Have you ever noticed that some people come across as being more likeable on camera than others? Have you ever thought about why that might be?

There is some really interesting research on the subject, and I’m indebted to Eric Barker for digging it up.

Turns out there are a couple simple things you can do to raise your likeability quotient.

1. Be warm

A Harvard research study found that 80% of our judgments about people come down to warmth and competence. And of the two, the more important quality is warmth. It’s better to be a Lovable Fool than a Competent Jerk, but it’s best to be a Lovable Star:

Worry less about being perceived as an idiot. Worry more about being perceived as cold.

And what is the No. 1 thing you can do to come across as being a warm person? Robin Dreeke, former head of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program, says it’s as simple as smiling more.

2. Be Enthusiastic

Stephen Ceci, a professor at Cornell, did an interesting experiment. He taught his class the same way he had always done in the past, with one difference: He presented more enthusiastically, gesturing with his hands and modulating his voice. In every other way, the class was exactly the same as in past semesters.

And you know what? His student ratings went up in every category, even those that had nothing to do with enthusiasm. He was seen as being more knowledgeable, more tolerant, more accessible and more organized.

Warmth and enthusiasm can go a long way toward making you more likeable on camera.


Here are three folks who came across as being quite likeable on camera. Now we know why.

And remember to smile! : )

Bill Haley

P.S. Have a question about video? Let me know and I’ll try to answer it in a future post.

Was this article helpful? Share it!