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How to look natural on-camera

November 28, 2016

So you're getting ready to be on-camera for your company's promotional video and you're terrified you're going to look stiff and sound awkward. You're not alone! It's a common concern many of our clients voice before production begins. Thankfully a little preparation goes a long way. Here are a few tips to help you perform better on-camera. 


Preparation is Key


Take the time to work through the outline of the video. What questions will you be answering or what content will you be presenting? Think back to Speech 101 and borrow some of those preparation tactics. Here are a few tips for what you can do before going on-camera

  • Practice in front of a mirror

    • It might feel funny but it will definitely help you feel confident when the mirror is replaced by a camera. 

  • Smile more than you think you should

    • When standing in front of the mirror, practice smiling more than you normally would (if appropriate for the video content). It will feel like you're smiling from ear to ear but on-camera it will look appropriate and engaging.

  • Make bullet points of what you want to cover - Don't use a script! For more on that, click the link.

    • Get comfortable practicing what you want to say WITHOUT memorizing it. 

  • Practice using your hands

    • I'm not suggesting you add a ridiculous amount of gestures just keep your arms loose and natural. Use them like you would when talking to a friend.

  • Pick an outfit you feel comfortable in that you won't overheat in

During Filming


Alright, you've practiced your content and feel comfortable with what you're going to say. Now you're on set. Lights are blinding you. There's a camera in your face. The nerves set in. Biggest thing to focus on: RELAX. You've practiced, you've prepared and you're ready for this! The more you're able to calm your nerves and think of this as nothing more than a conversation with a trusted friend, the better you will do. Here's what you should keep in mind while on set. 


  • RELAX 

    • Like I already mentioned, take deep breaths. Talk yourself down mentally. This is nothing more than a conversation on a topic you're an expert in.

  • You can always do another take

    • Filming an interview is ten times less pressure than giving a speech. Why? You can do as many takes as you need to! Keep that in mind. There is no reason to stress yourself out or worry you'll say the wrong thing. If you do, you'll just do another take! That's it! Pretty simple right?

  • Pretend you're having a conversation with the producer

    • The more natural you sound on camera the more pleased you'll be with the video. So answer the questions just like you would if you were talking to a friend. 

  • Sit up straight, keep your hands and arms loose

    • If you're sitting, stay tall. If you're standing plant your feet shoulder width apart and give your arms a few shakes. You've got this. 

  • Smile (if appropriate)

    • Remember how we talked about smiling more than you think is appropriate? Now is the time to show off those pearly whites. 

  • Keep the energy up

    • Pacing is important. Trust the feedback you're receiving from your producer. Keep the energy up. Put inflection into your voice. This is your area of expertise, be excited about what you have to say. 

  • Have fun!

    • Embrace the experience. This video is going to be an incredible tool for your company. Be confident and have fun!


Alright, there you have it! Pre-production and production tips to follow to love the final product. One thing I didn't talk about too much but that is very important is trusting your producer. They are there to make sure your answers sound good and that you said it well. Ask them for feedback. They do this everyday and are there to help bring the best out in you. 


If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to leave a comment below or shoot me an email at carriehighman@gmail.com


Thanks for reading!


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