How to look good on camera in online videos

looking good on cameraPeople generally do not like to admit that they care about how others dress and present themselves; we all like to believe that we are in favour of freedom of choice and independent thinking.

However, our subconscious (and often prejudiced) minds draw all kinds of conclusions for us, often without us even knowing. For people to choose to buy something from you or even just to listen to you (and agree) they need to like you. To be likeable there are certain things that you need to think about in relation to your appearance. This is especially true for online video where in a lot of cases people will be seeing you for the first time.

It’s a bit of a long one but you will learn a lot from this video that is an interview of Sheena Iyengar who is a Columbia University professor and expert on making conscious and subconscious choices:

It is therefore important to consider the following in order to look good on camera when producing online videos:

1 Dress as you would if you were meeting your viewers in person

Just because you are filming yourself at home is not an excuse to wear your PJ’s. Dress as you would in a face to face situation. Give extra consideration to how it looks on screen, including the colours in the background. Being against a white background is a big mistake and won’t do anything for your skin tone. Wear colours that will make you stand out and compliment your face. If you are unsure, take some test shots in different outfits and look at them on different devices so you can see what works and what doesn’t.

2 Look into the lens so that you are making ‘eye contact’

If you are making a video in which you are meant to be speaking directly to your audience, look into the lens of your webcam. If you are looking at that little shot of yourself, or somewhere else altogether, you will hinder the audiences ability to connect with you and what you are saying. You will also look weird which you don’t want.

3 Light yourself well so that you don’t look freaky

Be aware of the light in the room when you are filming. Shooting during the day is always an advantage as you can make the most of the natural light through your windows. Also, think about the directions your lights are coming from and the shadows they create a) on your face and b) in your surroundings. You don’t want to create some kind of sinister shot that distracts from your message.

4 Pace your dialogue so that it is engaging

By this I mean, don’t be slow and boring. Also, don’t be too fast and annoying. Getting your pace right will make a massive difference to how long viewers can physically allow themselves to watch your video before they switch off or decide you have irritated them enough.

5 Be prepared and know what you are going to say

Don’t waste your own time by sitting in front of a camera and just making up your entire script as you go along. This doesn’t necessarily mean your video needs to be scripted – there are advantages to the qualities you can create with spontaneity. However it will help to have some bullet points so that you ensure you don’t miss anything out. Knowing your general structure in advance will also help you to create a much better quality video.

6 Use language that is right for your audience

Try to avoid using words that cause your audience to switch off or decide that your video isn’t be for them. Your audience need to know that you are on the same wavelength as them and if you are speaking a different language they won’t be able to understand you! Keep in short and simple.

7 Think about shot composition

It really doesn’t take a genius to put a bit of thought into shot composition. Consider what is in the background and where you will place yourself in relation to what is there. Some people argue that you shouldn’t put yourself centre screen as it can be a bit too much for the viewer. Also, think about the angle of the camera and your eye level. The camera should be nice and level with your eyes. This will be most flattering to you too.

8 Be yourself and enjoy making the video

If you are uncomfortable and not enjoying making your video, this will be magnified dramatically on screen. Don’t make your video if you are in a bad mood. Wait until you are in a good mood and feeling happy and passionate about your subject matter. Don’t forget to smile, a lot. Not too much. But a lot. This will also have an effect on how viewers engage with you and how long they watch your video for.

This is a great little video from the Daily Candy with a few extra tips from a photographer about looking good on a webcam.

MWP are a video strategy, production and marketing company with a focus on delivering measurable results.

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