Events, promotions, or simple brand marketing – when creating a video for business, having persuasive, engaging on-camera presence is vital.

While some of us are naturally gifted in the spotlight, others may struggle in front of the lens; often nervous about their on-screen behaviour and appearance. 

If you’re set to get on camera (or simply looking to improve your video performance), we’ve outlined five key tips to look your best in marketing videos. 

Practice, practice, practice!

There’s no getting around it: for your best performance on video, your best bet is continuous practice. This isn’t to just familiarize you with your talking points – it’s also to build your confidence, an awareness of your body language, and familiarity with the camera.

Experts suggest filming yourself in preparation for the actual shoot. This way, you can watch yourself back and pinpoint any performance areas that need improving. Take note of the speed, volume, and intonation in your speech. Are you emotive enough? Are you speaking clearly and at an adequate pace? Knowing what works and what’s missing can help you craft an assured, quality performance for when you get on camera. 

Scripts are an effective method for many – as preparing one ahead of time can help in memorising your key points – though a pure, line-by-line regurgitation of one can come off stilted, cold, and ingenuine. 

Instead, aim to get comfortable with your talking points, keeping their general flow and structure in mind. This allows you to maintain a conversational, natural demeanour, helping you resonate with viewers better. Having a sound understanding of your target audience can also help you frame the right tone and messaging for a more effective connection.

Keep it high energy 

Studies show that humans have a maximum attention span of eight seconds – so ensure you engage them from the get-go. Once you’ve got your message down-pat, think of a clear, snappy introduction to hook your audience in. 

Try and maintain an energetic vibe throughout your performance. Along with a compelling script and varying intonation in your speech, body language can do wonders to boost your on-camera presence. In fact, research shows that effective communication is only 7%verbal, while the rest is 93% non-verbal. 

Even if you’re fighting off nerves, aim to at least look confident on camera. Smile, laugh, and speak enthusiastically; the energy you radiate influences a viewer’s engagement with your content. And of course – maintain eye contact. All these help in creating a warm, relaxed, and relatable persona that draws in audience attention.

Additionally, use your hands as you talk. Your hand gestures can be a powerful communication tool in effectively driving your point home. Try and keep them above your waist, but below your shoulders; ensuring they stay in the shot while remaining non-distracting. Don’t be afraid to get animated, either – often, “overdoing” it puts forth just the right energy on camera.    

Dress appropriately

You may be an impeccable speaker, but appearances – especially in video marketing – still matter. An unkept, low-effort, and unprofessional presentation will likely lead to negative snap judgements from your audience, effectively losing their attention. As such, it’s important to plan your attire accordingly. You’re representing your business, after all.

Jennifer Jager, creative director at Plum Productions, shares her on-camera wardrobe recommendations with Entrepreneur – these including a “warm” colour palette (such as teal, cobalt, and purple), solid patterns, simple jewellery, and classic style trends that can stand the test of time (leave the fashion fads for another time!). 

Additionally, she warns against wearing white, bright red, and all-black outfits, as they often pose technical problems when on camera. Bright white tops tend to glow (leading to unnecessary adjustments in camera exposure), black clothing tends to wash the subject out, making them look “shapeless; and bright red articles can “bleed” on video – giving off a hazy, halo-like effect. 

On top of aesthetics, you’ll want to ensure a comfortable outfit. Nothing’s worse than enhancing your nerves with a top that’s too tight, a jacket that’s too hot or an ill-fitting, unflattering suit. 

Set your expectations

Before showing up to the day of filming, it helps to know exactly what to expect. This is an especially invaluable step for those who are naturally camera-shy; as you can brace yourself for the number of people and cameras present, along with the size of the set come time to shoot. 

Depending on your project, it may just be you, your boss, and the cameraman (or two). Or it may be a far larger production – with multiple lights, camera equipment, company executives and additional actors on board. Avoid intimidating “surprises” on the day by enquiring on the video production process and what you can expect to see on set, helping you ease into the proper mindset. 

Having a broad knowledge of filming plans also gives you insight into any additional services or tools to be offered on set – such as the use of teleprompters, makeup artists, or wardrobe and hair stylists. 

It also helps to have a general idea of how long you’ll be filming, allowing you to carve out the time in your schedule as necessary. 

The film crew are there to help

Lastly, know that your film crew is here to guide and assist you throughout production. 

Ultimately, your main focus should be on delivering your message. A professional physical image is important, yes – but try not to fret too much over your on-camera appearance; your videography team will ensure all technical settings are in place for making you look your best possible self.

Don’t stress over takes, either – the more, the better! This provides you with more material to pick from after shooting, and allows you to perfect your presentation. These days, films rolls won’t break your bank, and you likely aren’t live-streaming either – so reshoot as much as you need to. 

Additionally, take their feedback into consideration. You wouldn’t want a crew of “yes-men”; it’s best to encourage your videographers (and assistants) to provide constructive criticism, helping you improve your camera presence. At the end of the day, their pointers will help bring out your best performance, making for a better-quality video!  

Having a videographer who’s open to partnership, is openly communicative, and places you and your employees at ease can lead to high-end business videos that fit your corporate needs and creative vision.

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I write about video marketing and how it can help your business.