1. Know Your Material
By the time you get to your video shoot, you should know your material by heart if not word for word. Record yourself on your smart phone and listen to it as often as you can. Walk with it in your ears, drive with it in your car, sleep with it in your bed. You’ll be amazed how fast you integrate it!
2. Befriend the Autocue
Being able to read naturally from an autocue or teleprompter has become a necessary skill for any corporate executive whose job is it to communicate. Still, it’s a tricky skill to master, as it can impede the natural rhythm of our speech and add unnecessary pressure. My advice? Make friends with the autocue and learn to lead the read by setting your own pace. Also practice focusing in on the middle word on any given line and get used to taking in the words that come before it and after it in order to avoid eye movements.
3. Dress For Success
Even though the news that you’re about to star in your company’s upcoming video production can be cause for celebration, don’t rush off to invest in a new wardrobe – unless you know what works best. Dark, solid colors such as navy blues and blacks work best on video; detailed, bold and intricate patterns can cause problems for the camera. Please don’t wear an ill fitting brown suit – that will simply take your power away! Avoid green, (this is good general fashion advice) but especially true when shooting against a green chroma key background. Same goes for blue if the screen is blue. Always ask what colour the screen is beforehand. Remember, pastel and neutral colours, clean lines and simplicity work best on camera!
4. Make the Most of Your Muscle Memory
If you’ve been in the workforce for a while you probably have years of experience communicating in a calm and controlled manner. Use these traits as a basis to your delivery and add ‘performance passion’ to what you do on camera. Electronic media actually plays down your performance so you need to lift your personality to a level where it almost seems a bit silly for yourself. A great technique is to rehearse as if you’re delivering pantomime style to a group of pre-schoolers. When you return to your usual corporate style, your body subconsciously remembers many of the emotions and gestures that came from playing with the script during rehearsal.
5. Use the KISS Principle
Always make sure you use professional equipment and professional operators if you want to appear your best. Like bad wedding photography, little things such as poor lighting and below par sound quality have the potential to turn your production from professional to amateurish. If you need advice on crews to use, feel free to ask me – I know loads of great operators – all over the world!