Being able to share my message and speak on camera has revolutionized my life. Before speaking on camera became a part of my life, I was homeless, sleeping out of my car homeless with nothing to my name. I went on to become one of the fastest-growing live streaming influencers, making viral content, and becoming a public speaker. Over the years I’ve learned many tips, tricks, and strategies to master the art of communicating on camera.
Today I’m going to share with you my top tips for speaking on camera. If you would rather watch the action itself, here is a great YouTube video.
Speaking on Camera Tip #1: Just Get Started
Speaking on camera is a skill set anyone can learn; you just have to get started. You have to get in front of that camera and practice. When I first started, I was nervous as heck. My first time speaking on stage, I almost passed out. My first live stream was terrifying, especially because my first live stream had 3,000 concurrent viewers!
But like anything else, once you get started, it becomes a hundred times easier. If the idea of jumping two feet in is a little bit too much for you right now and you’re a little bit scared, well, then tip number two is going to be your favorite thing.
Tip #2: Record Yourself Talking
Grab your phone, throw it in selfie mode on video record, hold it up, and speak to your phone for about two to five minutes every day for 30 days. Don’t post it on social media, don’t delete it, don’t really worry about it. Just the act of recording and forcing yourself to speak for two to five minutes to a camera will naturally build up your confidence. If it’s easier, try recording a song, a speech, a thought for the day, or anything like that.
Speaking on Camera Tip #3: Rewatch the Recordings
We are our own worst critics, and as such we are also our own best teachers. After 30 days of recording yourself talk, go back and look at day #1. Then look at day #30 and see how much you have already improved. From there, do a rundown of what you like and what makes you cringe.
If you don’t like the stupid faces you make, practice not making the faces or become comfortable with the faces you make. My face is super-expressive and I have a folder of stupid faces I’ve made that I look at when my ego gets too big.
If you are forgetting what you are trying to say, stumbling, fumbling, and saying “um”s and “ah”s, practice speaking eloquently. Slow down, enunciate your words.
Tip #4: Pay Attention to Your Eyeline
Most people record themselves talking while the phone is in selfie mode. They then proceed to look at themselves the entire time. Don’t do that! The closer the phone is to you, the more pronounced of a tell this becomes.
Look at the little hole on your phone that is your camera. Even though it is weird and unnatural to look at that hole, it actually allows you to look directly at your audience. It will feel as if you are speaking directly to your audience and allow them to connect with your message on a deeper level.
Take a look at the video at the 1:50 mark to see what I’m referring too.
Tip #5: Pretend You Are Speaking to a Friend
When you are speaking on camera, you want to pretend there is someone behind your camera who is a friend, maybe sitting 1-3 feet behind the camera. See them smiling and rooting you on because then you will naturally project your energy past your phone to that person, and you’ll naturally start smiling. That smile is contagious, and people love it. And it’s an easy way of just holding that charismatic energy that we all have.
Tip #6: Project Your Energy When Speaking on Camera
There’s a saying that the camera adds 10 pounds. Well, it also reduces the energy output you’re delivering by about 50%. If you speak to the camera how you normally talk to a friend it will come off as dull and monotone. Either take a look at the YouTube video at the 2:50 mark or pull out your phone and try it yourself.
Record yourself speaking like you normally do. Then record yourself increasing your energy by 50% and projecting it out past your phone a couple of feet. See the difference between the two?
Tip #7: Master Your Breath
There are two ways we breathe. One is short, shallow breaths using the chest. Typically, when you are sitting stationary and doing very little, this is how you breathe. The second is deep breaths with the diaphragm.
If you speak while taking short, shallow breaths, you will quickly run out of air and start coming off nervous and anxious as your body is trying to finish talking to get that next breath of air.
On the other hand, if you practice simple breathing techniques, you can learn how to master your breathing. A simple technique is to lay down on your back, put your hands on your belly, and take deep breaths with your diaphragm. You can also take vocal lessons too.
Tip #8: A Great Video Has Great Light and Sound
In the video, I show you the difference between good lighting and sound. But there are very simple things you can do to take control of these two elements. Get yourself a ring light or some softboxes and a lapel mic. These are inexpensive solutions that will make a world of difference to your videos.
Tip #9: Practice Using the Equipment and Software
We’ve all experienced the Zoom meeting where the presenter gets on and doesn’t know how to use the software. The meeting quickly goes off rails and you start playing the Zoom meeting bingo game.
As a speaker, you are going to get thrown off your rhythm if you are stumbling and fumbling with software. That’s going to drive you crazy and make you so nervous, so do a dry run.
Get on by yourself, go through the system, mess up, and learn how to recover without missing a beat. Learn the program. If you’re doing a live stream, start doing them and actually learn what it’s like when your phone gets knocked over because your cat goes running by.
Tip #10: How We Speak Is Different Than How We Write
Practice your script out loud!
How we write and how we speak are drastically different. Take your script before you go live and read it out loud. If you start to fumble, rewrite the section to something a little more natural to how you speak.
Remember, the longer your script, the more you have to remember, or the more you have to edit. If you are having trouble remembering your script check out this video.
Bonus Tip for the Guys
For my fellow dudes out there, if you want to speak on camera and look good while you are doing it, don’t underestimate the power of makeup. Stereotypically, most of us grow up never having to think about putting makeup on. A little light makeup will stop your face from looking super blotchy and red and help it look more uniform.
If you don’t know what you are doing, go to your local Sephora and ask for some help. They have trained specialists who can help you get camera-ready. A little coverup under the eyes will make it so you don’t look like you have been working for 27 hours today.