Your day at the studio is here! How do you look natural on camera?
The good news is you’ve already practiced your script! You have your timing down and your practice in the mirror means you know what you look like delivering your script. How can you make sure that translates to video?
1. Warm-Up: You don’t need to walk in the door and start filming 30 seconds later. Take some time to get comfortable. Chatting about anything, like a TV show you just binged or a book you loved, will help relax you and “turn-on” your speaking persona. Also, make sure you’re hydrated so a parched throat doesn’t interfere with takes. Know exactly where you'll be sitting/standing and get comfortable in that spot.
2. Take It Slow: You already know from practice to take it slow and the nerves from filming might make you forget that. Just remind yourself to speak slowly and clearly. You may have to start over a few times if you realize you're speaking too fast and that's ok. The director on set has worked with many people to get their best line delivery, and the director wants you to do well. You are usually more critical of yourself than is necessary. Listen to their professional feedback.
3. Speak To The Camera: Just as you wrote your script with your audience in mind, visualize that you’re speaking to them, not a camera. Pretending that you’re speaking to a person and not a camera will help keep you relaxed and natural. The teleprompter is right in front of the camera lenses so this helps you make eye contact with your virtual audience. Don’t worry about a perfect take. No natural speech is perfect so if you slip up a little, just keep going.
4. Time of Day: If possible, schedule your shoot for your best time of day. Don’t schedule a 9am call time if you’re not a morning person! No matter what time of day, make sure you've fueled up and possibly had caffeine beforehand. You want to feel as alert as possible, and balance your sense of being energized and relaxed. Don't let hunger or the midday slump slow you down.
5. Self Check-In: As the filming progresses, ask yourself how you’re doing. Are you getting nervous and shaky? Take a short break for some deep breaths, walk around, chat about something else until you feel better. Thirsty? Take a drink. Fidgeting with an accessory? Take it off.
6. Practice, Practice, Practice, Again: There’s no rush to get it filmed in one take. You’ll likely have to go through it a few times to get the most natural take with input from the director on set, and that’s ok. Your message is strong, you’ve prepared, you just have to get used to being on camera. Don’t be hard on yourself and have fun!
For information on video trends check out this blog post.