Getting into video but don’t have the looks of a Hollywood star or the physique of Sports Illustrated? Never fear. You'll be pleased to know that being confident on camera doesn't come naturally for most people.
The good news is that there are ways to overcome feeling shy and uncomfortable when a camera is nearby.
How to Be More Confident on Camera
Here are 7 simple tricks you can use to be confident, comfortable and dynamic on camera:
- Wear a jacket
- Keep a close eye-line
- Use a flattering angle
- Get the light right
- Wear subtle makeup
- Use quality audio
1. Wear a jacket
It’s hard to overstress the importance of this. Particularly for men, the sharp lines of a classic suit jacket give you broad shoulders, straightness and structure. Jackets are a great leveller and equaliser between different body shapes and sizes. They cover a wealth of evils.
Another one that’s hard to emphasise enough: smile. You will not look jocular, weak or silly. You will appear confident, personable and more attractive, and also feel more relaxed.
3. Keep a close eye-line
If you're filming "interview style" and not looking directly into the lens, keep your eye line as close to the lens as possible. Otherwise you will look remote to the viewer and disengage them. See a great example of eye line here and an awful example here.
4. Use a flattering angle
If you want to cheat yourself a little slimmer, position the camera an inch or so higher than your eye line, and tilt it down (but not too much). It’s a subtle version of the "MySpace photo angle" and can make you a lot more telegenic.
5. Get the light right
Have at least one light source on your face, whether electric or window light, but avoid direct sunlight. If you wear glasses, avoid reflection by positioning the light a little lower or higher and angling it back to your face. If you're bald/shiny domed, avoid sitting under a bright overhead light.
6. Wear subtle make-up
Go light on the makeup. Heavy, thick make up is dated, and looks awful in HD. A small application of powder to combat shine is all you need (for men and women). I recommend Mac Studio Fix powder for this, it will also quickly and easily cover any prominent blemishes.
7. Use quality audio
Sounding good makes you look good: quality audio is critical. Never rely on a distant camera microphone that gives you a thin and tinny voice in an echoey room. If you want to appear at your most confident, dynamic, appealing and persuasive, invest in a lapel microphone.
Even if you’re hiring a professional production company to film for you, don’t rely on them getting this all right. I constantly see examples of people shot, at considerable expense, in ways that are not flattering and not engaging.
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