Don't do that: Top 3 on-camera mistakes

Someone recently asked me in the Facebook Group: Confidence on Camera:

What are some of the biggest mistakes people make on camera (especially those with less experience)?

I thought about several common mistakes I see and there's one thing they all have in common: they are super easy to avoid!


There's an interview technique I learned a long time ago to get people to divulge more information than they intend to. It's called Silence. So the idea is if you are interviewing someone and ask a simple question, and they answer it and stop talking ... wait in silence for a few extra seconds. The uncomfortable 'pregnant pause' will usually cause them to keep talking just to fill the space.

This works in reverse (sometimes to your detriment) when you are on camera. Because there is no one else to fill the space, you feel compelled to fill the space with more words. This leads to one big mistake: rambling. It's when someone says the same thing over and over in many different ways.

The best way to avoid this is to get prepared.

Most people want to look conversational and impromptu on camera, which is great but that doesn't mean you should actually just turn on the camera without a plan.

I don't encourage writing out a script, but if you do run through a few bullet points before pressing record, you'll be better prepared and less inclined to ramble.


Someone else in the group said:

"I feel like I sound like Eeyore when I'm on camera."

This is so true. The camera actually sucks the energy out of you. I don't know why this is, but it's true. I've literally been watching someone recording a video during one of my trainings. In real life, they seem comfortable with a normal level of energy, but the playback on video looks sluggish and slow. I always tell people they need to up their normal energy to talk on camera. You may feel like you sound ridiculous because it isn't the normal energy level you would have when talking to someone in real life, but on camera, it levels out to look simply normal.

Ways to up your energy include loosening up with some exercises before you go on camera. Work on stretching or even cranking out a few push-ups or jumping jacks. This will get your blood flowing and help your energy level. Also, try standing instead of sitting at a desk. This might mean raising your desk or computer to standing level. Your posture and stance changes when you are standing and your energy level is naturally better than when you are sitting in a chair.

Try it out for yourself. Take a video of yourself talking normal and then take one when you are acting a little 'extra.' Your extra energy will come across energetic and engaging on camera.

Camera Angles

The final mistake most people make, particularly in work conference calls or presentations is to look at their camera wherever it may be. That usually means the webcam on their laptop... and that usually means they are looking down.

Where is your camera right now?

Your camera should be eye-level. If you are looking down at your camera, chances are you have a double-chin and too much headroom. It's not a good look for anyone.

Take a quick assessment of your space. Don't just hit record wherever you are.

What are some mistakes you see on camera? What are some you are worried about making? Maybe some you already have made?

Let's talk! Join the conversation on the facebook group or shoot me an email.

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