How to Look Good on Camera
Making a corporate video? Tips for non-actors to look like a boss!
I’m guessing delivering lines on camera isn’t your preferred day at the office unless you want to be a movie star. You’re in the right place because we have years of experience filming non-actors and some pro-tips for you to look great on camera.
This blog isn’t about proper equipment (there’s tons of content out there for technical solutions) this is about what you can do to look your best when the camera’s fixed on you and rolling.
Write a script… then toss it down
You’re probably thinking you should script every word because your video is supposed to accomlish a specific goal. Actually, we’ve found that memorizing lines has that effect on people.
This is what we’ve found works best for scripting non-actors (like you and your staff):
- Write a script (so nothing’s missed)
- Read it out loud to practice (since out-loud is how it’ll be delivered)
- Time yourself and make edits (so it’s not too long)
- When you’re in front of the camera, throw down your script
Yes, just toss it on the ground and go from memory! After a few takes, review your script/notes to see if there’s anything you missed but don’t let the script be a crutch. Believe in your experience and let your knowledge pour out. Memorizing every line is hard and will end up costing more time with a poorer result of you looking stiff.
- Won’t miss any details
- Will come across more natural
You don’t need to look into the camera. Consider an interviewer.
If you had an interviewer, you could look at them–speak to them–instead of looking into the dark scary lens of a camera. Doesn’t that just sound way easier? And less intimidating?!
Looking “off-camera” is an accepted and professional aesthetic and an interviewer can look over your script in real-time, coaching you if you missed anything. This is very valuable.
- Less intimidating
- A coach when you’re stuck or forget
You could convert your script into a series of questions so nothing’s missed. Your interviewer will be able to prompt you allowing for a natural response.
Finish your take
This is our best tip to hone your performance. Funny enough, it’s always overlooked.
People tend to stop halfway through an answer if they don’t like the way it’s going. Maybe they don’t like their tone or word choice or it just “didn’t feel good”. I get it, being on camera they want it to be perfect. But the faster they finish, the sooner it’s happy-hour.
Don’t stop mid-answer to do retake after retake. You’ll inadvertently practice the first half of your answer to perfection but the second half not at all! Finish your answer even if it’s not starting well. That way you’ll practice the flow of delivering the complete answer.
Callback to our second point: if you’re speaking to an interviewer then they can help you to finish by feeding you the line you’re forgetting. That’s teamwork!
- Better deliveries so takes get better faster
- Memorization is quickened
Finish strong. Complete your sentence and own your answer. Not just what you say but how you say it matters too.
Preparation saves not only time but headaches
Be patient with these tips. Do your prep and try to have a little fun.
If your schedule’s too tight to plan and manage all this, call around and request some proposals from a professional team experienced in directing non-actors. That’s the safest way to get exactly what you want and on schedule. Consider different outside experts to hire.