How To Improve Your On Camera Presence

If there’s one thing I hear all the time, it’s that people HATE being on camera. Even though they want to be the face of their brand/business, the thought of being on camera or even public speaking makes them want to jump off a cliff. They show up to the set of their own commercial and get so nervous that they can barely put a sentence together. So inevitably, their on camera presence suffers.

Does that sound like you?

on camera presence, video tips, video marketing

Well, hopefully I can put you at ease. You can absolutely improve your on camera presence and you can be the face of your brand if you truly want to be.

I have to admit i’m also pretty shy myself despite the fact that i’ve done a considerable amount of on camera work from acting to youtube. If you are feeling like you are never going be comfortable on camera, think again!

Why Should You Improve Your On Camera Presence?

If you hadn’t heard, video marketing is seeing upward mobility since the rise of the internet. There used to be a time where only big business could reap the benefits of a branded video or commercial. Now, great quality cameras are being built into our cell phones and anyone can make a decent video. Your on camera presence will be important during this digital content wave.

I’ve got some tips I can offer that have helped me over the course of my career.

Practice Off Camera

This is going to sound a little crazy but it really works.

Talk to yourself. Out loud.

Talk about topics that interest you, about things that inspire you, about your business and why you do what you do. Listen to what you say, does it sound concise and clear? If not, continue talking. Practice makes perfect! If you don’t practice talking out loud, you wont really be able to improve your speech patterns or your on camera presence.

If you practice, you will be able to become more comfortable with hearing your own voice, you’ll be able to say what you are thinking without stumbling.

Here’s another thought, the next time you come up with a great topic for a blog, newsletter, or video practice talking about that out loud and record only your voice with your phone or sound recorder. This way, you don’t feel the psychological pressure of being *on camera* and when you are finished you can play back the clip to see how you sound!

Now I know what you may be thinking, I hate listening to my own voice. You may be surprised to know that this is actually very common! Most people are not used to how their voice sounds outside of their own body so it’s really okay! For the time being, try to ignore that fact.

The purpose of this exercise is to hear the content of what you are saying. Are you making sense? Are you jumping from topic to topic sporadically? Are you going on little rants and tangents too often? Do you have and vocal ticks like Um? Or “Okay” or “Like”? Listen to yourself as if it’s not you and that will help you improve!

Do Something To Calm Your Nerves

Most people have poor on-camera presence because of their dreaded nerves! They get on set, or in front of a group of people and they choke! Most of this is psychological. Now, the truth is i’m not sure you can ever fully get rid of nerves. Even super star celebrities get nervous when they have to take the stage or give a big speech. What’s important here, is to direct that energy somewhere else. The aim is not letting your nerves totally wreck you to the point that you can not function.

Just before you get on camera, try doing something that calms your nerves. Whether that’s some yoga, breathing exercises, reading a book, watching a funny show, whatever you need! Try to get as “zin” as possible with yourself just before going into this stressful situation. If you work on calming your nerves, it will help you to get through the shoot easier.

Don’t Write a Script, Just An Outline

This may sound counter intuitive, but if you are in a situation where you control what you say and how long you have to say it (i.e. not acting or hosting on TV where they generally give you a teleprompter and you have limited time) don’t bother writing a script! Instead, write a general outline of what you’d like to cover and then just speak freely. This is where the first tip will really help you. Sometimes, you can come off too rehearsed or like a robot if you write a script and try to read from it or memorize it. Speaking freely about a topic allows you to be more conversational, so your real personality can shine through!

In Conclusion

Just as with everything, you can improve if you have a little determination and patience. If you want to be the face of your brand and give public speeches keep working at it! You can absolutely get to a place where you feel more comfortable and you can represent your brand in style. Hopefully these tips can help you on your journey!

Are you working on your stage/on-camera presence? What tips have helped you? I’m looking forward to your take!

Olivia J

Olivia J is a video producer, writer, and director specializing in corporate video, events, documentaries and film. To see some of her work visit