Media Training – Top 10 Tips

Category: Tips and advice | 0

10 Tips to Ace Your Performance

1. Be prepared and send bullet points to the video production company before filming

  • Briefing the video production company is the most important stage of production and yet it’s the one most people neglect because they’re busy before the shoot. Miss this at your peril!
  • Plan what your goals are for the film and know what you’re going to say. There is nothing worse than turning up on the day of filming and making it up as you go along. You’ll be a bag of nerves and the result will be a long, rambling, boring film.
  • You know what topic you want to talk about so spend time thinking about the key points you want to get across, write them down and send them to the director a few days before the shoot.
  • If the director knows what you want to say they can cue you when you need it and help you out during filming. If the director hasn’t a clue what you’re going to say, they can’t help you hone your message, pace your delivery or ensure you keep within the right duration. Basically you’re on your own!

2. Tighten up your talking points and cut to the chase

  • You might want to wax on and on but resist. Viewers have short attention spans and will get bored.
  • Most films are 2- 3 minutes long and there isn’t time to go into too much detail. Have a shopping list in your head of what you’re going to say and make each point succinctly. What you can say in 10 seconds don’t say in 40! More is not better; be brief.

3. The camera crew are your friends 

A good camera crew will work with you to get across what you want to say. Use them! If you are unsure of how you came across, ask us. If you want to do a retake and think you can do better, that’s cool too. If you’re nervous, share your nerves so we can assist you. You are the master of your film and the crew are there to help you get the best performance.

4. Choose your outfit wisely

Your goal is to look good on screen without going overboard or detracting from your message.

  • Now is not the time for that colourful closely checked or striped shirt you just bought. Some patterns render oddly on screen, and distract attention from what you’re saying. Instead, opt for bold and bright colours that warm up your skin tone.
  • Avoid wearing all white or all black as this causes exposure issues.
  • Keep accessories to a minimum.
  • If you have long hair, tie or back or ensure it’s not in your eyes. The eyes are the windows to the soul.

5. Control your body language

  • Maintain eye contact with the camera or interviewer and avoid glancing off set.
  • If you naturally gesticulate, don’t worry!
  • Stand up straight, don’t slouch.
  • Watch your body angles.
  • Don’t jump about on the same spot.
  • Do what feels natural and you’ll be fine.

6. Slow down your speech

It’s natural to speed up your speech whenever you get excited or nervous. If you’re the same, pause, take a breath, and respond slowly and clearly.

7. Practice Ahead of Time

  • It can make you more comfortable if you practice a faux session beforehand, either with a friend or in front of a mirror. This can show you what you’ll look like to your audience and help you correct any issues like slumped posture.
  • Practice doesn’t mean that you have to learn your lines verbatim. In fact, don’t. You’ll come across as too rehearsed and the result will be unnatural. Instead, have topic areas or bullets in your head.
  • You can be tempted to ask someone to hold up a price of paper off camera to help you with your lines. But don’t!

 8. Just be Yourself!

  • We want to see the real you! You don’t have to be the next Claudia Winkelman or Dermot O’Leary, you’ll be great as you are!  If you like a joke, crack one on camera. If you’re slightly cheeky, let’s see that side to you.
  • Don’t feel that you have to be overly formal. We often see people laughing about between takes and then they become overly serious once the cameras roll.
  • The key is to be upbeat and energetic. Be yourself but be an over the top version of yourself! If you’re passionate and enthused about what you’re saying, the viewer will be too.
  • And don’t forget to smile!

 9. Forget Your Being Watched

  • If the idea of  hundreds- or thousands— of people watching you on screen will send you into paralysis, don’t think about it (easier said than done, right?) Instead, focus on the fact that this is all about you.
  • Remember that you are the expert on what you’re talking about. You know your stuff so stay in control. You’re audience are interested in what you have to say. Concentrate on getting your message out and you’ll feel less pressure to perform well if you ignore the rest. 
  • A good trick is to pretend you’re sat in your lounge telling your best mate everything you know. Mentally block out the cameras and the lights. 
  • And remember if it’s not live you can always do it again.

10. De-stress Just Before You Go On

If you’re a nervous ball of energy before your interview:

  • Tense up all the muscles in your body for a few seconds, then release them.
  • Practice deep breathing which is a simple technique for stress reduction that can be used anywhere without anyone knowing you’re doing it.
  • Relax and you’ll be fine!

Purple Door Media’s interactive courses are tailored to your individual or organisation’s needs. Whether you’re new to the industry and need a comprehensive introduction or you’re a seasoned professional preparing for a critical interview, we’ll help you to get the right message across.

All courses include practical sessions with a camera operator, enabling the opportunity to play back and watch yourself in action. And we’ll come to you, wherever you’re located, saving you time and money.

For more information on our bespoke media training courses, get in touch.