Being in front of a camera for the first time can be scary. You may feel uncertain and start to notice every little gesture and movement you make. One of the biggest insecurities people have is their appearance, especially when broadcasting to large audiences. Don’t worry, almost everyone goes through this stage.
With the growing need for video content, more and more of us are taking on the presenter role whilst creating branded video content or TV advertisements. To help you overcome the anxiety of this position and confidently present, we’ve collated the seven essential tips to look good on camera.
Whilst your clothing choice may seem irrelevant, it can significantly impact how you appear on camera. They say a lot about you.
Start by understanding how you can use clothing to convey different messages. A formal outfit may be appropriate for serious matters, whereas something casual might emphasise creativity. Experiment and ask the people around you to gauge what’s best.
Then look to choose colours that flatter you. Softer colours will work better than brighter options and won’t distract the viewer or reflect light. If your film is live or time-sensitive, perhaps experiment with matching them to the season: colours in the summer, earth tones for autumn and burgundies and greens at Christmas.
You can also test your skin tone and match your clothing to it. Simply hold a sheet of white paper up to your skin in natural light and see how the hue of your skin looks in comparison. If it is greenish, with brown and yellow undertones, that’s a warm skin tone. Pink and blue signal a cool skin tone. Warm skin tones generally favour golden colours, like reds and yellows, as well as cream neutrals. Cool skin tones work well with royal blues, greens, lilacs and grey and pristine neutrals.
Generally, solid colours are the best choice, as patterns and big logos can distract your audience and distort your figure. Also, iron out any wrinkles or people will pick up and comment on them.
Wear an outfit you love – Nothing boosts your appearance more than confidence, and the right outfit can make you feel great. It doesn’t have to be formal, like a suit, just items you enjoy wearing and think you look good in.
2. Hair And Makeup
Hair and makeup are often associated with the glamour of shooting video, but they can create an unfamiliarity that impacts your performance.
The best course of action is to style yourself as you would on an ordinary day, perhaps as if you were going to work. Doing this creates a familiar feeling that you can rely on in the new environment and makes you appear natural, helping your audience relate to you.
Look after your skin – under the hot lights and the pressure of presenting, sweating is almost inevitable. You can use blotting paper to avoid sheen appearing on camera.
3. Relax And Smile
Audiences engage with friendly and welcoming presenters. The easiest way to convey these emotions is to remain calm, smile and laugh naturally. Try to imagine that the presentation is a conversation with your audience to reduce the pressure on yourself.
However, forced laughter and smiling are actually off-putting for a viewer and are often something new presenters sometimes struggle with. It becomes second nature when you gain more experience in front of the camera.
Interact with someone – Whether it’s with a second presenter or a camera operator, having a conversation before filming can calm your nerves and help you adopt a friendly demeanour that will hook your audience.
4. Camera Angle
Your camera placement can dictate how your subject appears on film. Angling your camera down on yourself will make you look shorter, whilst angling it upwards will make you look taller and potentially risk accentuating a double chin.
Generally, aligning your camera just above your eye line is the best way to present. That way, your face will be at the centre of the frame, and you can look forward naturally.
If you are using a webcam to shoot, raise it to your eye line. It will look better than projecting your webcam upwards from a lower position.
You might find that you don’t like sitting directly in front of the camera. Play with your positioning, as being slightly offset may be a better option.
Experiment using your phone – You might find that a different angle will suit you better. Use your phone camera to find what works best for you.
Poor lighting signals inexperience and unprofessionalism, so it is an important consideration when filming. Light is probably the most important element of videography, and dark videos are difficult to watch.
However, filming in rooms lit from above can create harsh shadows on the presenter’s face, particularly around their eyes. These shadows make it difficult for your audience to track your presenter’s emotions, disconnecting them from the subject of the video.
Light from the front – Studio lights are your best friend. Turn off your room’s lights and light your presenter from the front, just above their eye line. This positioning will illuminate their face and highlight their expressions. If you don’t have access to studio lighting, sitting in front of a window or reflecting light with mirrors can achieve the same effect.
You may notice that many professional videos feature muted grey and blue backgrounds. They choose these colours as they don’t reflect light back at the camera. A bright orange or red may distract your audience and affect the appearance of the presenter’s skin on camera.
Blur Your Background – The audience’s attention should focus on the subject, so blur the background to prevent distractions. It can also allow you to film in crowded areas. You can achieve this effect by using a low-aperture lens.
7. Performance And Practice
Presenting is difficult, and the best way to learn is through practice. Ultimately, you will feel uncomfortable until you get used to presenting to the camera, so do it again and again.
Planning your presentation is a great way to keep your calm and on track. Don’t script it, but have a general idea of the points you want to convey. That way, you can loosely practice before the shoot to produce a natural take quickly.
Then you can focus on your posture and energy levels. Standing or sitting up straight will dramatically impact your confidence and delivery. Furthermore, your energy levels help you effectively communicate with your audience. It’s about striking a balance: not enough energy, and you will struggle to keep them engaged, but too much is off-putting. Experiment with different levels to find the one that suits your videos.
If you are feeling unwell or unmotivated, consider changing your shooting schedule. It could impact your energy and performance, leaving you with a sub-par product. Save time editing by shooting a good performance.
Don’t forget you can cut the bad stuff. If you have time, play with your format and don’t be dismayed by mistakes.
Look directly at the camera – the lens is your window to the audience, meaning that maintaining eye contact with it means you maintain eye contact with them.
Our Video Services
If the burden of setting up cameras, presenting and editing is too much for you, we have the perfect solution. Our team can not only film and edit your content but research new areas to pursue and create a video content map that will help you produce high-quality marketing and messaging films.
Contact our friendly team to discover how we can assist with your project. They can explain our services and facilities so you can choose the best option.