What NOT to do on camera

I know after one of my interviews, I was so intent on getting my material right, I forgot to be myself and funnily enough that is actually the MOST important part of your appearance.


If you are not used to being on camera or photographed, it can be overwhelming as you try and be YOU! It is funny when someone starts rolling the camera, it’s almost like your brain goes into another mode. You are conscious of yourself being recorded and so the flow stops because you self edit as you talk.

As a director and editor, I always let my subjects know to just keep talking. Let it roll out and relax as I can edit everything out if needed, even ‘ums’ and ‘ahh’s’ and there are alot of those generally with non-actors. In fact I often tell them we’ll do a ‘practice run’ so they relax even though everything is useable and often the best material comes in ‘practice’ and ‘after calling cut’ mode. Some of you may have heard of directors calling ‘cut’, but keep rolling the camera THEN the subject relaxes and talks normally – a common trick directors and journo’s use.

When I last went on TV for an interview, there is no preparation or brief by the station on what screens to look at etc, so you really need to know your stuff. Of course make sure you prep your material, KNOW what you are talking about, the more you know your material, the more you can relax and be yourself.

I know after one of my interviews, I was so intent on getting my material right, I forgot to be myself and funnily enough that is actually the MOST important part of your appearance.

In any case, here is my advice on WHAT NOT TO DO.
  1.  Don’t look at anyone off camera, only the person who is interviewing you, unless you are doing a piece to camera – then it’s the camera or up in the air, but not at a person.
  2.  Don’t slouch, keep conscious of your shoulders being back (good for keeping your neck looking good ladies – think ‘long neck’).
  3.  Don’t keep talking until they jump down your throat to stop you, round off your sentences.
  4.  Don’t make your answers too long, keep it short and to the point.
  5.  Don’t wear thin stripes as it strobes on video and then they’ll change you into something you don’t like (usually).
  1.  Don’t be afraid to stuff up – people are most interested in YOU being relaxed and yourself – make it fun if you do!
  2.  Don’t pretend to be someone else, the BIGGEST no no is not being AUTHENTIC.
  3.  Don’t say something you are not sure of is true, know your stuff so you can back it up and not be sued.
  4.  Don’t drop your chin too much when being photographed (gives you fat chin) and keep your hands up if you older to keep your those veins from popping!
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