5 Top Tips to Avoid Being Wooden on Camera

5 Top Tips to Avoid Being Wooden on Camera

5 Top Tips to Avoid Being Wooden on Camera


Oop Woody’s turned up!

I chuckled to myself when I got this email from Gina, my client. It’s a very common problem!

“Hi Esther, 

I’m loving your lively emails!

 I am shooting a promotional video 45secs, to tell my potential client what my business does and what we can do for them.

 Do you have any tips on the content or how to make impact with the video?

 What makes a great promo video?

 How can I avoid being wooden?”

Sound familiar?

This is one of the most common issues I hear in my Impact Clinics with my clients. Everyone wants video content these days and most organisations think they can whack out a load of clips and get experts like you to present like a professional TV host, even though you’ve never done TV before.

Hey don't worry - we all need help looking good on camera - there is an art to looking relaxed and effortlessly confident on screen and you havent spent years of your life learning the skills to be ‘on air’.

Luckily, I have.  My 20 years of broadcasting experience – mainly helping talent become BRILLIANT on air at the BBC has helped me create quick and easy ways to help professionals like you become brilliant too.   You really can be ‘camera ready’ if you put your mind to it and follow my tips!

You are an expert in your field, and brilliant at it. You also have a fantastic personality, you ooze charisma at parties, yet when you're asked to film a quick clip for the promotional video in the office aarrhhhh Woody turns up!

I often think pointing a camera at you is like shining a torch into your inner confidence!

- something strange happens 

- your confidence dries up

- you become a rabbit in the headlights  

- your personality disappears – it quite literally leaves the room

- you go all formal and polite

- you start to over think and worry about EVERYTHING

- your self-consciousness is over whelming

- you turn to wood.  Knock knock!

One client, a senior partner at Deloitte recently watched his footage back in our 1 to 1 impact session and admitted...

"I look a bit like serial killer!"

 "Don't worry....I have a 2 second tip for that " 

It transformed him.  Do you want to know what that tip was?

Well you're going to get not 1 tip but 5 great tips on how to look good, sound good and feel relaxed when you are put on the spot in front of the camera. Here goes…

Top 5 free tips from me to you

 1  Talk to your audience - if you are doing a piece to camera imagine your perfect client IS the camera! 

Treat the camera like a person. Give it a name like "Jimmy" or even better, someone you know.

Fall in love with "Jimmy"

Remember the late great TV presenter Cilla Black was well known for calling her camera "Bobby" after her late husband.  She LOVED her camera.

2  Be yourself - tell a short personal story or give an example of how you've helped a previous client - avoid scripting this (you can tell a story in 20 secs! Try it)

3  Use humour - find the fun (don't confuse this with having to tell jokes!)

Don't take yourself too seriously and go all earnest on us! Chillax.

4  Eyes & Teeth - smile - this is a game changer on camera. You look relaxed instantly and your personality will shine through - this tip will avoid that dodgy serial killer look!

(Plus, you won’t look wooden if you smile.)

5  Make sure you've got a half decent shot; location, lights, back drop. 

Natural light tends to look best. Step outside or go near a window - warning - make sure the light is ON your face NOT behind you creating a silhouette - remember you’re not a scary serial killer. 

Now have a go - practice on your iPhone! 

If you’d like help with your video clips – watch out for all my free tips or get in touch so we can have a chat esther@estherstanhope.com.

I’d be happy to watch your iphone practice clip and give you some free feedback if you really want to stretch yourself.

Esther Stanhope