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Practical Video Presentation Tips

Victoria Forrest

Victoria Forrest

Marketing and Communications Manager at Australian College of Midwives

Hello I’m Victoria and I’m here to teach you a little bit about on camera presentation.
For 15 years I worked at The Weather Channel and Sky News training presenters, so I know the things a good presenter should do. And I know how to get the best out of someone.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean I can do it myself either. I avoided being in front of the camera that whole time, and this is only the second time that I’ve ever agreed to it. So in that regard, our experience level is probably quite similar.
There are some written tips that you can read through, but I’ll just run through a couple of the more important things that you can consider as you’re going.

Framing is really important. Think about everything that’s within the frame of the camera. If there’s anything in there that will draw the viewer’s attention away from you and what you’re saying, get rid of it. It could be something in the background. It could be strange lighting. It could be something you’re wearing or your hair, whatever it is, fix it so that the focus remains on you all the time.

The second really important tip is eye contact. Now, if you try and be tricky and read some notes off your computer screen or look at yourself while you’re recording, you can see that my eyeline changes. I’m not looking at you anymore and it’s instantly noticeable when you’re having a conversation with someone. You maintain that eye contact and that’s how they stay engaged and that’s how you build a rapport with them. So that’s how you do it through a camera as well. It seems strange to be looking at a tiny speck on a phone like I’m doing now, but that’s where you need to be looking.

The other kind of unnatural thing that you need to do is speak with a half smile. It feels ridiculous. I feel like a lunatic doing it right now, but it instantly makes your face more animated, more expressive, and you’re more engaging to watch. If you don’t smile, you can see that it changes the tone of my voice even. And it’s not as interesting to watch and I don’t maintain your engagement. So put on the half smile.

The other thing that will be really hard to do is watch yourself back. It’ll be excruciating, and I’m sure I’m going to find that as well. And it’s important not to be too harsh a judge, because if you try to be too perfect, you’ll become a robot. Don’t record so many times that you become robotic and you lose the essence of what you’re trying to get across, which is you, which is who you are and the experience you have.

It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being genuine and yourself.

Good luck!