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How to look good on video?

Tips for the Talent - A guide to appearing on screen. Make sure you look and sound good in your next video production with these handy hints.

10 January 2015

How to look good on video


Ensure you dress appropriately both in terms of casualness / professionalism and importantly be comfortable and confident in your clothes. Here are a few things to think about when considering your attire for a shoot:

  • Wear warm clothes if outdoor winter shoot
  • If windy avoid clothes that will flap
  • If under lights don't overdress, it will get hot
  • Don't wear short skirts or shorts, these ride up when seated and can be distracting
  • Plain colours work well, patterns that are fine can sometimes pixelate
  • If on a green screen don't wear any green

#2 - Consider your posture

To look good on video, consider your posture before the shoot. Poor posture, slouching and fidgeting will distract the viewer away from your key messages. 

How to look good on video consider your posture

Therefore make sure you sit up straight and keep your hands in a comfortable place, but don't overcompensate this for being stiff and robotic, your body should convey your energy and intelligence.

#3 - Smile

A genuine smile is vital to coming across as sincere and confident. Unless required for the video, not showing any emotion on film will inevitably bore the audience and they will zone out when taking in your key messages, so make sure you smile to keep the audience induced.

#4 - Be Natural

Don't try to alter your voice to create a character. Be yourself and speak to the camera naturally, this will essentially generate a more authentic form of communication which people are used to.

#5 - Pro-nun-ci-a-tion and Delivery

You know what you're talking about. So focus on how you deliver the goods. Use a natural pace and making sure you pronounce correctly. If you rush through and ramble because you're nervous, you throw away your credibility in the subject matter. If you get tongue-tied stop, do another take.

In terms of delivery keep these points in mind:

  • If you have said something wrong say so, these clips can be cut
  • If the director or interviewer seems to be looking for a particular statement, ask what it is
  • Avoid long answers. These can impact the ability to produce the video in your desired length
  • Don't be tempted to over talk - make your point and stop
  • It's difficult to edit around points if the natural answer flow doesn't have any natural breaks, or the inflections aren't there to have end of a particular point seem natural
  • Ask where to look. If it helps put some tape there to look at. Keep looking there for 5-10 seconds after a take
  • Count to 2 in your head after delivering your lines or in between key points, before you look away / this helps with the editing process i.e. framing a shot / allow for graphics on screen
  • Use pauses to gather your thoughts and for effect

#6 - Location

Ensure you know where to be and be a little early. If this means driving away from your current location, park somewhere that will more than cover the interview time. 

How to look good on video - consider location

External distractions (such as an expired parking meter) will impact your performance.  Also, consider your location for the take and dress appropriately.

#7 - Practice makes perfect

Practicing your lines and/or thinking about what you're going to say before going on camera will stimulate more confidence which will be beneficial to creating a better shot and lead to less camera roll. Ask for briefing notes on the topics expected and formulate key points you would raise around these notes. If a script is provided, learn it and check if the dialogue needs to be word perfect. If the script is too long request an autocue.

#8 - Relax

If you're not used to being on camera there's bound to be nerves. Try to ease the nerves by relaxing - stretch, go for a small walk to dissipate adrenaline, listen to music. To look good on video, sit in front of the camera only when you're feeling cool, calm and collected.

Not only is it essential for life, but breathing is necessary to be great on screen. Take big deep breaths before you go in front of the camera, and continue to breathe naturally when the camera's on. If you find that you're breathing and or talking too fast, take a drink of water and have a break.

#9 - Lastly, ask...anything

The people on set are there to make you feel comfortable. If you are confused about why something is happening get them to explain what they're up to and why.

Take a look at some examples of Ocular's video productions for inspiration or get in touch with us to discuss your next video project!