Be Prepared: What to Know Before You Step In Front of the Camera
Thank you to Janine Burke for contributing this post. Janine is an LA-based public speaking coach. Visit her website to learn more about her.
Imagine you have your first video shoot coming up – everyone is ready to go – production, location, makeup, and hair are all booked. You are confident you can trust them to execute all their areas of expertise.
Now it is up to you to be as smooth as butter and sound as soft as silk when delivering your lines, otherwise you’ll end up doing each take over and over and possibly wasting a lot of time and money. The weight of all this can cause major stress and when things go wrong it’s painful and frustrating; believe me, I know.
I teach clients how to overcome the fear of public speaking and how to turn good speakers into great speakers. Here are some of my top tips for not only overcoming the fear of public speaking but also being able to save time and money on your video shoot:
You should have written a tight and interesting script. No matter what the subject, as they say in theater, “If it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage”.
Take advice from the best – learn your lines. Meryl Streep memorizes her script before she develops her characters and then adds the nuances to their personalities. – learn your lines so well, that, like Meryl, you can deliver them with sincerity, conviction and ENERGY.
Your personality is what endears and connects you to your audience. Give yourself the freedom of being able to show your personality by learning your lines and delivery well in advance.
Yes, you can use a teleprompter, in some circumstances – but remember, unless you use them often it will be hard to appear NATURAL. You do not want to sound dull and lifeless like you are reading a hostage tape!
Avoid filler words (umms, ahhs, you knows) as they can greatly reduce your credibility and mean, “take after take” or expensive editing costs that can simply be avoided by following these simple steps.
Practicing how to avoid filler words in advance of the shoot will help you greatly and make the whole production not only easier and cheaper but way less frustrating for you. Your audience deserves to see you at your best.
Pay attention to your speaking speed. Professional public speakers talk at about 100 – 120 words per minute – any faster and the audience will not understand us, any slower and we will bore them to death.
It’s also a good idea to do a word count of your script so you have an idea of how long each section will run. This will really help your production team to schedule the day for you and to maximize your time and dime.
Follow these tips that professional public speakers use and you’ll be more than prepared and far less stressed when shoot day comes. Break a leg!