Do you want to know how to sound good on camera? Sounding smooth and professional means you’ll be easier to understand, and is vital to giving your viewers what they’re looking for. Taking care of your voice, preparing mentally, and being audience-focused will allow you to do this. Have a look at our suggestions on how to speak on camera to give a performance that is worthy of your skills and knowledge!
1. Do vocal exercises before recording
Preparing your voice before you start recording helps you sound much more professional. Learning how to speak well on camera means taking a few minutes for exercises to warm up your vocal cords, and it’s easy to do.
“A lot of actors and acting coaches teach journalists,” says broadcast journalist Arron Armstrong. “And they’ll always tell you to do warm-up exercises for your voice. Because if you go on air and you haven’t said much that day, you’re going to sound like you have a cold.
“Keep it simple: tip of the tongue and the teeth and the lips, these sorts of things. Vocal exercises to warm up your vocal cords and to get your mouth working.”
You can even try all humming, singing, and breathing exercises to get your voice ready for action. It’s also a good idea to make sure that you are well hydrated by drinking water beforehand, as being dehydrated can make your voice sound below par.
2. Write it yourself – or make it “sound like you”
It can be tempting to use material you’ve found online to present the information or message you want to convey, especially if you are less sure of yourself than you would like to be. However, if you want to know how to speak confidently and act naturally on camera, you should prepare your own script with language that you use every day.
If you want to use other material, it’s a good idea to craft it into your own words. Using words or expressions that don’t come naturally to you can make you come across as stiff or formal. Spend time thinking about how you would explain the information or message to a friend, and write accordingly.
In addition, the script should not be written as if it’s a strict outline. You want your presentation to sound like a relaxed chat with your viewers! Make notes to keep you on track and give it organic flow without writing down everything you are going to say.
3. Practice until it sounds like a conversation
Practice is an important part of gaining to speak well on video. You don’t even need to have a studio or the set-up you are planning to use for your presentation. You can practice how to sound good on a podcast using your mobile phone. Record yourself talking using your notes, and do this until it feels natural.
“These things don’t happen overnight,” Armstrong reassures us on this point. “Especially if you’re reading a script or autocue, it may sound quite unnatural at first. Honing your skills and experience will get you to a point where you sound completely natural – like you’re having a conversation.”
Repetition will help you memorise the material you want to convey, and watching your videos back allows you to see how you come across and change what you’re saying as needed. You could even ask a colleague or friend to watch your videos or listen to your presentation in person to get feedback on how you’re presenting yourself and what you can do to improve.
4. Stay on message – and be prepared to get there from anywhere
Focusing on your target message and audience is vital in learning how to speak on podcast or video. What do you need to tell them? Why are they interested in this, and why are the viewers choosing to watch you specifically?
Try to give details that people can relate to, and use real-life examples where possible. You should be able to explain clearly why the subject matters, and give the audience reasons to care about what you’re saying. It’s also a good idea to talk about opposing points of view, examining these to demonstrate that your stance remains valid.
Additionally, remember that even if you’re a guest being asked about something irrelevant to your interests or message, you can always find a way to get there. This is called “bridging” in an interview, a technique Armstrong recommends trying.
“Say someone asked you about a rival company, what one of your rivals is doing,” he gives as an example. “So you say: ‘I couldn’t possibly comment on what that other company doing. However, what I can tell you is what we’re focusing on is this…’
“Watch any politician and they’ll do it time and time again: ‘That’s not important. What’s really important is [whatever it is].’ This is called bridging. It’s addressing what you’re asked but not answering it, bridging away to where you’d rather go. And then back to your key message.”
5. Take advantage of an autocue if possible
Finally, one of our top podcast speaking tips is to use a studio to record your audio. This means that you get access to professional equipment, including an autocue. Using an autocue allows you to focus on the camera, rather than looking down at notes, and can help you appear more professional.
If you need to use written notes, it’s a good idea to get them printed out so that they are clear and easy to read. Leaving gaps between different parts of your presentation allows you to see your progress and keep on track.
By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to speaking well on video. Autocues, vocal exercises and good preparation will make all the difference to your podcasting success.
Looking for a podcast recording space? Find out more about Premiere Podcast Studio’s Shoreditch Podcast Recording Studio today.