Into the camera … Or off camera?

Before you next find yourself in front of the ‘business end’ of a video camera being interviewed or as a presenter, here is a trick used by seasoned professionals.

If you haven’t had lots of experience presenting ‘to camera’ … you are probably better off presenting ‘off camera’

The difficulty most people experience presenting ‘to camera’ … is getting their ‘eye line’ right. In other words, where do you look in the lens of the camera to make eye contact
with an audience you can’t see?.

Many people adopt a position that appears slightly too high to the viewer. The effect can be to make you appear a little ‘aloof’ …. giving the impression you are talking down to the audience.

For the majority of corporate videos we shoot, we prefer our clients not to present ‘to camera’ … but rather slightly ‘off camera’. Get one of your colleagues to position themselves off to one side of the camera and engage you in a conversation … maintaining eye contact with each other throughout. The result is very much more natural.

Now all you need to do is simply respond to a series of pre-planned questions that will prompt your dialogue. However in the final edit the production house can remove the questions and cut your answers together in quick succession. This adds to the overall energy and pace and you appear to be more fluent, more confident … totally on top of the situation.

By changing the camera angle or size of shot, and by using cut aways to suitable graphics, the video production company can make your delivery look completely seamless and the overall impression is a well delivered, crisp presentation.

It’s a tried and tested technique the world over. Jamie Oliver presents ‘off camera’ … so does Barack Obama, (however there are times when presenting to camera is essential, remind me to discuss this on another blog entry).


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