Do you feel shy? Would you rather do anything other than presenting on camera? If presenting on camera is the last thing you’d like to do, read this short article to transform your skills and discover a new way to present with total confidence.
Hate cameras? Many of my clients feel this way. They prefer research, science and formal briefings. The last thing on their “1000 things to do before I die” list is presenting on camera.
That is, up until recently. Up until the world changed. And video became the new must-have tool. Just look around. Everyone is using video to share business ideas, solve problems, communicate with colleagues and…let’s not forget the big target. Attract investors.
If you’re noticing the rapid escalation of video conferencing, video testimonials, and video pitches, you are not alone. More and more organizations are shifting from face-to-face meetings for every type of business conversation.
Presentations that were always done in person are now routinely done via skype or one of many online services. The only question is: are you and your leaders ready to be in the spotlight?
Strange, but true story. More than one senior level leader I’ve coached has attempted to find reasons why they can’t be on a video conference call. You may have noticed this happening in your business too. Unexpected meetings. Out of town presentations. International travel.
At first I thought it was just happenstance. But then I noticed that this was not just happening in one company. Time and again, across a wide range of organizations, top leaders were unavailable for video conference calls.
Hmmm. Do you think it’s just a coincidence? My hunch is: no. If you or your peers are reluctant to show up on camera, build your comfort zone. Hone your skills so you can present with complete ease and fearlessness. Once you see how much fun it is, you’re likely to champion these skills and tools across your organization.
1. Talk To Friends
When presenting on camera, speak as if you’re talking to close friends. We all have to overcome the ‘fight-or-flight’ response when talking to groups.
The fastest way past this physiological urge is to escape by speaking as if to dear friends.
Try it. It works…even if you are addressing skeptical prospects or irate board members. In presentation skills training, this first tip is one of the most popular ones. Clients consistently tell me that this transformed their presentation skills instantly.
You smile at friends, right? Do the same while presenting on camera. It’s a good idea to smile at the beginning—and have a smile available at other times during your delivery.
3. Look Into The Camera
Looking directly into the camera creates an intimate and direct connection with your audience. Avoid looking at your shoes. Steer clear of looking at the ceiling—as if hoping that a celestial hand will help you out of your situation.
Focus into the camera. Just as you would look at a friend during conversation.
4. Short Sentences
Your remote audience has a short attention span. Speak in short sentences. If you’ve written out a script, double check sentence length. It’s easy to write long sentences. It’s a lot harder to say them out loud and hold attention.
5. Short Words
Just like Tip. 4 use short words. If you’re using a script, you may have written more formally than how you naturally speak.
Go through your script with an editor’s eye. Shorten long words into short ones. Make swaps. Replace ‘usability’ with ‘use.’ Change out ‘aforementioned’ for ‘these.’ Go over and over your script to find every opportunity to shorten words.
6. Simplify With A Sketch
When working on camera, the last thing you want to do is read boring text-only slides. In fact, you’ll engage your audience when you draw a simple diagram or sketch. Don’t worry. You don’t have to be a talented artist or design genius. Focus on conveying your key idea.
Get help from a presentation coach to simplify complex concepts into a single sketch.
7. Ask For Feedback
The fastest way to improve your on camera skills? Candid feedback from an executive coach. Your coach will help you make tiny changes that have tremendous impact.
These may be in body language, voice, pacing, or sharing personal stories.
If you’ve been avoiding or dreading presenting on camera, it’s time to flip the switch. Transform your trepidation into overflowing confidence about business presenting. Use these 7 tips—and start enjoying all the benefits of this exceptional technology.