5 Tips to Speak Well on Camera

Teleprompter team
January 30, 2023
5 Tips to Speak Well on Camera

Podcasts and vlogs took off over the last decade with 41% of Americans 12 and older listening to a podcast per month in 2021 compared to a mere 9% in 2008. As such, now is a great time to break into content creation to get your messages out there. But how do you succeed in content creation? 

It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to a vlogger, podcaster, or any other content creator. They’ll tell you the same thing. You have to speak well on camera to engage your audience. This comes naturally for some people. However, most new creators will have to ease into and build their communication skills on camera just like any other skill.  

That’s why we’re going to take a look at 5 easy tips you can use today to speak more naturally on camera. 

Tips on How to Talk on Camera with Confidence

camera lens, how to talk to the camera

1. Maintain Eye-Contact (But Not Too Much)

You’re not talking to the camera. You’re talking to the person watching your video - you’re having a conversation. And just like an in-person conversation, you need to make eye contact to engage your audience

As such, when you’re recording a video, look directly into the lens of the camera when you want to make your strongest points. Your audience will feel that you’re looking right at them, and the message will come across as almost personal - which is what you want. However, there is some nuance to this.

Too much eye contact can make anyone uncomfortable. Looking directly into the camera during your entire video will do the same thing. As such, it’s beneficial to look in the vicinity of your camera - close but not direct. This will come across as eye contact, but not the intense stare brought about by looking into the lens. 

To best strike this balance between eye contact and looking off-camera, consider how you naturally speak in person. Take mental notes during your next in-person conversation on how long you maintain direct eye contact before becoming uncomfortable. You can then apply this next video to come across as more natural speaking on camera. 

2. Don’t Forget Body Language

Don’t focus so much on getting your point across that you forget to include body language in your video. According to Mehrabian’s Communication Theory, what we say only makes up 7% of the message we’re trying to say. The other 97% is how we say it both in our inflection and body language. So, put emotion into what you’re saying - not just with your words but with your body.

Similar to eye contact, you can study how to apply body language on video from your day-to-day life. Consider how you move naturally during a conversation. You can then apply what you learn during your video. It is only a matter of mindful observation.  

3. Practice Until You Have it Down 

There are very few content creators ad-libbing their content. The pros you see out there have planned that dialogue, researched that topic, and, most of all, practiced it beforehand! Always know what you’re going to say before you even sit in front of the camera. Otherwise, you’re going to find yourself struggling to edit together a cohesive final product. A well-thought-out video is always easier for post-production.

What’s more, practicing before you record will help you relax when you do make it in front of the camera. That will cut the stress out of what you need to say and you’ll appear more confident for your audience in the process. 

4. Be Yourself!

A common mistake new content creators make is saying, “I want to be like the host from my favorite podcast!” 

But you’re not the host of your favorite podcast. You’re you, and that’s the most important thing you can be when you get in front of a camera. Putting on a personality or an act for the camera risks coming across as disingenuous and putting off your potential audience. Rather, successful creators utilize their true selves to make the content they are passionate about and engage an audience looking for that kind of connection. And it’s that connection with your audience that you’ll need to grow as a creator and reach a larger audience. 

5. Use a Teleprompter 

Have you ever been wowed by how professionally someone else speaks on camera? Are you impressed by how they never seem to miss a line and never lose their place? How do they deliver all these lines with hardly any cuts in their dialogue? They’re most likely using a teleprompter!

Teleprompter is a popular app that allows you to use a teleprompter to look like a pro in front of the camera. It’ll help you shorten your editing time, build your confidence and cut the stress out of video production. Plus, you can use it alongside your existing equipment,

Here’s how you use it. 

  • Put your phone in your natural eye-line - In most situations, you’ll want to put your script just above your camera lens. This will allow you to read it without taking your eyes off your audience. Plus, it’ll help you stay focused on your camera while you’re recording. In the rare circumstance that your camera is shooting down toward you, place your script and phone just below the lens.
  • Don’t read directly from your script - Many people make the mistake of reading directly from their script through their video. However, this becomes obvious over time. Rather, read your script in bursts then look back towards your audience. This will help you keep a natural flow in your content without losing your place. 
  • Keep your Teleprompter close - A teleprompter you can’t read is a teleprompter you can’t use. So, keep the teleprompter just close enough that you can comfortably read it. Typically, this will be almost the same distance as your camera but can vary depending on the lens you use. 

For the best Teleprompter, check out the Teleprompter app - it has an intuitive interface and even allows you to record in-device without closing your script which makes it perfect for those just getting started in vlogging and podcasting. 

How to Overcome Common On-Camera Challenges

speaking on camera

Addressing stage fright and anxiety when speaking on camera is crucial for effective communication. To conquer the fear of being on camera, consider practicing deep-breathing exercises and visualization techniques before recording to help calm nerves.

Dealing with unexpected interruptions or distractions is a common challenge. To tackle this, plan for potential disruptions by creating a dedicated recording space. Additionally, communicate your recording schedule to those around you to minimize interruptions and distractions.

Strategies for staying composed and focused during challenging situations are essential for a smooth on-camera experience. Develop mindfulness techniques to stay present during recording, and embrace imperfections while learning to adapt seamlessly to unexpected challenges.

Crafting Engaging Content for On-Camera Delivery

This requires a thoughtful approach to captivate and retain viewer interest. Start by structuring your content with a clear and compelling narrative. Break down your message into distinct sections, incorporating engaging visuals, and ensuring a logical flow that keeps the audience invested. A well-organized structure not only enhances comprehension but also maintains the viewer's attention throughout the video.

Incorporating storytelling techniques is a powerful tool to make your message memorable. Weave personal anecdotes, relatable stories, or case studies into your content. Humanizing your message through storytelling creates a connection with your audience, making the information more relatable and impactful. Consider the emotional tone and pacing to effectively convey your narrative and evoke a lasting impression.

Balancing information with entertainment is essential for a more engaging presentation. While delivering valuable insights, introduce elements of entertainment to keep your audience entertained and interested. Utilize humor, relevant examples, or visually appealing graphics to break the monotony of information-heavy segments. Striking the right balance between informative and entertaining content ensures that your audience not only learns but also enjoys the viewing experience, increasing the likelihood of continued engagement.

Effective Strategies for Speaking on Camera

Understanding the art of speaking well on camera is important for success in the dynamic world of content creation. The surge in podcast and vlog consumption underscores the importance of effective communication in engaging audiences. The provided tips, serve as valuable tools for both novice and seasoned creators. Emphasizing the significance of authenticity, the advice to be oneself resonates as a key element in establishing a genuine connection with viewers. 

Overcoming common on-camera challenges essential for a seamless recording experience. Crafting engaging content involves structuring a compelling narrative, incorporating storytelling techniques, and finding the right balance between information and entertainment. By implementing these practical tips, aspiring content creators can enhance their on-camera presence, foster audience connection, and contribute to the vibrant landscape of digital content.

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