More and more of our clients now have to be ready to communicate by video, online or offline. So here are three ways to look better if you find yourself having to talk directly to camera: 1. Sit up straight, then relax a little, so you do not look too stiff. Ideally try to arrange things so that the camera is at eye level, rather than looking down at you, or – even worse – looking up your nose. Try to keep your chin at a neutral level, rather than jutting forward or tightening up your throat and constricting your vocal chords. Shoulders should be relaxed and balanced, not hunched or tensed. 2. Don’t jiggle: Small movements can be exaggerated on camera in close-up, so try not to jiggle about. Try practising beforehand in front of the mirror, talking in a lively, animated way but without moving your head around too much – you want to put the energy in your voice instead. If you are someone who ‘talks with their hands’, try to ensure they do not fly in and out of shot. 3. The eyes have it: When you look into the camera, try to think of the lens as a person you are chatting to. The cold, unblinking eye of the camera can be very off-putting, as it gives you no visual feedback like a person would. Do not ‘mirror’ the camera’s lack of recognition by staring at it, glassy-eyed and unblinking; the ‘rabbit-in-the-headlights’ look. Instead you should consciously blink a little more often than you usually would – avoiding the other extreme of blinking too often, as this will signal your discomfort. Try as hard as you can to keep looking straight into the camera; if your eyes flicker around, either from left to right or up and down, you will appear shifty to your audience.
More tips on getting comfortable on camera in The M-Factor: media confidence for business leaders and managers by Tom Maddocks