Appearing powerful in front of a camera: 5 tips!

Meetings, presentations and interviews are increasingly conducted through the camera lens these days. But communicating through a camera is quite different from face-to-face. I stand in front of the camera every day and give you 5 tips to get your message across powerfully.

It doesn’t come naturally for most people: standing in front of the camera relaxed and confident. Clearly conveying your message in a virtual environment feels different. Often people forget to look into the camera lens and use expression and body language. And that makes communication a lot less powerful.

As with communication in ‘real life’, it is often not about the exact words you use, but HOW you say something. I would therefore like to give you 5 practical tips that you can immediately apply to how you come across in virtual meetings, video interviews and live streams.

1. Harness the power of body language and expression

In video meetings and live streams we are often very focused on the content of the conversation, but don’t you also forget about non-verbal communication? During regular conversations, we often do it automatically: a friendly smile and simply making eye contact, or speaking with your hands. But for a camera this often falls away. So don’t forget:

  • Looking into the camera lens to make eye contact. Especially during moments when you want to convey something clearly.
  • To smile every now and then. Even when you are not speaking, facial expressions allow you to respond non-verbally to what is being said.
  • Keep an open attitude. For example, do not sit with your arms folded, leaned back, but with your arms open and your body leaned forward.

2. Come across as powerful with your voice

One of the best instruments you own? Your vote! With good use of your voice you can attract attention, keep the attention, and convey a message well.

So it is often not in the precise words you use, but how you say something. Good use of voice keeps you captivated as a listener, and the message really gets through. This is usually due to variation in voice use:

  • Vary in tempo and volume. Speak faster sometimes, and slow on really important parts. Let the speaking pace also depend on the pace of the meeting and/or the interview. Adjust your pace to someone else.
  • Lower voices often come across as clearer and more powerful. Are you nervous and speaking high? Then try to breathe calmly and speak in a low voice (from your lower abdomen).
  • Make sure you have the right intonation: a varied melody in your voice. A monotonous story is very difficult to keep up with. Think in advance which words you really want to emphasize.
  • Don’t be afraid of silences. It can be very helpful to take a moment of silence right after you say something important. Then the previous sentence comes in extra.

3. This makes you appear more energetic

I am regularly told that I have a ‘nice energy’ in front of the camera. However, I don’t always feel full of energy. If I’m tired, or don’t really feel like a video meeting, I try to get into the right mode beforehand. I then try to boost my energy level, so that I do come across clearly in front of a camera. Here are some ways you can do that:

  • Be aware of how you feel beforehand. Are you interested in this meeting, livestream or interview? Or do you not feel like it, and maybe you feel tired?
  • When I feel tired, I briefly try to do something that gives me energy: I put on a great music song for 1 minute, or I do jumping jacks for 20 seconds. Being outside for two minutes can also help enormously.
  • In addition, I am aware of the first 10-20 seconds of the meeting: precisely then I try to be extra aware of an open body posture, expression, and a warm smile. If the first 20 seconds go well, the rest usually goes a lot better too!

4. Stressed or nervous? Tips to become calmer

In the first few minutes of a live stream, I always feel tension. I am often very aware of what I say and how I say it. Recognizable? Over the years I have found different ways to deal with nerves in front of the camera. A few at a glance:

  • Do you feel the nerves running through your body? Stand up, let yourself fall over, and let everything ‘let go’ for a while. Hanging upside down for a while and breathing slowly can help me a lot. Sometimes I do this for 20 seconds, and sometimes for 2 minutes.
  • Which can also help enormously, before the camera is on: standing with your arms on your hips or wide up in the air. This ‘power pose’ is used in many professions to appear confident.
  • Be aware that almost everyone (especially at the start) has nerves. So give yourself time to land.

5. Practice, practice, practice

How do you ensure that you speak powerfully, appear confident, and that your message clearly reaches the viewer(s)? Especially by practicing this a lot. The only real way to really master all of the above tips is to give yourself time.

I learned a lot myself by making mistakes, I made a lot of bloopers during live news on American television, I was extremely nervous during recordings, and the nerves were screaming through my body when speaking at events.

So are you nervous, do you come across a little ‘awkward’? That is really quite normal. Keep doing it, and allow yourself to experiment and make mistakes. Because that’s how you really learn!

Source: Frankwatching by

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