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Do you have trouble keeping your business pitch simple? Do you find it all too easy to keep adding detail in?

Problem

As a video producer for businesses one issue I am faced with on almost every shoot is that the people I work with are not professional actors. Some have media training but most are not naturals or feel particularly comfortable on camera.

It’s ok!

Really!

Being on camera feels very unnatural. It is an oddly concentrated experience. Like speaking in public but your audience is just a single person (the camera). As such feeling nervous is entirely understandable.

The good news is the more you do it the more comfortable you will feel and, more importantly the better you will be at it.

Here are some top tips to help you get over those butterflies and come across clear and confident everytime.

Gif showing Mayor Quimby from The Simpsons making a mistake whilst speaking.Accept that mistakes are normal

The beauty of being on camera is that you can do the same thing over and over until you get it right. People make mistakes when they speak – it happens. Instead of worrying about it or dwelling on any you make, accept it and move on. A good video producer will help you feel at ease and make it clear that you can keep going until it’s right.

Don’t listen to yourself – trust the others

It doesn’t matter whether you are the one in charge of the project, the world’s greatest expert on your chosen topic, an anxious employee – when you are in front of that camera don’t listen to yourself. Trust the video producer, trust any colleagues you have in the room to listen and take notes.

The truth is most mistakes happen because you have an idea in your head of what you want to say and how it should sound (especially if you have written a script). The moment something doesn’t sound like this people get worried, try to correct themselves, stumble and then need to start again.

If you trust the producer and the people in the room you will know that if you miss something important or something you say doesn’t make sense they will get you to try it again.

Sound confident

If you’re not listening to yourself what should you be doing? Your only job whilst on camera is to act as if you are confident and knowledgable (I would hope you are the latter). It doesn’t matter what you say (honestly) as long as you say it with purpose.

By coming across as confident it means that most of what you say will be usable from a presentation point of view. Trusting the others in the room will mean that they ensure you get the right content.

Group toasting with wine glasses at a dinner partyDinner party mindset

Imagine you are at a dinner party, your out with friends and someone new has joined the group. They ask you what you do for a living. How do you answer them?

You keep it short and simple.
‘I am an book keeper’. ‘I am a solicitor’. ‘I create apps’.

Then they might ask for more information.
‘I work for a heating company making sure that their finances are in order, that people get paid etc.’, ‘I’m a partner at a law firm and specialise in conveyancing, which is all the legal stuff related to buying or selling property’, ‘I work for myself and specialise in apps that help business offer loyalty programs to their customers’.

The important thing to note is you keep things light and breezy. You don’t delve down into immediate technical detail. If you are a solicitor you wouldn’t immediately focus on the different types of joint purchase. If you were the app developer you wouldn’t immediately focus on the pros and cons of different programming languages. The conversation may go this way eventually but you wouldn’t start with the complicated technicalities.

Presenting on camera is the same. Treat it like a dinner conversation. Start simple. Answer the question that is asked in the same way you would if you were trying to make a good impression on a new acquaintance. Keep it simple, light and honest.

Don’t worry about getting it right. Just answer the question and then be guided as to whether the person you are chatting with wants more information.

Everything is going to be edited

As an editor it is lovely when you get footage and the person comes across as confident. You can focus on the best content as opposed to covering nervous tics or mistakes.

As easy as this makes the job though it shouldn’t matter to you when you are on camera. The editors job is to make you come across as awesome – regardless of how you feel you’ve done.

This means that if you make some mistakes – it doesn’t matter!
If you forget to say something on your final take that you said earlier – it doesn’t matter!

The edit will take care of these issues and create the right end product.

All you have to do is trust the people in the room, pretend you are a dinner party and chat. It might feel a little weird at first but it gets easier as you get better.

For more information about Smarter Video take a look here.

Please get in touch and let me know what you would like to learn or read about.

 

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