Many years ago, I was taking an on-camera class as a compliment to my voiceover training. What you learn when you train as a voiceover actor is that agents don’t just want a one-stop shop. They really want someone that can do voiceover, print and on-camera work. So even if you think you have a face that’s “made for radio” you still have to give the other stuff a shot.
The problem was I KNEW I wasn’t photogenic. Therefore, I hated having my picture taken (that’s why I studied voiceover)! So my anxiety was going through the roof as I waited to perform my scene knowing that the camera would be fixed on me.
Finally, it was my turn. I got through the scene okay but then came time for the scenes to be played back and reviewed.
After all the scenes were reviewed the teacher dramatically waved a finger around the room and said, “the person that hates themselves on-camera the most is (drum roll) YOU” as his finger landed squarely on me.
“Shit….” I thought.
“l’m right, aren’t I,” he said.
“Yes, you can tell!”
“There’s nothing wrong with the way you look but you’re so stiff,” he continued.
“Loosen up, focus on the scene, do your thing and you’re going to look good!”
Reluctantly, I went back up but this time I took the advice and focused on the scene.
When my new “take” was reviewed he said, “Look at you, you look lovely!”
He was right! I kinda did.
Lesson learned. The camera reflects back what we feel about ourselves. It’s all right there in living color!
Now, it’s your turn! If the thought of being videoed or having your picture taken unnerves you, know this. You don’t need to change a thing about your appearance, you just need to change your attitude!
1. Loosen up by focusing on your message and your audience. Ask yourself the following question; who am I speaking to? The camera is intimate, speak to it like you would a good friend, client, or co-worker. Be sure to look the camera in the “eye”. This is also true if you’re having your picture taken. Look that lens in its eye and smile like you mean it!
2. Think of the moment before. What are you doing right before you start speaking to the camera? Where are you? Who are you talking to? Use your imagination. It will help sharpen your message and loosen you up.
3. Camera angles, lighting and what you’re wearing are important but most recordings are fairly casual now. You want to make sure you’re comfortable and feeling good first!
4. One quick camera angle tip; being shot slightly from above or at your eye level, as opposed to below, typically looks better. Just play with the position of the camera a bit before you start recording.
5. And finally, practice! Practice using video at home with your phone or webinar software (if you have it). The more you practice, the easier it will get!
Remember, it’s all about the message and the emotion!
And if you’re feeling super stressed, just tap! If you need a tapping refresher HERE are the directions!
Okay, Mr. DeMille they’re ready for their close-ups!
Eva Lewandowski MBA, is a certified Life Coach, certified EFT Practitioner, seminar leader, speaker and co-host of a weekly internet radio show “Corporate Talk with Charlie and Eva”. She is also a 30 year veteran of Corporate America as an IT consultant. Using the skills she learned in acting classes, life coaching and EFT certification training as well as her struggle with debilitating stage fright, she created, Stand Up and Be Heard!, a program that teaches professionals how to overcome their fear of the spotlight. She is also the author of “Put on Your Phone Face: Tips and Techniques for teleconferences and conference calls”.
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