How to Act Naturally on Camera

Do you want to give a great performance while filming your podcast? If you’re a little nervous and concerned about how to act naturally on camera, you’re certainly not alone. It’s completely normal to feel a bit unsure, especially if the subject matter or your message is something that really matters to you. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to learn how to look good on camera, and we are here to help you to do just that!

1. Practice makes perfect

A big part of how to act naturally on camera is being well prepared. If you’re interviewing someone, research your subject thoroughly, reading as much as you can to make sure you are well-informed.

Once you have all the material you need, you can craft your script. The script shouldn’t be an exact blueprint of everything you’re going to say; more a guide that keeps you on track and helps your performance flow smoothly.

Then once you have a good idea of your presentation, it’s time to practice. Spend time going over your video content as much as possible, until it feels like a completely natural and easy chat that you can deliver with ease. The more you practice, the likelier you are to make a great video and feel relaxed about doing it.

Arron Armstrong, former presenter and broadcast journalist at the BBC and Sky News, can’t emphasise this enough in his advice for going on camera. “Practice and preparation are the keys to success in all media environments. The better prepared you are, the smoother your interview is going to go. The more practice you’ve had, the more natural you’re going to sound.”

2. Have a conversation beforehand

If part or all of your video involves interviewing another person, it’s a good idea to go over everything before you start recording. Make sure the other party understands what the purpose of the video is and the message you want to communicate.

You should also take time to establish common ground and a connection with them, and consider having a practice interview to test the waters before going ahead. This can help you both to learn how to act better on camera – as well as sound better on camera, because you’ll have practiced beforehand.

3. Maintain eye contact with the camera

A huge part of appearing confident on camera is to simply make eye contact with the camera. People often make the mistake of getting distracted by others in the room, or looking at their own image as it appears on the screen. But actually addressing your viewers is key to appearing knowledgeable and assured.

Says Armstrong: “A great bit of advice I got from my first job in Ireland, on TV3: one of the presenters there said, ‘Just look into the camera and go. Don’t worry about anything else.’ I never thought about the amount of people watching after that.”

You also might try imagining you’re talking to one trusted friend and addressing them personally, rather than thinking of the audience as a whole. This will allow your viewers to feel that they matter and that your message is aimed directly at them.

4. Make sure you have stats to hand

Another key tip for presenting on camera is ensuring you have the facts to back up your points. This is especially important if your subject matter is serious! You want to give your viewers confidence you are giving them correct and valid information.

“You don’t want to be one of these people who is very nervous because you don’t have your facts straight,” notes Armstrong. “People who don’t know their subject matter well, who ought to have facts and figures and stats to hand and don’t have them – that’s exactly what you don’t want.”

This is why it’s a good idea to have notes of the most important facts and figures in front of you, so you can refer to them as needed. Even if you have them memorised, it’s still smart to have your notes for security or in case nerves get the better of you.

5. Film multiple takes if needed

Our final video podcast tip is doing multiple takes until you’ve got it right. Each time, you will become more confident and present more professionally, as you start to relax and feel more in control.

Of course, this isn’t always possible – for example, if you’re doing a live video or interview. If this is the case, as an alternative, you can practice on screen before the recording, or just have plenty of rehearsal time in the comfort of your own home.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to acting naturally on camera! Discover more about Premiere Podcast Studios today, a bespoke Podcast Recording facility based in Shoreditch, London.

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