Dear Mr President … you appear a little uncomfortable?

In my previous article, I talked about presenting ‘to camera’ versus ‘off camera’. Recent footage of Barack Obama, is (to my mind) a good example of a presentation that should have only been shot ‘to camera’. Obama is addressing the nation … announcing they have just killed Osama bin Laden and reading the statement from a teleprompter.

The footage from major news channels showed Obama presenting to camera … however the footage released by the White House (note the WH GOV icon top left of screen), has been shot from another camera position, slightly to one side, resulting in the US President appearing to be presenting ‘off camera’ and consequently giving the impression he is no longer talking to the nation.

There are some presentations that need to be directly to camera … to talk to people personally. A CEO announcing staff retrenchments or some sort of tragedy affecting the company would be good examples. These are also moments when reading a speech won’t cut it … it needs to be from the heart. Personally I think this announcement from Obama should also have been from the heart … after all, whatever your feelings are about bin Laden … US troops had just killed someone.

The speech Obama is reading, has also been written in short, sharp sentences. With phrases like “hijacked planes cutting though a cloudless September sky” it sounds more like a movie script than a President trying to connect with his people. Personally, I don’t think he could have felt at all comfortable delivering this speech.


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