If you're investing in some professional filming to promote your business or delivering a keynote from a studio, here are 15 tips to help you present like a star.
In the last few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some top-level professionals in some filming contexts. I also fell in love with most of them.
1. The tv director in your left ear is your best friend. How they count down from the control room and how they support you with last-minute changes is critical to your experience and to your success – and of course they are linked. The more supported you feel, the better you will do when the camera is live and all the preparation you’ve done is put to the test.
One of the directors I had said, "Happy, happy, joy, joy," before every, "3, 2, 1, -". It lifted my spirits every time.
He also complimented me every single time I finished MCing a section.
If your director is not like this naturally, ask for what you want.
Your floor manager will get you sorted with coffee, water or whatever. It's ok to ask for the other kinds of support you need to succeed.
2. Get there early. See the setup, understand how to coordinate with your floor manager, the sound technician and how your teleprompter is set up. As someone who needs glasses to read, it was critical for me to figure out what would cause me less eye strain.
3. What to wear is a whole story in and of itself but I’ll say this, The crushed t-shirt look is passe for a professional setup. If you’re pitching on camera, look like you’re coming to do business. For most of us, that still means a button down and perhaps a jacket. If you’re still in the “Smell of an oil rag” phase, then a t-shirt could be the look for you. But if you’re speaking to investors, please make sure your shirt is soup-free.
4. The teleprompter operator is your best friend. Make sure they know. Also, make sure the text is aligned to the left for English and that there are very few words on the screen, that way your eyes will make minimal movement and won’t show everyone, I am reading to you!
5. Make sure your script is perfect. When you are live, you are live.
6. When the floor manager tells you to stand exactly on that piece of tape on the studio floor, they aren’t kidding. That’s where you stand. You don’t want to present half off screen. Even if there are two cameras.
7. The lighting is hot. Believe it. Deodorant has always looked after you. Trust it the day you go to film.
8. The make up person is another friend to rely on. If you’re offered make up, take it.
And I’ll say this loudly for the people at the back. If you are bald, face it. That is a whole lot of surface to be shiny, so shiny on camera. Stop the shine. Say thank you to make up.
Again, it's important to ask for what you want. One person made me look like a clown. I asked for the whole shebang to be calmed down.
9. Look into the camera and then remember how you talk to people. Your social skills, thinking while you talk, responding to what you are saying with your hands and face as you’re talking shouldn’t disappear just because you’re on camera.
10. Talk to the people beyond the camera and take care of yourself. Breathe, enjoy, and think about the audience you’re speaking to.
11. Get your energy up before you go live. Clap, jump, rub your hands together, or do whatever you need to so you are ready for the 3,2,1, -.
12. Don’t open with so or well. Open with, Welcome to….. Don’t open with filler words. Open with your opening. That way you get a sharp professional launch to your content.
13. Obviously, countdowns are critical for keeping you coordinated with the entire flow of the event. Pay attention to what you are being told. Use the countdowns to get ready, check your position and be ready to go on the dot.
14. If retakes or editing is possible then this is the approach you want.
You want a director who is kind, patient and supportive also in hour 8 with speaker no 10. And this is what it sounds like.
"That was great. Let's do another take just to be sure."
15. When someone needs to do a retake, they should start back a few sentences or from the tail end of the slide before and then pick up from exactly where they left off but with the momentum of the transition. Launching into the moment when the retake will happen is an invaluable tip from a top professional.
Use it in good health to look like the professional you are when you're on screen.