Making you the STAR at virtual events

Lady Frame Face | Axiom Communications

10 more tips to make your self-shot video presentations picture perfect

Now, more than at any other time before, our lives are spent communicating with one another via video, using tools like Zoom, MS Teams, GoToMeeting, etc. In fact there are so many in any given day that they all become a bit of a blur. And that’s a problem if you want your presentation to really stand out and be acted upon.

To add to the pressure, as if modern life is not tough enough, more often than not your presentation is recorded and then made available for subsequent scrutiny, by the entire workforce, on demand.

These factors combine to mean that you’d better be good on camera.

You might choose to give your presentation live, but sometimes you can take the pressure off yourself and pre-record your piece, making it available to be played in, as live, during your virtual event, conference, or meeting.

Whichever route you choose, you need be a STAR at your virtual events – Someone They’ll Always Remember – and for all the right reasons, not because the cat jumped on the desk in your front room, come office, come studio.

In a recent blog I shared 10 tips to help you prepare to deliver your ‘piece to camera’. Here are 10 more tips, for when the ‘red’ light comes on and you actually shoot your video.

  1. As you begin, look up from your desk, face the camera, smile, count to three in your head… and then confidently deliver your first line. That gets you off to a good start and can settle your nerves. It also helps to create the opportunity for an editor to gently fade into your video, if you’re are pre-recording.
  2. Speak slowly and clearly, with pauses between sentences, so the audience can follow what you are saying and keep up, especially if they are processing your words in a second or even third language.
  3. Making eye contact with the camera is key, as your audience, looking at their screens, will see you looking at them, not looking down, which can be interpreted as lacking confidence in terms of body language. Pretend the camera lens is the spot between the eyes of the people you are talking too.
  4. Resist the temptation to ‘look into the eyes’ of your own image if it is displayed on the screen in front of you. That image is rarely positioned where the camera lens is to be found – and it is your audience you should be looking at, through the lens, not yourself!
  5. It’s OK to look away from the camera every now and then – it shows you’re thinking. A good technique is to do this quite demonstrably, a bit like you might have been taught to ‘demonstrably check your mirrors’ when taking your driving test. You can even have a quick look at your notes using this technique.
  6. Keep your head moving, especially to emphasise key points. This also disguises the fact that you might be reading a teleprompter. TV newsreaders, beamed into your home every night, are a good source of free learning in this regard.
  7. Any body language you use, including hand movements, need to be in shot, or no one will know you are using them, they’ll just think you are fidgeting. So, bring your hands into view to emphasise your key points, whilst not covering your face.
  8. Remember to ‘tell you face’ that this is an exciting point, or a disappointing one and let your expressions show. That will help your audience read your intent. Match your tone of voice to your positive and challenging messages and your audience will follow your intended meaning all the more easily.
  9. Always end strongly, on a summary of your main messages and a clear call to action. Making three punchy points always works well. People often remember the ‘end’ – so make sure you end with a bang, as opposed to appearing to run out of gas before petering-out.
  10. At the end of your piece to camera, smile… again… continue to make eye contact with the camera lens, count to three in your head and then relax. This signals confidence and can help in any subsequent editing. Again, eye contact is key – when people look away at the very end of their piece, they can look ‘relieved it is over’ at best. At worst they can look shifty, even untrustworthy – and that’s not the ‘takeaway’ you had in mind.

Keep these ten tips in mind when you are creating self-shot video and you can be a STAR at virtual events.

And if you are looking for support or coaching, and your cat is coming up short, we’re here to help. Together, we can rehearse your performance online, and professionally record your presentation. And if you’d like us to, we can add graphics and even music as a final polish, before sending you back your picture-perfect presentation.

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