If a picture is worth a thousand words, as the popular saying attests, a video is perhaps worth 10,000 words.  Video-recording a presentation for the internet or broadcast television is a superbly effective way to draw attention to your acting abilities, generate leads for your business, or bring attention to your cause.

However, acting and presenting information on-screen is an acquired skill.  It takes practice, but it can be accomplished with help of a few tried and true on-camera tips.  Specifically, by focusing on your message, rehearsing your lines until reciting them becomes second nature, making a strong emotional appeal, and avoiding overacting, you’ll move and motivate your audience beyond what you’ve thought possible.

One of the first on-camera tips you need to know is to focus on the message.  If you’re intending to create a video for web distribution or to reach a wide audience through television, you probably have an important message you want to get out there.  However, if you’re not experienced speaking or presenting in front of the camera, it’s all too easy to get nervous, trip over your words, and come across as less confident than you would be otherwise.

The fact of the matter is, too much awareness of the camera can cause anxiety, and that anxiety often gets in the way of the task at hand.  Realize that the camera is just a tool—a vehicle for conveying your message—and just say what needs to be said.  If you focus on the importance of your message and not on the mechanics of recording and broadcasting, you’re more likely to get the job done with less nervousness than you might have expected.

Another of the best on-camera tips is knowing exactly what you’re going to say well ahead of time.  Talk to seasoned actors, and you’ll find that they have gotten used to knowing their lines as thoroughly as the backs of their hands before they show up to auditions, rehearsals, and especially performances.  Ultimately, they’re able devote more brain power to the finer points of acting and less to remembering a string of words and phrases that need to be recited.

In order to get ready for recording or televising your message, have what you want to say outlined in a very neat and thorough manner.  Then, make sure you devote a substantial amount of time—whether that means several hours, days or weeks—to speaking coherently and fluently just using that outline.  On the other hand, if you’re acting, make sure you have your part fully memorized.  It’s important to keep in mind that practice makes perfect.  The more well-rehearsed you are and the more fully aware you are of your “lines”, the more confident you’ll be at showtime.

The next on-camera tip you should consider has to do with the passion behind your product.  You should pay attention to the idea of emotional appeal in your on-screen presentation.  Emotion is a universal theme of the human condition, and conveying emotion is one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience.  When you infuse your message with a properly-calibrated mood and a sense of passion, you can easily engross and captivate your audience.

There are several ways you can prepare to make the strongest possible emotional impact in video message.  For one, you can write down a list of all your deepest passions and record yourself giving a few impromptu “practice speeches” on them.  Those passions can include your firmly-held beliefs, activities you enjoy participating in the most, or the lifetime goals you’re most determined to achieve.  In doing this, you’re tapping into what gets you “fired up” and you’re calling to the forefront all the energy you need to deliver a strong presentation.  In addition, while going through your practice speeches, move around the room to reduce physical tension and make yourself feel more alive and active.  Once you’ve completed this exercise several times, you may find yourself in an ideal state to deliver an emotionally powerful message to your real audience.

Finally, despite the necessity of “pumping yourself up” and making an emotional impact, it’s important not to overact.  This last piece of advice is essential among on-camera tips and tricks and should not be ignored.  Overacting can be defined as exaggerating aspects of your character in order to accentuate certain personality traits or drive home a message.  However, it’s also one of the hallmarks of bad acting technique, and it can cause your viewers to distrust you or not take your message seriously.

To minimize your risk of overacting, make sure you stay calm, still, and focused while actually filming your on-screen presentation.  Too many movements or facial expressions can be distracting, and suddenly your physical antics are competing with your message for your audience’s attention!  In addition, remember that the camera picks up on every little detail of your performance.  Since the camera is so sensitive, you don’t need to go overboard and risk sounding and appearing unnatural to get your point across.  Simply say what you intended to say with clarity, focus, and just the right amount of emotional force, and you won’t slip into the pitfall of overacting.

All in all, delivering a great video message or performance for the internet or television is a straightforward process once you keep the on-camera tips above in mind.  By ignoring the camera, knowing your message thoroughly, charging yourself up to deliver the highest-possible emotional impact, and making sure you don’t overact, you’ll find making high-quality video presentations to be easy, fun and fulfilling.


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