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Tips for Appearing on Camera – Some Do’s and Don’ts

April 5, 2018


By Dick Shaner, Jr., Senior Vice President, and Emily Pumm, Multi-media Specialist

Whether you’re getting ready for an on-camera media interview or preparing to appear in a video to represent your organization, you’ll want to take all necessary steps to help make a positive impression.

Over the years I’ve had two negative experiences that helped drive home the importance of looking your best on camera.

Many years ago, I helped prepare a client spokesperson for a live television interview. She was an extremely well-dressed, professional-looking company representative who really knew her stuff. Unfortunately, she wore long, dangly earrings that greatly distracted viewers and negatively impacted her appearance. Lesson learned.

More recently, I helped arrange another live television interview for a not-for-profit organization featuring a program director and a young woman who was a beneficiary of the services they provided. Imagine my reaction when she showed up wearing a very revealing, low-cut blouse.

Once-bitten, twice-shy (or in my case, twice-bitten, twice shy) I recently teamed up with Emily Pumm, our agency’s multi-media specialist, to develop a one-page tip sheet for appearing on camera.

Hopefully, this information will help you and/or your organization avoid the same mistakes I encountered.

In addition to these do’s and don’ts, Emily has some additional recommendations based on her experience behind the camera:

  • Keep an open body posture with both of your shoulders square to the camera
  • Feel free to talk with your hands as they can make you look more animated and personable, but be sure to keep them underneath your chest as you don’t want them to distract from or cover your face
  • Speak a tad louder than you usually speak so regardless of microphone quality, you will be heard
  • Keep steady eye contact as if the person you’re speaking to is right in front of you. An unsteady eye line can make you seem uninterested
  • If you’re sitting down, be sure to sit up straight, and do not roll around if you’re sitting on a chair with wheels
  • Wear comfortable clothing. Being on camera is nerve-racking to begin with. You don’t need your clothing giving you any additional feelings of discomfort or angst
  • Above all else, relax and breathe. If possible, pretend you’re at the beach or someplace peaceful, and hopefully that glow will resonate from the inside out

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