Now About Your On-camera Message

Tips for improving your on-camera message

Recently I read an article in Men’s Health Magazine (I know, I know, but stick with me here). I thought that several of the points made were valid in the article at “13 Insanely Simple Ways to be More Likable.” It occurred to me that several of these items can also be related to delivering a great on-camera message.

We cover many tips for what to wear on camera, but these relate to how you address the camera.

I was especially impressed by points #6, 7, 8, 12, 13 in the article, and they are listed below.

In our years of producing video productions we often have CEOs and other C-level executives deliver staged on-camera messages and presentations to their employees (we usually edit the presentation and it gets uploaded to our client’s internal website) and some come off better than others. In fact, when we shoot live events and record their speeches to the live audience for later distribution as an on-camera message, the same principle applies.

So those points in the article are totally congruent with some of the things they can do to improve their message on camera.

on-camera messageWe are often told that it is important not to judge a book by its cover; however, many of us make up our minds about a person on the first initial impression. If on-camera messages play a role in your job, then it is imperative that you know how to present yourself well on screen if you want to improve your on-camera message.

Some people naturally come across well when it comes to presenting themselves to an audience while others struggle to look natural or relaxed on camera. The following tips will help you to improve your on-camera presentation.

1. Don’t cross your arms

When someone crosses their arms over their body, it makes them appear standoffish and unfriendly. This kind of body language makes a person look unapproachable and difficult to relate to; it might also seem rude. Many people use this type of body language when they are nervous, so make a conscious effort to relax and make sure that your palms are open and facing the camera while you talk.

2. Smile

Smiling is a simple enough gesture, but many of us forget to smile, especially when we are tense. A smile makes you appear warm, friendly and approachable; don’t be afraid to use a smile in your presentation when it is appropriate and you’ll help your audience to feel at ease.

3. Try Positive Thinking

If you are uncomfortable at presentation then this will show in the way you come across to your audience. Some people are better presenters than others, but don’t let this thought overwhelm you and don’t get caught up in negative feelings over how you might appear on screen.
Concentrate on delivering your message in a clear and concise way and use all of the positive aspects of your personality to get your message across and engage with the audience.

4. Make eye contact

Of course, the camera doesn’t have an eye, but the lens functions as one. When you are presenting to the camera, look straight at the lens. This can help you to appear confident and the audience will find it easier to engage with you. Using eye (lens) contact can help the audience to feel like they have a connection with you and they are more likely to listen to your on-camera message.

5. Be Yourself

People know when someone is giving a false impression. Don’t try and be outgoing, witty and entertaining if that doesn’t reflect your persona or style. Most people are pretty savvy and if an individual’s presentation appears contrived, they will notice. Play to your own strengths and use them to convey your message with clarity.


6 replies
  1. Mira
    Mira says:

    I think that body language and eye contact are especially important for a video message. And, of course, tone. If you seem tired or closed off, your audience will just think you aren’t even interest in the message you are portraying. Open body language, direct eye contact, and an engaged tone of voice all send the message that you believe in what you are saying and you want to share it with your viewers.

  2. John Roberts
    John Roberts says:

    Confidence is the key. It’s amazing how many execs come to the camera without even looking at the copy they’re gonna share. 🙁

  3. Britanica
    Britanica says:

    I would have never considered crossing your arms to be a turn off to possible consumers. It makes sense though. Positive energy is more attractive than negative energy. You want to remain approachable and confident in yourself and your product. Very good tips here. Even if you are just after a big following, these tips will help!

  4. jon terns
    jon terns says:

    What’s best? Do the video myself and look more genuine, or hire an actor or spokesperson and have the video look more professional? I think a genuine approach would be best but I don’t want to make mistakes my first time out.

  5. Jim Penrose
    Jim Penrose says:

    Jon, if you’re comfortable on camera you can do it yourself. Try it a few times and ask for honest feedback from people that are honest.


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