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Being in front of the camera can be terrifying, but it really doesn’t have to be. Here are our top tips for brushing up on presenting to camera.

What to wear?

When presenting to camera, dress comfortably and a notch smarter than you would normally wear to work. If you have a favourite work outfit, then go for that. Clothes should reflect who you are and make you feel good. It’s a good idea to avoid clashing colours and close stripes as these may not work on camera. If you are doing anything in front of a green screen, avoid green or any blues or yellows that have too much green in them. When filming outside make sure you have dressed for the weather. Shivering, sweating and looking generally dishevelled will not look good. Think about jewellery as well. Less is definitely best here, not least because pieces can bash against each other and make a noise.

What about make-up?

Unless you are going under very bright studio lights, you are probably fine without make-up if you don’t normally wear it. If you do like to wear make-up, don’t overdo it and stick to what you would normally wear to work. You might want to consider some concealer and a light powder if you are prone to a very shiny face or have a spot or cold sore you want to hide.

What should I do with my hair?

Clean and tidy is the order of the day here. Aim for a hairstyle that keeps your hair out of your eyes and that won’t suddenly flop. Do watch out if you are filming outside as the wind can whip longer hair across your face or make it stick up. If you need to film outside on a very windy day, consider a hat or a tightly tied-back hairstyle.

Body language and presenting to camera

Don’t neglect body language because it really makes the difference. Aim for good posture – shoulders back, back straight. Don’t fidget, jiggle or shuffle about. This is important. If you are a fidget, find a way to stop yourself. Hold your hands in your lap or behind your back if you need to. Being relaxed is key so take deep breaths before you start and remember to smile when appropriate.

Speak up

Getting your voice right is essential when presenting to camera. Practise your volume and aim for normal conversation levels – not too quiet, not too loud. Check your posture (again) and breathe normally, this will help you to get your words out. Make sure your voice is clear and all your words are properly enunciated. There are some great voice exercises used by actors to help with this, or simply practising a few tongue twisters beforehand can do the job. Watch the speed you are talking at, especially if you tend to speed up when you are nervous and try to keep your tone natural. Sip some water in between questions or takes to keep you mouth moist and calm any nerves.

Mind your Ps and Qs

Avoid slang or jargon unless you know for certain your audience expect it. Try to speak in complete sentences and avoid one word answers unless you have been asked to. Most importantly, make sure everything you say is delivered with enthusiasm and friendliness. If you are talking about something very serious, this still applies, but make sure any smiles are appropriate. Some people like to see the questions for an interview beforehand. This can be helpful, but be careful not to over-rehearse what you are going to say as this can end up sounding a bit wooden. That said, do think about what you are going to say before you say it. Practise in front of a mirror or with a friend or colleague who can give you feedback.

Don’t fear the camera

Finally, you should remember that the camera is just a piece of equipment. All it can do is capture what happens in front of it. If there are other people in the room, talk to them and ignore the camera. If you are addressing the camera directly, try to imagine it’s an old friend. Looking at the camera or audio equipment every few seconds will make you look nervous and a little shifty. Relax. This isn’t court or a news interview and no-one wants to catch you out.

In short, smile, breathe, stay still, speak clearly and be friendly. Being in front of the camera is about you being at your best. Be confident and enjoy it!

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