Sorry, this is a deceptive title. Probably the only way to be perfectly relaxed on camera is to take a Xanax.
Truth is, being in front of the camera can be a bit daunting (perhaps even nerve-wracking) if you’re not used to it.
If you or a colleague are going to be on camera for an interview, here are some simple things you can do to help calm the jitters.
Know your stuff.
By far the most important thing you can do is simply be prepared. If you know your stuff, you’ll be more confident and will automatically do better on camera. So be sure to get the questions in advance and practice your talking points. You can write down your thoughts, but do not try to memorize your answers. It’s a great idea to let a trusted friend act as the interviewer and go through a mock interview. Record it on your phone so you can see how you sound and look.
Know how it will be used.
Typically, only a small portion of your on-camera interview will make it into the final cut. Ask the producer or director what he/she is looking for, and what will be most helpful for the project. Will much of your interview be covered over with b-roll footage, so that only your voice is heard? If so, that can take some pressure off your performance.
Say hi to the crew.
It can be intimidating to walk into a room full of camera equipment, lights and total strangers. Introduce yourself to the crew. They’re friendly, I promise! Remember, their whole reason for being there is to make you look and sound good. Feel free to ask them what they do and what all the stuff is for. Before long you’ll feel like you’re part of the team.
Physical comfort is important. Will you be standing or sitting for the interview? If you have a preference, let it be known before the crew sets up. Are you highly sensitive to light? Ask to check out the interview location. If a light or window is bothering you, often times the crew can set up a “flag” to block the light. And of course, wear comfortable clothes. In a previous article, we talked about what to wear for an on-camera interview.
Meditation techniques can help you relax. In particular, deep breathing before the interview can be really helpful. It’s simple. Take a deep breath, hold it in and then slowly exhale. Do that for a minute or two and see what a difference it makes.
Although this sounds kind of weird, it works. Stand like Wonder Woman with your hands on your hips and feet apart. Seriously, try it.
Research suggests chewing gum can help reduce anxiety and even improve mood. Another benefit: It increases alertness and blood flow in the brain. Just remember to spit it out before the interview.
Bring a bottle of water with you and take small sips between takes. This will help you avoid dry mouth, which in itself causes stress.
Go get ’em.
Guess what? You’re ready! You can do this. Collect your thoughts and be awesome.
This short video includes interviews with parents, teachers, and kids — all of whom are pretty darned chill on camera.
So just relax — you’re gonna be great.