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Lights, Camera, Relax!

So you get that email or phone message.  You’re going On Camera Corporate Video!  You’ve been selected to speak for your company and the video crew is coming.  Maybe you’re the type that instantly faces rising blood pressure.  Nerves start setting in.  

Here’s what can really help you.  First of all, relax.  No really, relax.  If you’re not used to being on camera, it literally puts a spotlight right on you.  You’ll be self-conscious. Try not to be. 

But How Can I Relax?

Go to a mirror and practice answering some questions while you watch yourself.  May sound silly, but it will help.  The more self-conscious you are, the more nervous you’ll be—it’s a vicious cycle.  The camera crew is there to capture you in the best way possible—no need to fear them; they’re hired by the corporation to make a video for you.  This isn’t sixty minutes.

What Do I Wear?

going on camera for the corporate interviewSecondly, what should you wear?  Avoid bright white and tight patterns.  Solids are great.  Muted colors can be very flattering.  Lots of jewelry can compete with the microphone, so be careful there.  And if you’re being interviewed outdoors, don’t wear sunglasses—your most important feature is your eyes.  We’ve got to see them.  We’ve got a handy article on what to wear right here that goes into more detail.

What About Glasses?

And another note on glasses– should you wear them or not?  Many times, the lights present a glare int he glasses, effectively covering your eyes.  If you’ve got anti-glare glasses, there’s a better chance you can keep them on.  But as a video producer, I almost always will vote for you to not wear them for the interview.

If you’re doing a safety video in the plant, then yes, wear the safety glasses for the interview.  But the general guideline is if you can get away with not wearing glasses, then do so.

What Do I Do When the Camera Rolls?

Usually, you’ll be asked questions by someone just off camera.  In that case, you’ll make eye contact with them, not the camera.  The only time you’d ever look at the camera is if the director tells you to. Occasionally, we do have interviews where you address the camera directly, but’s its not common.

Also, most of the time, the audience will never hear the interviewer’s question, so try and rephrase the question into your answer.  For instance, what’s your favorite color?  If you say “blue” there won’t be any reference.  You need to say “my favorite color is blue.”  And since the director might ask similar questions to try and get a slightly different response, avoid saying “as I mentioned before” and things like that.

How Long Does This Take?

Lastly, it usually doesn’t take long.  Most of these type interviews last ten minutes.  It might take 45 minutes just to set up.  For a three or four minute corporate video, you might make up about 20 to 45 seconds of the video.  That’s out of ten minutes on camera.  So it will be edited down.

Relax and have fun!