The time has now come when you have to appear on camera and be interviewed for your company.
You may be required to speak to an external client or public audience
- or you may be speaking as part of an internal training programme.
In either event, here's a few simple tips on how to make the best of your camera appearance.
Before the interview
Get a good night's sleep. 8 hours.
The camera sees all, including deep tiredness or a lack of freshness, all of which a decent night's sleep will fix.
Arrange for your interview in the morning before lunch.
After interviewing countless people, after lunch speakers never have the same spark.
The same with end of day interviews. They show the stress of the day.
While in the morning, natural lively vitality seems to come out easier and better.
Think through your questionnaire.
If your camera piece is an interview, then go over the questions in your mind until you feel comfortable with what you want to say.
There's no need to memorise the words. Just be comfortable with the subject matter.
If you object to any of the questions now's the time to tell someone.
If you're reading from a teleprompt, then check that the script flows well for the natural way you speak.
If some of the pre-written script feels lumpy for the way you speak, then change it.
The teleprompt operator at the filming session will be comfortable making last minute adjustments. It's part of their job.
During the interview
It's all lights camera action? No, probably not. More likely your interview will be fixed for a large empty office or training room or boardroom - or even outdoors by the company logo signage.
> Natural speech is always best. The worst kind of speech is sounding like someone repeating the manual aloud. It's only one up from the sound of a policeman dully giving evidence in court.
> Where possible, please keep your answers brief and to the point. Long winding stories often end up on the cutting room floor. If you can manage to keep your answers to crisp 15-24 word soundbites, then so much the better.
> Avoid white clothes, as white can flare on video.
> If you're slim, be interviewed standing up with the camera showing from the waist up, giving you the opportunity to express yourself with hand & body gestures to emphasise or colour the points you're making. You'll look a lot more interesting if you do.
> If you're fat, then sitting down, filming head and shoulders is best.
> Be demonstrative. Staying wooden impresses nobody. So use the movements of your eyes, lips, chin, eyebrows and face angle to underpin what your saying. Your face has become a theatre, so choreograph it. Or at least don't stay wooden. If you're standing for your interview, then arm and hand gestures really work well, so practice them.
> Expect to do 3-5 takes. Not always, but sometimes it's necessary. And more footage gives the video editor more opportunity to find the best versions of what you're saying to your audience.
> If you don't like a question, or feel unqualified to reply, then say "pass". Or better still get someone else to speak on camera, who're qualified to speak with greater authority or knowledge.
After the interview
Be prepared to be filmed for additional shots to supplement you speaking to camera.
This is called B Roll. The better and more B Roll you have filmed, the better your interview will look.
You may be filmed walking through the office, on the phone, demonstrating equipment, talking to team members or staff, and other activities that help the audience to understand your role.
These B Roll clips help the audience to see, what you really look like on the job, where you work and so on. It helps the audience to absorb your message better.
After the filming is completed
The crew vanish, leaving to get back to work wondering if you've done a good job.
Ask if there'll be post production of shots, ie, will you be cosmeticised.
A typical time frame
The film crew will arrive 30-45 mins in advance of your interview.
The interview will last up to 20-30 mins
Optionally, a further 30 minutes will be required to take additional shots of you for the B Roll.
Total time required: 60 minutes.
Appearing on camera for your company or organisation needn't be a strain if you:
> know what to expect
> know how to deal with it.
It's all about knowing how to be interviewed on a Company Video.
To view some samples, go to our Interview Video Production Page