Don’t Look at the TV Camera | Public Speaking | Presentation Skills

Do not look at the camera when you are being interviewed. Some of the worst advice out there in media training is, “ Look at the camera and ignore the reporter”.

Now, there are exceptions and I will go over them but in general, you want to look at the reporter who is talking to you. You want to look at the host who has invited you over to speak with you.

Your entire life, you have been looking at human beings when you talk to them unless you are on the phone, then there is nothing for you to look at. However, if there is a video camera and a reporter present with you, you are far better off ignoring the camera and just talking to the reporter.

There are a couple of exceptions though: a local news crew could come out to you and the camera person might instruct you to just look at the camera. In that case, you should do what the production crew tells you to. So in the case that nobody else is around for you to look at and a couple of other exceptions, you should look at the camera. All other times, converse with the reporter.

Let’s say you are doing a Saturday or Sunday morning public affairs show and you want to invite people to come down to the walkathon to support your charity, you can turn to the camera during the interview and to communicate with the viewers. However, most studios have multiple cameras and you never know which one is airing so it can get tricky. But you cannot go wrong with just looking at the reporter and talking to them.

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