HOW TO LOOK YOUR BEST ON CAMERA (continued)
No shifty eyes
Your face and eye movements are particularly important on camera. You will not sound trustworthy and authentic if you have a great message and are saying things where your eyes are moving on a script on the teleprompter screen.
Look at the reporter
When a reporter is interviewing you, it is best to look at the reporter, not at the camera. If there is no reporter, or if you’re being interviewed through an earpiece remotely and someone is interviewing you from another city, then it is okay to look at the camera.
Another thing to avoid is playing with the camera and looking at the camera before looking at the reporter and the camera. Just look at the human being, the reporter who is interviewing you. You have a lifetime experience looking at human beings when you talk to them. Ignoring the person and staring at a piece of machinery does not look nice.
Do not take your eyes up
Another problem people often have is their eyes going up when thinking about what to say. It’s natural when someone asks you a question, and you think your eyes go up and over. But on video, it looks weird. It looks like you are making up stuff. Try to look at the reporter or the camera as much as possible. If you must look away occasionally, look down, which will be much less noticeable and you’ll look thoughtful. If you look up, it seems you are saying, “I don’t know what to say.”
Don’t turn blank-faced
Most of us, when listening to someone talk, go blank-faced. If you have a blank look on TV, it looks like you are bored and flat. So, to look natural, alive and best on video, have a slight smile. Not a gigantic TV preacher’s smile – just a small one. You don’t have to show teeth, just a little smile, even when discussing a crisis or bad news. It will not look like you’re smiling. You’ll look relaxed, comfortable and confident regardless of the topic.
Touch-up is essential
A slight makeup touch is necessary for everyone to look presentable and avoid distractions from certain things. Everybody on TV is wearing makeup. Males only need some powder. Applying it takes the shine off the forehead, nose, and even on the head if you have significantly less hair. It will reduce the shine and reflection on the top of the head. This way, people can focus on your words with fewer distractions.
Don’t freeze your hands
The number one myth when it comes to public speaking and speaking to the media is that you need to control your hands as these things will strangle you. It is complete, utter nonsense. The more confident and comfortable the speaker is, the more often you see their hands move. My experience with clients from six continents, all over the world, with all kinds of languages and all sorts of cultures, is when people are comfortable, their hands move when they are talking. So, the second you freeze your hands, it makes you appear less comfortable and nervous.
Here are a few tips for seated interviews. The first thing is don’t lean in the back of the seat. Don’t lean on the armrests on either side because that would immobilize you. Also, don’t lean on a table in front of you. It’s fine to have your hands on a table while listening to someone, but your hands should move when you talk.
Make your clothing selection wisely
While selecting your outfit for any presentation or TV interview, make sure you wear what is consistent with your personality and profession. You should not confuse and distract people with your dressing. As a corporate media trainer, I work with politicians, authors and experts. Most of my clients work for big corporations, so I wear a traditional suit and tie in a way that makes my clients feel like I am one of them. A solid, light blue shirt and a tie with pinstripes on my suit that are very subtle so they don’t jump around will be a perfect choice. These are not particularly interesting looking clothes which is the main point. I want you to focus on what I’m saying, not what I wear. This fact is most significant when you are talking to people.
If you are an artist, you can wear something colorful that draws people in and helps cement your reputation as someone different and artistic. But if you’re in financial services or a CEO or CFO of a major corporation, you probably don’t want people to focus on what you’re wearing. That’s why it would be an excellent option to wear solid clothing.
Avoid pure black and white outfits
Avoid black as it is too dark and hard, making you look heavier in person on camera, unlike its slimming effect in reality. It makes you look heavier as your arms blend, it can also blend in with the chair or the background, so it would be better to avoid black. Also, avoid white; the problem with white is it becomes the brightest thing on the screen, making it harder to focus on your face. You want the focus to be on you, not what you wear or the white shirt. Also, avoid stripes and plaids, as they can jump around. Anything that adds complexity to your appearance can be a problem. It might look great on someone’s gigantic high-definition TV, but it could be fuzzy if someone is watching you on YouTube on their cell phone.
Don’t act embarrassed
By practicing these things repeatedly, you can help yourself look your best so that you don’t have any awkward moments while on camera. Some of you may remember that a few years back, a well-known politician was giving a powerful speech on TV during which he lunged awkwardly for his bottle of water, drank it, and put it back in a way he looked like a little boy who was caught stealing a cookie. That thing was so memorable because of the way he did it. There’s nothing wrong with drinking water during your talk. Famous comedians do it, and some Broadway stars also do it. Just don’t act embarrassed, rushed or ashamed. Do it in a normal way and continue; typically, people won’t remember it. Your goal is to make people remember your messages, not anything you did in a distracting way.
Your eye movements are very important during your presentation. Eyes reading a script in front of them does not create a good impression on the audience. Look at the reporter, not the camera, during an interview. Don’t look up when you pause thinking about what to say; instead, look down. When listening to questions from the reporter, don’t turn blank-faced; keep a slight smile. Don’t freeze your hand intentionally while talking. If you are sitting, do not lean back or on the side of the chair. Dress according to your personality and job. Avoid things that create distractions and make people focus on your dress instead of what you are saying. Avoid pure black and white outfits as they are inappropriate for the perfect look and focus. Do not act weird in any way that people remember it instead of what you said in the presentation or the interview.