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On-Camera Coach: Tools and Techniques for Business Professionals in a Video-Driven World



On-Camera Coach: Tools and Techniques for Business Professionals in a Video-Driven World

Karin M. Reed

ISBN: 978-1-119-31603-9 March 2017 272 Pages


The invaluable handbook for acing your on-camera appearance

On-Camera Coach is your personal coach for becoming great on camera. From Skype interviews and virtual conferences to shareholder presentations and television appearances, this book shows you how to master the art of on-camera presentation to deliver your message clearly, effectively, and with confidence. Fear of public speaking is common, but even the most seasoned speakers freeze in front of a single lens—being on camera demands an entirely new set of skills above and beyond the usual presentation to an audience you can actually see. It requires special attention to the way you move, the way you speak, and even the way you dress. This book provides the guidance and tools you need to ace it every time.

Video is powerful, and it is everywhere; corporate YouTube channels, webinars, virtual meetings, TedTalks, and more are increasingly turning the lens on those who typically remain behind the scenes. This relatively recent trend will continue to expand as media plays a larger role in business, and the ability to appear confident, authoritative, and polished is becoming a necessary job skill. This book shows you everything you need to know about being on camera, from preparation through presentation and beyond.

  • Learn how to prepare for an on-camera appearance
  • Tailor your presentation to on-camera demands 
  • Discover how the camera interprets wardrobe and body language
  • Appear dynamic, confident, and engaged when the lens points your way

The lens captures everything—the awkward pauses, the nervous fidgets, poor posture, and every false start and mistake is captured for posterity. Is that the image you want to present? You want to get your message across and be heard; to do that, you must portray authority, energy, and confidence—even when you don't feel it. On-Camera Coach provides the expert instruction and insider secrets that help you make your message sing.

Wiley & SAS Business Series ii

Preface xvii

Acknowledgments xix

Section One The Inescapable Reality—We All Have to Communicate through a Camera 1

Chapter 1 Why You Need to Read This Book 3

The Power and Pervasiveness of Video 5

The Decline of the Professional Spokesperson 6

The Global Communication Tool of Choice 7

Hiring by Skype 8

The Perils of Video 9

How Reading This Book Can Improve Your On-Camera Performance 9

What You Will Need 10

Topics to Be Discussed 10

Chapter Takeaways 11

Notes 11

Chapter 2 Why the Camera Changes Everything 13

My “Aha!” Moment 16

A Camera Changes Everything 17

No Immediate Feedback 17

Your Own Worst Critic 18

Recorded for Posterity 19

Unfamiliar Territory 20

The Archenemy of Performance Success: You 21

The Key to On-Camera Success: Authenticity 22

Chapter Takeaways 24

Section Two The MVPs of Performance Success 25

Chapter 3 M—Mental Mind-set: The Prep before the Performance 27

Reaching the Real Audience 28

Visualize the Viewer 30

Video Chat: Now You See Me, Now You Don’t 30

Embrace Your Nervousness 32

Passion Play 33

Beware of Brain Cramps 33

The Bottom Line: It’s Not about You 35

Chapter Takeaways 38

Note 39

Chapter 4 V—Vocal Variety: Pacing and Pausing with Purpose 41

The Musicality of Your Delivery—What’s Your Range? 42

What Is Vocal Variety? 42

Natural versus On-Camera Inflection 43

Setting Your Pace with the Viewer in Mind 44

Finishing Your Thoughts 45

Using the Power of the Pause 45

Pause for You 45

Filler Words as Placeholders 47

Pause for Them 47

The Lowdown on Uptalk 49

The Most Common Uptalk Trouble Spot 50

Chapter Takeaways 54

Note 54

Chapter 5 P—Physical Factors: On-Camera Movement with Meaning 55

On-Camera Gesturing: An Out-of-Body Experience 56

Getting Familiar with Frame Size 58

Gestures for a Tight Shot 58

Gestures for a Medium Shot 58

Gestures for a Wide Shot 59

Gestures as a Retention Tool 60

The Role of Off-Camera Movement 61

Posture Pointers 61

Standing While on Camera 62

The Metronome Effect 62

Going for a Walk 62

Sitting While on Camera 63

Crossed Legs 64

Leaning In or Out 64

Step In to Start 65

Making Eye Contact When You Can’t See Your Audience 66

Look Away 66

Performance Pitfalls: Eye Contact Errors 67

Vary Your Angle 68

Look Up 68

Chapter Takeaways 72

Notes 72

Section Three Ready to Wear . . . or Not 73

Chapter 6 Looking the Part—Wardrobe 101 75

Match Audience Expectations 77

Boring Is Best 78

Spin the Color Wheel 78

Special Consideration: Green-Screen Shoots 79

Solids: A Solid Choice 80

Putting on the Pounds 82

Dress Right for the Mic 82

Pack Placement 83

Microphone Placement 83

Jewelry Jukebox and Light Show 84

Your Fifth Appendage: A Smartphone 85

Additional Considerations for Men 85

Sock Style 86

The Uniform Look 87

To Button or Not to Button? 87

Chapter Takeaways 88

Notes 88

Chapter 7 Hair and Makeup 89

Hair Hassles 91

On-Camera Makeup Musts for Women 92

What You Need in Your Kit 93

Moisturizer 93

Foundation 93

Powder 94

Eye Makeup 94

Cheeks 94

Lip Color 95

Makeup for Men 95

Glasses or No Glasses 96

Chapter Takeaways 97

Section Four Best Practices for Creating Your On-Camera Message  99

Chapter 8 Organizing for the Ear 101

The Rule of Three 102

Applying the Rule of Three On Camera 103

Rule of Three via Skype 104

Your Core Message 105

The Rule of Three Expanded 106

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition 107

Chapter Takeaways 108

Note 108

Chapter 9 Writing for the Spoken Word 109

The Challenges of Reading Written Prose Aloud 110

Why the Whisper Test Won’t Work 111

Writing Tip 1: Keep It Short 111

Writing Tip 2: Don’t Fear the Grammar Police 112

Writing Tip 3: See Spot . . . Be Bored 113

Exercises for Writing the Way You Speak 113

Chapter Takeaways 116

Note 117

Section Five How to Read without Sounding Like You Are  119

Chapter 10 Marking Your Script 121

Step One: Smooth Out the Script 123

Step Two: Add Phonetics Where Appropriate 123

Step Three: Mark with Meaning 125

New vs. Old 126

The Name Stress Principle 128

How to Mark Your Copy for Emphasis 129

Emphasis Obstacles 130

Beware of Connotations 130

Too Much Stress 131

Step Four: Place Your Pauses 131

The Short Pause 132

The Power Pause 132

Marking Your Pauses 134

Pause Practice Example 134

Pause Pitfalls 135

It All Comes Down to This  136

Chapter Takeaways 137

Script Marking Exercises Answer Key 138

Notes 140

Chapter 11 Tackling the Teleprompter 141

Lessons Learned from Michael Bay’s Implosion 143

Lesson 1: Know Your Content 143

Lesson 2: Know Your Script 143

Lesson 3: Stay in the Moment 144

Teleprompter-Friendly Copy: Best Practices 144

Read Your Script in the Prompter before Your Performance 145

Effective Visual Cues in Teleprompter Copy 146

Options for Marking Emphasis 146

Options for Marking Pauses 147

Visual Cues Are Guides, Not Absolutes 149

The Role of the Teleprompter Operator 149

A Second Set of Eyes 150

Adjusting Font Size 150

Following the Leader 150

Editing on the Fly 151

No Mind Reading 151

Adjusting the Read Line 152

Prompter Practice Made Possible 152

The Proliferation of Prompter Software 153

Control the Scroll 153

Watch Yourself 154

Lost in the Teleprompter 154

Chapter Takeaways 155

Note 155

Section Six The Most Common On-Camera Performance Scenarios 157

Chapter 12 Presenting Directly to the Camera in a Studio Setting 159

Considerations for Corporate Video 161

A Lesson from TV News 161

Does Length Matter? 162

How Much Face Time Is Too Much? 163

Preparing for the Shoot 164

Creating Your Content 164

Identifying Your Viewer 164

Writing the Way You Speak 165

Marking for Meaning 165

Practice, Practice, Practice 166

Looking the Part 167

Microphone Matters 167

Hair Issues 168

Getting Rid of Your Fifth Appendage 168

Orienting Yourself to the Studio 169

Meet the Crew 169

The Floor Director 169

The Audio Technician 170

The Camera Operator 171

The Teleprompter Operator 171

The Crew’s Mission 171

Give Yourself the Once-Over 172

Getting Familiar with Your Performance Space 172

The Crew’s Final Prep 173

Pulling Off a Great Performance 173

Stay Focused Despite Distractions 174

The Most Dangerous Part of Your Performance 176

The Runaway Train Ramble 176

Mentally Moving On 177

Stopping the Performance before the Real End 177

Reviewing Your Performance 178

Chapter Takeaways 178

Chapter 13 Videoconferencing and Interviews via Video Chat 181

Changes in Where and How You Work 182

Hiring by Skype 184

Travel Cost Savings 185

Fewer Scheduling Headaches 185

Why You Want to Turn on Your Webcam 186

Best Practices for VC 187

Technical Considerations 187

Setting Considerations 189

Performance Considerations 191

Recording a Videoconference 193

Chapter Takeaways 197

Notes 198

Chapter 14 Webcasts—Best Practices for Panelists and Moderators 199

Why a Webcast Is Easier to Master 200

Best Practices for Panelists 202

Prepare Your Points 202

Plan Your Wardrobe 203

Take Advantage of Rehearsal Time 203

Focus on the Action 204

Where You Should Look 205

When Someone Asks You a Question 205

When Presenting Uninterrupted to Viewers 205

When Others Are Speaking 206

Opting Out of Using a Teleprompter 207

Handling the Unexpected Question 208

Best Practices for Moderators 208

Directing the Conversation 209

Preparing to Be a Moderator 209

Encouraging the Conversation 210

Being the Ultimate Editor 211

Staying Hydrated 212

Chapter Takeaways 213

Notes 213

Chapter 15 Broadcast Interview Basics 215

Before the TV Interview 216

Find Out the Focus 217

Simplify Your Talking Points 218

Seek to Speak in Sound Bites 219

Practice with a Peer 219

During the TV Interview 220

Establishing a Friendly Rapport 220

Checking Yourself in the Mirror 220

Realizing When the Camera Is On 221

Orally Editing Your Sound Bite 221

Controlling the Controllables 222

Pause to Ponder 222

Press Your Own Reset Button 222

Keep Your Cool 223

Answer Every Question as Best You Can 223

After the TV Interview 224

Interviews by Satellite 225

Introducing the IFB 226

Managing the Monitor 226

Waiting for the All-Clear 227

Chapter Takeaways 229

Notes 230

Conclusion: Embrace Communicating through the Camera 231

About the Author 233

Index 235