Being on camera or public speaking in general is one of life’s greatest fears. Yet, at one point or another, we find ourselves tasked with tackling this frightening proposition. Here are 7 quick tips that will help you feel more comfortable and look natural while on-camera.
Being comfortable with yourself is the only way to appear comfortable in front of others. The first step is wardrobe selection. Wearing your most comfortable, but appropriate clothing will take away some of the pressure of speaking in front of an audience. The same rule applies to makeup, hairstyle, tie selection and anything else that assists you in feeling your best. Look sharp, be sharp!
Having good posture promotes a sense of comfort. While appropriate posture may not “feel” the most comfortable, it is crucial in delivering a smooth, conversational message. Perfect the following four postural techniques to keep your audience engaged in what you are saying.
- Stand up straight.
- Refrain from tilting your head.
- Avoid over-using your hands and unnecessary gesturing.
- Maintain eye contact with the reporter or your audience.
Keep in mind that your audience is watching because they want to hear what you have to say – you are the expert. Own the stage and deliver your message with passion and conviction. Remember, planning is power, and knowledge builds confidence.
Breathe calmly as you would in any casual conversation. Many people tend to speak unusually fast in front of the camera due to nerves. Slowing down the pace of the message will help you maintain your composure and will keep the audience focused on what you have to say. Speaking in your natural voice will allow you to maintain a natural pace and comfort throughout the delivery of your message. If you feel yourself getting nervous, a few deep breaths is a quick way to get back on track.
Boredom is the main reason audiences become disengaged. Boredom comes from “fluffing” a message and oftentimes dilutes your core message. Grab and hold onto the attention of the audience by getting to your core message in clear and concise fashion. Delivering a message with punch is achieved during practice and preparation. Know your message and practice your delivery; both content and delivery must be in sync. If so, you will leave the audience wanting more!
Set Chalk Marks
Chalk marks are designated points, that you set, which allow a brief pause during your delivery. Hitting these chalk marks allow a breaking point at various spots in your message, and help the overall flow of what you are saying. Setting chalk marks and break points in the message prevent run-on sentences, running out of breath and they slow down the overall pace of your message so it is clearly delivered.
“Practice makes perfect” rings true for many tasks, particularly on-air opportunities. Practice your delivery in front of the mirror or tape yourself to get an idea of what techniques you are doing right, and which ones you need to improve. Remember, the camera does not blink.
The above public speaking tips and techniques will allow you to deliver a clear and concise message in a comfortable and natural manner. For more information and to learn more about how to dramatically improve your public speaking skills, contact the Fallston Group at 410.420.2001 or via email at info@FallstonGroup.com.
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