Knowing how to speak well, whether that's in public or on camera, is a vital life skill. The last 12 months has seen the world setting up office in their homes, on kitchen tables, on the sofa or if you're lucky, in the spare room at an actual desk! Meetings have moved from hotel conference rooms and office meeting rooms to Zoom, Teams and Google Meet. Meaning that lots of us have had to spend the last few months quickly developing and gaining new skills. One of those might well have been how to speak to camera. Of course, here at Nomadic Creatives Ltd., we're very used to filming people speaking to camera as we were doing it years before the Coronavirus pandemic. That's why we've put our heads together to give you our top tips for speaking to camera. They'll see you in good stead even when life has eventually got back to normal. Read on to find out how to look comfortable when you are speaking in public or on camera.
There are several very clear differences between public speaking and speaking to camera, however there are some shared traits. Both require you to speak clearly and coherently and to give good eye contact, but speaking to camera asks you to go further than that.
When you are speaking to camera, whether that's a normal part of your work role or if your business is putting together a video to celebrate or market an event, service or product and you are needed to deliver a few lines, you need to connect with the viewer by making good eye contact at all times. This is even more important when speaking to camera than when speaking to a crowded room, as the literal distance requires some work to be fully overcome in order to allow your message to be absorbed by the viewer.
One of our top tips is to get used to talking to the lens by practicing them. Learn your lines by repeating them to yourself in your bathroom mirror, then you can also watch your facial expressions, to see where you might need to smile or engage with the camera for emphasis. Remember, practice practice practice! However, whilst it is important to learn your lines, it is vital that your 'performance' should be natural. There is a risk of over-practicing, which runs the risk of making your performance feel over rehearsed. Your delivery needs to feel organic and flowing.
After that, move to practicing by yourself by talking into your smartphone and recording yourself. Of course, to save yourself a lot of time and effort, you could also hire a teleprompter to help you on the Big Day. We have one in-house that we use a lot. It makes a huge difference to the way that lots of people deliver their lines and can really elevate your performance.
We filmed Owen Williams from Gloucester Rugby club last year. He has limited experience of public speaking but created a fantastic video testimonial for a local firm of osteopaths by following our top tips.