Get Camera Ready for better Virtual Presence

Last week I was interviewed by The Financial Post on the topic of Virtual Presence. Specifically, about how to help executives present their messages on video.

Watch this 2 minute video to learn how to look and sound like a pro. 

Screen Shot 2018-01-13 at 11.11.59 AMThis year online videos accounted for 75% of all internet traffic.

Video is changing how business connects with their customers and their employees. For executives, this means getting comfortable in front of the camera.

Before I was a keynote speaker, I worked as a professional actress, and here’s what I learned from Hollywood about being camera ready.

The Script

First, the script. Keep your message short and conversational. Videos between 2 to 3 minutes long get the most clicks. That’s around 350 words.

And speaking of words, avoid jargon. Screenwriters know the difference between exposition and dialogue—and so should you.

Listen to the difference between this:

It is not always possible to acquire that which you are seeking at any given time.”

and this:

You can’t always get what you want.”

To do show up conversationally think of a real person who would benefit the most from what you have to say. Is it a confused employee? A skeptical customer? Write directly for them. This technique will help you look relaxed when the camera is rolling too.

During the shoot imagine you’re talking to the person you wrote the script for. Better yet. Have someone you trust stand behind the camera and speak to them.

Lighting

Next, consider your lighting. Overhead lighting will cast an unflattering shadow on your face. Instead, put 2 desk lamps on both sides of your computer, or your camera. Oh, and make sure they have the same kind of light bulbs in them. If you are a little more ambitious you can get small LED video lights for about $25.00 bucks and mount them on inexpensive tripods.

Wardrobe

Third, wardrobe. Whatever you do, avoid busy patterns. Checkerboard designs and tiny, little strips create a vibration in the image that’s hard on the eyes. Solid colors work the best, but avoid wearing all black or all white.

Pick a color that compliments your skin tone. I have olive undertones in my complexion, so yellow makes me look a little bit jaundiced. Jewel tones look nice on most people. And ladies, avoid noisy bracelets or dangly earrings. They distract from the star of the show—you, and, your message.

Finally, do a couple of rehearsals out loud before you hit record and…you’re ready for your close up.

About the Author:

I started my career as a professional actress and now work with business folks helping them increase their executive presence by learning the skills actors use to have great stage presence. Clients include: Google, Comcast and the Harvard Executive Education program (yes, THAT Harvard. My Mom is too proud.) Typically companies bring me in as a keynote speaker or workshop leader. Let's talk about how I can help you, too.

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