Today I just wrapped my first video interview. I’ll share more details about this side project when it’s further down the production process, so stay tuned. Until then, I discovered some crucial tips for content creators who want to break the video barrier. This will also be helpful for all of your future success story on camera interviews. Although I have some podcast experience under my belt, there are some big differences between the two mediums.
Hair and Makeup
Since you can’t hide behind the microphone any more, you need to be mindful of your physical appearance. Thankfully I had a very skilled hair and makeup girl. She powdered my face to lessen the shine and sprayed me with sunscreen. She chapsticked my dry lips. She spruced up my hair with pomade and colored in some of my scalp. On second thought, I should have had her gel up my hair and give it more volume, but I was too focused on my questions. Buck already turning into a diva. Look out J-Lo! But seriously, properly communicate your desired look. If not, forever hold your peace because post production can’t Photoshop each frame.
Behind the Scenes
It’s amazing how many people are needed for a video shoot. There’s the director, producer, cameraman, soundman, and assistants. There might have been a key grip as well. But what’s a key grip? Throw your inner diva out the window and always be respectful and courteous to the folks behind the scenes. They work hard to make you look and sound your best.
Just like a job interview or giving a speech, you need to have strong eye contact. Nerves got the best of me as my eyes were all over the place. The director tried to reel me in a few times, but I found myself looking at the ground and sky numerous times. I wanted desperately to deliver profound and smooth answers, but nothing portrays low self confidence and nervousness more than weak eye contact. Remember eyes are windows into your soul.
Tied to my nerves, I found myself slouching in my chair. I was more comfortable and relaxed, but its not appealing to look at and also portrays low self confidence. Stomach in, chest out!
Often I remind my readers and listeners to breathe and relax. This calming effect slows your speaking and portrays a more confident speaker. This too went out the window as I found myself speaking too quickly at times. Take a deep breath, relax, and calm down.
It wasn’t all bad as a very important answer came through with flying colors. Since it was very important to me, I paid special attention to the answer. If you do get the questions before hand, don’t be lazy and do the work because it will pay off. My answer was calm, direct, clear, and confident. It was my strongest performance in the interview.
That’s a Wrap
As I am getting more comfortable with podcasting, my voice, and being natural on the mic, my next logical challenge is video. However, as you can see, there are many obstacles to overcome when you go in front of the camera. In this case, you also don’t have the luxury of hitting stop, doing a retake, or editing out a mistake.
I thought I was getting there, but being in front of the camera opens a Pandora’s Box of self esteem issues. “My hair is out of place. Am I slouching? Oh, I thought of a better answer after the fact!” There are now that much more items about yourself to scrutinize.
At the end of the shoot, I found myself apologizing to the crew for my less than stellar performance. They were very gracious and assured me that everyone they worked with said they wish they could have done better. Guess I can’t fight human nature. The crew mentioned they captured some very good material. We exchanged information and promised to keep in touch. Remember it’s who you know, not what you know.
Until then, it is out of my hands. I need to recover from a long day, breathe, and trust the crew will do the best they can. It is a wakeup call that if I want to be more comfortable in front of the camera I need to put in the effort and log in more air time. If you’re looking into video, I suggest you do the same. Practice makes perfect right?
What is your advice on doing video?