One of the hardest things when you start a YouTube channel or when you start using video for your business is actually mastering the skill of speaking directly to camera. Now, not every video you need to be looking straight down the barrel of the lens of a camera, but it’s a skill that once it’s mastered can actually serve you very well as you’re creating video content more confidently and coming across more professionally for your brand or business. And let me tell you whether you think that you’re a natural on camera or not, then this is a skill that can be learnt.
I’m going to break down 3 quick tips to help you engage your audience more confidently and professionally, by looking straight down the camera lens.
#1 Look straight down the camera lens, but actually look through the lens.
Now this can be something that is a little bit awkward at first. So what I suggest you do is actually consider how you can draw your eye towards the lens of the camera so that you don’t end up looking all over the place or looking at the wrong place. One of the best ways to do that is to actually use a little sticky note. If you put a little sticky note right next to the lens of the camera, maybe with a big arrow drawn on it, it actually reminds you to look where you need to look. So whether you’re using the webcam on your computer or whether you’re using a video camera of some sort using some kind of visual cue to draw you to look in the right place is a great tip to get started.
The other part of that tip is actually looking at the lens, but effectively looking through the lens. So this is a bit of a strange concept to get your mind around, but it helps to actually kind of shift your gaze or shift your focus so that you’re effectively looking at the lens, but not focusing right on the front part of the lens. And by doing this, your gaze, your eyesight becomes much more natural. And for an audience watching that can make it a much more pleasing experience.
#2 Use natural gaze patterns.
What that means is don’t just lock your view straight and fast on the lens of the camera. And that can be very rigid and unnatural. Instead, what you want to do is to actually turn your head as you would normally when you’re talking to people, but lock your gaze onto that camera lens, because that’s the person that you’re talking to. So even though you may look around a little bit as you’re thinking of a new thought, which is a natural gaze pattern as well, you don’t want to actually be taking your eyes off the lens of the camera too often. However, if you are staring straight down the barrel of the lens in a kind of creepy fashion, then not only will your audience think that they can’t blink when they’re looking at you, but it will not come across natural as well.
#3 Be clear on who it is that you’re talking to.
Imagine that the camera is that person that you’re talking to. So of course, you really need to understand who your ideal audience is, who you’re making this video for, and almost picture them on the other side of the camera lens. It can really help you just be a bit more natural with the way that you’re delivering and more engaging as well. And of course get to the point.
I hope these 3 tips have been valuable for you and to help you be more confident presenting naturally to camera.