Look Confident on Camera: 7 Easy Hacks

It’s Easier than you Think to Look Confident on Camera

Imagine yourself in a business environment where you are the center of attention. You’re being taped for a video or training program, giving a live presentation, or being interviewed. The spotlight is on you.

Ideally, you’d like to generate a powerful presence, one that creates impact and influence. And project confidence and authority, right?

Sadly, we don’t all have the charisma of George Clooney, or the easy self-confidence of a rock star. But, just tweaking seven mannerisms will make you look confident on camera.

Last Wednesday I produced a live event for the Small Business Advocacy Council Women in Business Education Forum in Chicago, for which I am a Co-Chair.

Our powerhouse speaker was Catherine Johns, former radio personality on WLS and now a successful professional presentation coach.  She spoke about how seemingly subtle non-verbal cues (posture, facial expression, dress, etc.) can speak volumes about your confidence and professionalism.

This topic is very similar to the mini crash course in media training that I do before interviewing employees on camera, so that they look confident. If any of these 7 behaviors are done incorrectly, you will lose your audience’s attention.

1.    Eye contact

·      Crucial for connecting with audience.

·      Eyes look to director next to camera OR into camera lens only.

·      Looking off screen makes you appear like a shifty liar!

2.    Energy

·      Put out more energy than normal, even if it feels forced.

·      Dullness can’t be fixed through editing.

·      Smile! Be enthused!

3.    Body language/ Movement

·      Sit or stand upright comfortable with good posture. No slouching!

·      Don’t be stiff!  Hand gestures made with purpose or enthusiasm are great!

·      If standing, don’t shift your balance from side to side or pace.

·      No death gripping the podium.

4.    Dress, Hair, Makeup and Accessories

·      Don’t let your outfit overpower your message.

·      Bright or high contrast colors work well; avoid all black or patterns. 

·      Keep your hair off your face.

·      Minimal makeup is the rule; powder, mascara and lipstick are sufficent.

·      Keep jewelry minimal as well; nothing shiny, dangly or noisy.

5.    Non- word Fillers and Language

We use filler words (um, like, you know) unconsciously while speaking in real life. This tic becomes exaggerated on camera.

·      Use a pause instead.

·      The silence is ok!  Really. This is a hard one to master.

·      If you make a flub, just give a slight pause. Restart the sentence or the train of thought and continue as normal.

6.    Voice

·      No need to shout, but a little volume helps.

·      Support your voice strongly.

·      Enunciate clearly.

·      Slow your pace.

·      Smile while speaking.

7.    Relax!

·      Enjoy yourself!

I know- easier said than done. Remember my job, as producer, is to get the best performance out of you- and make you look great!

Using these tips will guarantee you’ll convey dynamic messaging without distractions, look confident on camera, and get your message across.  They work great in real life, too!

Elizabeth O’Leary is a writer, producer and director & owner of O’Leary Creative, a digital media production company specializing in marketing communication solutions. https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabetholeary1