes, and patterns. Solid colors are more appealing, and if the video will be a clip that may be viewed in a small size, a solid color will draw people’s eyes better.
If there is something you can wear that adds impact to your words (like a white lab coat for a scientist or physician) or that goes along with a theme, it can enhance the video. If you wear a white lab coat and it has nothing to do with the video, it will detract from your message.
If you have a set, make sure you don’t clash with it. If you have a company logo shirt, be sure it is in pristine condition. Wear things that fit well and that you feel great in – it will give you confidence the camera will see. And if you are shooting on location, be sure you have a back-up wardrobe choice, because accidents can happen!
5. Hair and makeup can enhance or detract from your video. Stay away from elaborate hairstyles (unless it is part of your message!) and most people will need some makeup or slightly more than they normally wear to brighten their features so the lighting doesn’t wash them out. But stay with enhanced natural looks unless your message calls for high glamour, and consider asking for a professional to do your hair and makeup if it makes you more comfortable, since they will already know what colors to use and how much to apply for a video shoot.
A corporate video clip can personalize your project or message, and leave a lasting impact on your audience. Practice and find your comfort zone, and your viewers will naturally be engaged.