Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:
Over the years I’ve learned many tips and strategies for speaking on stages and today I’m sharing my absolute best tips for on-camera speaking.
I’ll share with you 5 tangible and tactical ways to be more engaging, effective and entertaining when you hit record.
Subscribe to Heather’s YouTube Channel here.
Preparation means a lot of things to a lot of different people but what quality preparation is, it is essentially this idea of doing your homework and your research. It is actually more about getting relevant information to equip you to be in the moment so that you'll be prepared to be able to have quality conversations.
Your version of preparation might look different from mine so you need to define what that looks like for you and know what's your comfort zone. Be intentional with your planning and ask yourself, what background knowledge and or notes can you put together that gives you courage to continue to press that record button and do it anyways?
🔥 Prep Tips you can do to help you feel more prepared:
Most of the time we feel that we have to be polished when we show up online in videos or interviews. But when we watch other people on virtual stages or video, do we love the polish person we see or are we a little turned off by them? Most likely, it’s the latter. They tend to rub us the wrong way a little bit and we can't put our finger on it.
The truth is we don't trust perfection. There is an underlying level of mistrust because deep down we wonder, are they really that curated and perfectly polished? And we know that the answer to that question is a resounding no.
So what you want to do is focus on how you can completely be yourself and what does it translate for you. You need to shake off the difference between how you talk normally and how you might be trying to play a persona on camera.
🔥Things you can apply when speaking so you can be more authentic and real on camera
3. Eye contact.
Imagine you're in a Zoom meeting presenting to a bunch of people. Typically we want to look at the faces of the people we're talking to because we want to see how our message is resonating with them, if their faces are lighting up or if they are confused. We want to know what they are thinking.
Sadly we don't get that feedback when we're speaking virtually. But if we want to maintain the engagement of our audience, we have to give them the eye contact. You need to stare directly at the camera lens when you're speaking. You don't get to look at your audience faces but understand that this means you sacrifice receiving that connection back from them.
🔥 Tips on maintaining eye contact with your audience
Remember that it's not just about the words you're saying on camera but it's about the experience you create around those words. So start thinking about what natural movement looks like for you when you speak and go by the feel of your own body. Practice how you naturally move your head, back and shoulders.
🔥 Power tips you can do to improve your movement:
5. Make yourself smile and or laugh.
This is my absolute favorite strategy to use. What typically happens when we present is we show up at a little lower energy level than we normally are when we reach our stride with speaking and we lose that momentum we can gain with our audience right out of the gate.
Know that there is power in first impressions and when you do not show up with your best energy right out of the gate, your audience tends to become a little bit more skeptical and really nitpick the content doubting if this is really applicable to them.
Here’s what happens when you laugh:
🔥 Try these to elevate how you speak:
Checked out my earlier blog post here to help you present with IMPACT
Join me inside Lights Camera Rockstar where I walk you through my process for going live, showing up on IG, give you my tools and templates and help you get past your need to be perfect so you can just hit “GO” and share your message consistently.
Well, hey, friends, welcome to another episode. We're hitting episode number 121 and I don't know why that feels so special to me but that's a pretty big number if I don't say so myself, if I do say so myself. I don't know what the expression is. Anyway, we're here and in this episode today, we are digging into my absolute best tips for how to show up on camera. Specifically, we're talking about speaking on camera and no, we're not going to go down rabbit holes about tech and equipment lighting. I find a lot of those things are excuses and crutches to procrastinate. I'm not doing video. No, we're going to talk about you, how you can show up in the best way on video. These are my power tips. If I only had 30 minutes with you, which is what we have today. This is what I would share with you so we're going to dive into the episode.
Before we do, quick life up dates. I'm sitting here in my home office which is a guestroom in my house. You probably know that I've talked about this before. But a couple of interesting things are going on at my feet right now. Yes, I sit at my feet right now. There is a precious, adorable nine week fuzzy puppy and she is so freakin cute. If you're on my email list, you saw a really adorable picture this week. Her name is Luna. She is the most wonderful addition to our family and we are so happy. Also, she likes to chew cords and there are lots of cords in my office from lighting and cameras and all that stuff but right now she is sleeping at my feet and she is so precious. But oh my goodness, is it giving me a run for my money this week as I tried to balance podcast recording and guest interviews and coaching calls and writing when all I want to do is lay on the floor and snuggle with this little ball of fur. I don't know, have you ever have that week like that where I mean, maybe not the whole like puppy part but not wanting to get work done. That is where I'm at. But I promised myself I would knock out this episode and that is exactly what we're doing right now. So that's what's going on in my world. I always love hearing from you.
So seriously, I know this, let's just address the thing real quick around how podcasts work. Maybe you're, maybe this is the first time listen to the show and hi, welcome. It's so nice to meet you. If you've been around me here for a while, right, you've come back and heard my voice each week and I've shared things with you that have actually helped you show up with more confidence and intention in your life, in your business and communicate what you do in a more effective way. It feels almost like, maybe this is weird to say. It almost feels like we're in a relationship. You and I, right? We come back together every single week but like you learn all these things about me, but I don't know things about you. I mean, I know some things about you but I'd love to learn more. So just, it's just a side total tangent ask. I'd love to hear from you. If you follow me on Instagram or on Facebook or on my email list, I want to encourage you that if I send something or post something that resonates with you, hit reply and tell me. I would love to hear back the things that I'm talking about what resonates with you if it if it stirs up any stories, or exciting memories, or ideas for you. Please share.
Let's just say this for a moment. As creators as entrepreneurs in the space where we're constantly creating and putting our ideas out there it can and I'm telling you because you're probably experiencing this too. It's like oh my gosh, talk about the imperfect speaking today. Whoo. It's like we're screaming into the wind, right? We know where we know we're talking. We heck, we even know it's resonating but you don't always get a lot of feedback. And I share this with you not because woe is me, I want the feedback and I'd love to hear from you. But I also want to encourage you for a moment to remember that a lot of times you're going to share your message and you won't always hear back if it's resonating but you still have to make the commitment to keep showing up. Because at some point, somebody is going to reply, or they are going to comment, or they're going to hit that little smiley emoji off of your Instagram stories and it'll warm your heart a bit, because you know what you're doing is helping someone. So keep at it, it can feel a little lonely at times when you don't get that feedback. I'm so lucky that many of you send me messages. I love hearing from you. Keep sending them.
And I encourage you, if you follow other creators online and you love and respect their content, can we make it a normal thing not to be silent and consume but instead show appreciation and share their content, post comments, engage with their posts because we all know what it's like to be on that side when we're not getting feedback. And granted, we can have a whole conversation on how you can create content to get more feedback and blah, blah, blah. But I'm coming from the standpoint as creators. Let's create that pact right now that we support each other. We help other entrepreneurs by engaging with their content because it can feel lonely. It can be this big question mark of is what I'm doing is actually making a difference. I know what I do makes a difference, right? I hope that doesn't sound cocky or arrogant, but I know what I do. I know what I do. I know what I do. I know what I do. Yes, this is making sense. Oh my gosh, this is already gonna be such a good episode. Heather is on the word vomit train today y'all. What do matters I'm confident that I know my message, my story of what I share with you each week the fact that I show up here so raw. We don't edit this stuff out. Shout out to Max, my editor. I make his life so easy because I keep all this crap in. I don't remember where I was going with that. Let's get off that train. Anyways, I love you. I'm so appreciative of you listening to the show each and every week. Give me feedback. Tell me what's resonated with you. If you want more of these really random tangents and imperfections, tell me. If you'd rather have it to be more buttoned up, polished and put together, I'm not for you.
Anyways, all right. Let's do this today. We got a new episode here, me and puppy Luna and don't forget about my older doggy dog, Chompers, who's my 16 year old fuzzies. They're on the floor of my office right now. We're ready to rock and I had had a different topic prepared for today but I was down on the couch drinking coffee this morning and I don't know why but this topic just came up front and center and I felt compelled to share it with you. So I want you to grab your notes app, grab a pen, grab something because I'm going to give you some tangible tactical things today for you not to implement all of them. But the goal of sharing with you these, my best, like video tips on camera speaking tips, what I want to do is provoke your thinking, provoke your thinking so that you can start asking yourself, how can I be more engaging, more effective, more entertaining when I show up to the microphone? That is the question. I want to equip you with things to consider, questions to ask yourself, lenses to look through so that you can start asking better questions of yourself to say how can I be more engaging, effective and entertaining when I'm speaking on camera? That is the mission here.
I want to say this really loud and clear because what's happening so much is that people are looking to follow such a scripted recipe. They're looking for, what do I say? How should I arrange my camera? What kind of camera should I buy? What is the secret to adding text on it? Should I do text? Should I not do text? Should I do transition? Should I not do transitions? Should it be long video? Should it be short video? Should it be reel? Should it be YouTube? Should it be IGTV? Should it be Facebook live? My gosh, that's exhausting just to say all that but all of these technical specific questions and I don't want to discount their importance but ultimately we have to learn as entrepreneurs how to think more strategically, how to ask higher quality questions to get higher quality results. And that's what I really want to talk about today is how we can ask better questions of ourselves to be able to then go what are the specifics to fill in the gap?
What am I mean by this? Okay, instead of me giving you a script to follow to make a rockin Facebook Live teaching video which by by the way, I can give you that that's all included in my program, Lights Camera Rockstar which by the way, you can grab that now. I'll put a link in the show notes. It's just a little mini course that we have out to help you get over your fear of going live on camera. But coming back to I can give you the script, but you know the expression from the Bible, give a man a fish or teach him to fish. You're the man right now and I'm not going to give you a fish. I'm going to teach you how to fish which means I'm going to teach you different ways that you can take your message and learn how to unlock it for your audience. How do you describe things in a way that not only resonates with your audience, but in a way that's authentic to your personality, your topic, your style so that's the most important thing of all the things that I just said. You got to make sure that you're coming back to your specific style so let's dive into it.
There's five things, I'm gonna list them out for you just to kind of rip off the band aid so you can hear them and let's dive into each one and holy hot, dang, we're only 10 minutes in the episode. Fire, here we go. Number one is going to be preparation. Number two, be yourself. Number three, eye contact. Number four, movement. Number five, make yourself laugh or smile. Let me explain what I mean by these. So we're going to set the stage here. So when I say speaking on camera, I'm talking about going live on Facebook or Instagram or if you have LinkedIn or YouTube, right? Going live, it could be recorded video, maybe you're doing a video presentation at a virtual summit, or your guest teaching in a workshop, maybe it's not on camera, necessarily. Maybe it's doing what I'm doing right now which is recording an audio podcast. It could be you being a guest on podcast. You get the idea here. When I'm talking about speaking on camera, specifically, I'm talking about you giving an interview or delivering some kind of training with the goal to educate and teach an audience. So speaking on camera, it could be a lot of different things but that's what we're talking about here. And the question is, how do we show up through those lenses I mentioned before, how do we show up more engaging, more effective and more entertaining?
So going into the first specific area preparation. Preparation means a lot of things to a lot of different people and I'm going to give a shout out real quick to an amazing podcast episode that I listened to this week. It was on Amy Porterfield online marketing made easy and she had Giuliana Rancic and Jason Kennedy from e-news on the show which first of all, how amazing is it that she had celebrities, if you will. I used to be a huge fan of Giuliana and Bill. I love that show. What was that like a decade ago? Anyways, if you're not familiar with that, Giuliana Rancic is a TV personality and host. She's been on the air for the 20 year career. She had some amazing, amazing tips. And one of the things that she shared was her approach to preparation. And I wanted to share it with you here and then I'll give you my definition here. But Guilliana was talking about now she worked on Enews which was pop culture, working red carpets, just talking with celebrities a lot which might feel a little different than what you and I do on a daily basis. But what was fascinating with what she shared was she, her whole thing for going live is to be more prepared, like prepare, prepare, prepare that how she's able to show up and be more quote-unquote off the cuff.
But what she talked about when it came to preparation is it wasn't that she was sitting down and creating all of the questions or writing herself the specific outline and all the details. For her, it was actually more about getting the right information to equip her to be in the moment. So she talked about how if she was working the Oscars on the red carpet, she would make sure that she's watched on the movies and studied the list of the actors and actresses that were going to be there so she would know who she might run into. She'd be reading up on their histories and their most recent events so that she was prepared, meaning that she had relevant information to be able to have quality conversations with those celebrities. So what she brought up was this idea of doing your homework, doing your research, that is what quality preparation is so I'm going to link to that podcast episode in the show notes.
But bringing it back to you my point number one here is the best way for you to stand out on camera first and foremost is to prepare and it's up to you to define what that looks like. Because here's the thing, you might not be like Giuliana or Jason Kennedy or me it feels very awkward to put myself in that category. But what I mean by that is very comfortable speaking live, very comfortable being quote-unquote off the cuff even though we've done the prep work to be able to show up live but I really thrive in the moment. I live of the impromptu nature of being live and reacting to my audience and seeing people live engaging with them. I actually coach people live and I've sometimes, I have no idea where the conversations going to go and that excites me because I know I can bring it back because I've been doing this, heck, for 13 years now. I've been facilitating sessions, actually, no, 15 years, facilitating sessions with audiences. But what I want you to really consider is, is that your comfort zone? And if you do not thrive off of the live element, your version of preparation is going to look very different.
So first and foremost, if you really want to be greatly present on camera, if you want to show up confident, you have to prepare. So what that might look like for some who love the more live nature, that might be a simple post it note where you write down your, maybe the prompt for your opening hook and hook is how you're going to start the video, right? And it might be writing down a few bullet points. That honestly, that's how I prepare for most things is a post it note with some bullet points. And to be perfectly honest with you, sometimes I don't even practice my intro or opening. I always find that I hold attention on the video replay when I do practice my opening. So even though I'm more of an off the cuff person that's the one area that I'm more intentional on planning. You have to figure out what that means for you. I'm not going to give you the specific recipe or exactly what preparation means because you have to define it. But the question is, what background knowledge and or notes can you put together so that way when you press that record button, you might feel timid, you might feel nervous, you might feel a little might be a little sweaty, that's all fine. That's all normal. But the question is what is going to be the safety net that gives you the courage to continue and go and do it anyways? That's the question.
So preparation, that might mean, you want to do a little research on the topic you're speaking out, maybe have a couple statistics to pull from so it's not just story based. Maybe for you preparation is when you're getting ready to do a video in a real virtual summit, you want to understand who are the other speakers there, so that you can connect what you're talking about to the other speakers. Preparation for you could be having a list of the common mistakes your ideal customer make so that you make sure that you don't skip one. Preparation for you could be putting a post it note so that you don't forget about talking about your freebie at the end of your podcast interview. The list can go on and on. The question is what is this specific thing or set of things, it's going to help you feel more prepared. It should not be a script. So sorry, if you love scripts, but I'm going to challenge you is using a script, is that giving you the best impression and interaction with your audience? Is that the most engaging, effective and entertaining method for your audience to connect with you? I'm going to say probably not, but you do you. You do you. But that's number one is prepare.
Number two, be yourself. Now this one here is sounds so simple but I'll go back to the quote I say over and over again from Will Rogers. Just because it's common sense doesn't mean it's common practice. What happens so much when we show up online in videos or interviews, we feel that we have to be polished. In fact, that word actually came up a ton in the interview I was mentioning before. It's something that I hear so often when I'm interviewing my clients and students and people that I've been helping with speaking, right? We've all done the quote-unquote, ideal customer avatar interviews. Polished. It is a word that people use so often around what they aspire to be like on camera. And the challenge that I have for you is when you watch other people on virtual stages or video, do you love the polish person? Or are you a little turned off by them? ie, they rub you the wrong way just a little bit and you can't put your finger on it? Most likely the latter. I don't mean to be all like snarky about it but the truth is we don't trust perfect. There's something that we can't put our finger on but we just, we're turned off by the corporate polished look. And when another entrepreneur shows up so perfect and polish, we put them up on a pedestal and we no longer relate with them. And while we might enjoy their content, there is, I believe, an underlying level of mistrust because deep down we wonder, are they really that curated, perfectly polished? And the answer to that question is we know a resounding no.
So what I want you to really think about here is why is it that we appreciate realness, authenticity. We cheer for the under dog ie, the person who flubs and make mistakes. Hello, opening of this podcast today, right? If you're thinking yes, Heather, we love it when you just go on random tangents or we love it when you flub up because it gives me permission to do the same. If you've ever thought that before, right? And I've said, if you want a polish, go find someone else. But if you were thinking that right, it's because we like the realness. We cheer for the underdog, we want to see that person succeed and win. So why is it that we love that and other people, but for ourselves we have this expectation that we have to be perfect? That we must communicate like the six o'clock news anchor on channel 12. I don't know. I don't watch the news. I think channel 12 is still a thing around here. Anyway, so what we want to focus on is how do we completely be ourself? What does that even mean?
Well, when we're thinking about how to be better on camera, when you're speaking, I want you to think about am I talking right now like I would normally talk to another human being or have I put on my announcer recording voice? There is a difference. When I was growing up, I think I've mentioned this on the show before. We always laughed because in my house, youngest of six kids. My mom was a stay at home mom, a seamstress. And she, I can't even imagine having six children. Oh my gosh, can you imagine if anyone's listening whose have six children, I pray for you every day and I am just so in awe of everything you do. You should get all of the gold medals and all of the brownies. That's all, that's what I have to say. So my mom, right, with kids that don't listen, we're running around like crazy. My mom could be like yelling or whatever would happen but then the phone would ring and the phone would ring and mom would be like, pick up those socks. Hello, this is Clara. This is so funny to me, maybe this is not as funny to you. But I'm sure you have this memory of your mom or someone with their telephone voice. We always joked as kids that we're like, man, when we're in trouble we should just go somewhere and call mom so she talked to us in that telephone voice. We knew though, right? That voice, sound syrupy sweet. It wasn't matching the realness of that moment. And while I'm not saying that you should be like, aggressively yelling for real in real life, I do not condone that.
What I am saying is I want you to shake off the difference between how you talk normally and how you might be trying to play a persona on camera. Shake that off and be real. What does that mean for you? It means use expression in your voice like you tell stories to your friends. It means tell the stories about the weird quirky things, right? Here we go if I have random tangents all the time. I've embraced that more and more. Sometimes, I probably should do it less but I've just built that as part of my brand. Sager site note is a thing. Sager side note became a thing in my program because I went off on so many side tangents. Anyways, I want you to think about how can I be more of myself.
So if you're a funny person, but you find yourself not being funny on camera, there's an incongruency problem. We need to add the funny and if you are an energetic person, if you are happy and passionate, but your energy is way stoic and serious on camera. You're not being yourself. If you're a serious person and you're trying to be funny on camera because you like other people that are funny. You're probably not being congruent and honestly, you're probably not being that funny. If you're a snarky sarcastic person and you're not bringing some of that sarcasm to the camera, you're not being totally authentic. You have to ask yourself the question, right? And I don't know what the exact answer is for you but how can I be more of myself? I did an episode, man, it was early last year. I'm gonna scroll back and find the number. It was with Bobby Klinck. It was episode number 35. It was such a good episode. Bobby and I were talking about how to bring more of your personality in your copy, specifically your email but this stands for the stage too so we'll link to that in the show notes here. I really encourage you to listen to that conversation if you're struggling with that. Also my interview with Zafira Rajan. She was on just a few months ago earlier this summer, we were talking about infusing a personality. Those are two great episodes to listen after this one, so that you can start asking yourself, how do I bring more of me to the party? This is critical if you're a personal brand because people are drawn to you not just because you teach yoga, or you teach cooking classes, or because you're a coach or because you design websites, right? The craft of what you do. That's a piece of it, right? That's probably why they initially looked at you because they had a need or an interest in a topic. But the reason why they've stuck around, there's something more to that. They like your teaching Style. They like your personality. They love the fact that you talk about your cat or your cute new puppy. Whatever that is for you, they stick around because there's more.
I think this is something, it's really important because I think we lose sight sometimes that sometimes people find us at a moment where they're not actually a need of our product or service. It doesn't mean that they're not a potential buyer down the road but for right now, they're not it. But if we have different ways to connect, like, I don't know, they, they like the way that we speak, or they like our graphics, or they like how we talk about certain things, they connect on the mom level, or whatever it is for you, right? They find this other connection points. They're going to stay connected and engaged, even when they don't have an immediate need to buy your product. And there's a thought thinking about that, well, what's the point of having people in my audience that have no interest in buy my product right now? If that's the question, you're playing a short term game in business is long term, my friend. And I know if you're listening to this show, you're not thinking like but what about the now immediacy, that's not how we do marketing around here. We look more on the long term, but bringing more of you it's going to not only make you feel more comfortable in front of the camera, it's gonna make your audience feel more comfortable and connected too. Ooh, that was a long one. I I really went off on a tangent on that one but Hello, that's on brand. Okay, let's go to number three.
We've covered number one was preparation, right? Prepare in a way that makes you feel confident in showing up and pushing record. Number two was be more of yourself. I forgot to mention I wrote this down. Being more of yourself means including your mess ups. Being more authentic. Being more of yourself also means including the mess ups. It doesn't mean we record like do every single mess up. No, I'll tell you, I hit record. This was the third time I hit record on this episode because the first two intros I didn't like because they weren't to the point enough so I cut those because it would be more valuable for you. But the rest of these mess ups here I kept in with the exception of one little deletion here where a fire truck went through my neighborhood which is very random because we don't ever hear sirens out here on the burbs. Anyways, I tell you all this because I would imagine if you are in my audience and you listen to me, you probably find my random side tangents, or word flubs or mistakes, you probably find those endearing and actually empowering because it gives you permission to not be perfect for your audience. So embrace the imperfections, that's part of being you.
Number three, eye contact. All right, now we're taking a left turn and getting really tactical here. I'm going to go quickly through this one because I've talked about this over and over and over again. What we have to remember specifically with a virtual audience is it's up to us to give our audience eye contact. The bummer is we don't get it back because we're looking at this little black.of a camera. I'm staring right now in my Logitech webcam. If I stare at that which side note here we go again, what's hilarious right now is I'm doing this as an audio only podcast but because I've trained myself in the habit, I've been staring at my Logitech webcam. I didn't realize was doing this for the entire time. I'm sitting in my normal recording spot. I'm staring at my Logitech webcam and there is no video on which now my video editor is going to be like why the heck we didn't do video this week? Well, Max is because I didn't want to take a shower today so that's why we're doing audio only. But got me back to it, it's my job right as the speaker to stare and make eye contact with that little black dot. But I have to understand that that means that I sacrifice connection of receiving that connection back from my audience.
Let me clarify what I mean. Let's pretend that you're on a Zoom meeting where you're presenting to 12 people. The tendency of what we want to do is we want to look at the faces of the people we're talking to because we want to see how our message is resonating with them. Are their faces lighting up? Do they look confused? Are they tired? Are they excited? Are they laughing too? What are they thinking right now. And you don't get that gift of feedback when you're speaking virtually. I wish it was different, my friend, but it's just not. You have to give them the eye contact if you want to maintain their engagement. You need to look at the camera which means when you're speaking you stare directly in that camera and you don't get to look at their faces. Now that doesn't mean that a 100% of the time you need to be staring at that camera. In fact, that would be really creepy. A good rule of thumb I learned this from my friend Tanya Ryman, who's a body language expert. She's incredible. I've talked about her on the show before. When it comes to eye contact she says that we should have a target to maintain eye contact about 70% of the time in a typical conversation. And I find the same to be true when it comes to video work. If we staring into that camera lens 100% of the time, it would be totally creepy, like, the person was trying to reach in and suck out your soul. It's just too much, right? You want to look away because you feel uncomfortable. People become uncomfortable when you stare into their eyeballs too long. 70% is what we're going for. So that gives you permission to look off to the side, to look up, to look at your notes, to look at the screen of the faces you're talking to.
So I'm not saying you don't get to look at them, I'm just saying that you mostly need to look at that camera lens because that is looking to them. It means that you have to sacrifice your own need for feedback in order to give them what they need which is they need your eye contact that helps showcase confidence. It boosts trust. It makes your message connect even further so I want you to put that in weight over your need. Sorry, you got to put your needs in this moment on the backburner but your need for that immediate feedback and I know that hurts a little bit. But let me share with you something that I chatted about with the members of my program, Speak up to Level up this week. We were chatting about how difficult it is sometimes when you're presenting, the example was on Zoom, and you do look down at the faces and people are distracted. They're looking at other web browsers, they're looking at their phones or talking to their spouse, or their kid that just came in the room. They're eating their lunch. Hopefully, their camera's not on but they're sitting on the toilet, like people are all over the map and their faces look tired and exhausted.
So let me just give you this bonus thing for here. Imagine for a moment you're delivering a workshop inside someone's mastermind and you are on fire and you are excited and you're all you're going and you look down and people look so bored. That's not gonna serve you to get that immediate, wah, wah. But here's the thing, you might hear that and be like, what am I doing wrong? Okay, let me just pull back the curtain here, friend. The virtual environment, the likelihood of people staring at the camera at you the entire time and hanging on every single word and laughing at all your jokes and dancing with you when you ask him to dance, sorry. When you go to a conference or you attend a live training, do you hang on to every single word and worship the person on the camera or do you multitask a bit even when they tell you not to? Guilty. I have stuff to do. It's very rare that I give a, sorry, a guest speaker my 100% attention in this virtual world. I wish it were different. It's just not.
So I say all of this in the little bonus tip here, I'm probably going to get in trouble for saying this because I'm on I'm undoing a lot of the hype around virtual speaking, it's needed. We need to present ourselves in being a virtual speaker can be very powerful and still effective and we have to acknowledge that we're not going to hold people's attention for the entire presentation and that's okay. You're not going to get the same level of oh my gosh, as you would in a live audience. However, I will say sometimes the connection can be more powerful because you're speaking one on one when you look at the camera lens when they are paying attention, which is a lot, I don't want to make it sound like everyone's off doing all these things, right, but there is a level of multitasking happening. That's the point here. But that connections on the camera when you're making eye contact, it feels like they're speaking just to you. Even though theoretically, you know they're not, right, logically they're not. But when they look in the camera, when you have the confidence to look straight in that camera, it's like your message is just for them, which makes it more powerful, more engaging, and a heck of a lot more effective. So I want you to remember that eye contact plus a lot of extra bonuses that I gave you in there. Eye contact is one of the most important power tips that you have to have in place where you have to follow whatever that means for you when you are speaking on camera.
Number four, movement. Let's talk about movement. This also came up this week on my coaching call inside my program. We were talking about what it means to not be so stoic on camera, creating more magnetic presence on camera. And if you go back two episodes ago, we talked about creating magnetic presence on camera. We talked about what it means to have body language, how to leverage body language to be able to create more connection with whoever it is that you're talking with. What I want to mention here is movement on camera and one thing specifically popped up in our, Level Up Lab this week where we go together and make practice every month and this week was a magnetic presence as I said. The specific thing that we were talking about here is, when people look uncomfortable on camera, it comes back to one of a few things. Either one, they are staring awkwardly at the camera lens, or the screen, or a teleprompter. So it's like they're fixated on one point of focus, that becomes really awkward for the viewer, either if it's just like staring creeper villes in the camera or if it's staring over at the screen. You're like, hello, look at me, look at me, I'm over here, look at me. So that's one that's distracting.
Number two, is when someone doesn't move their face at all on camera, right. They have one expression the entire time. Maybe they hold their eyebrows up the entire time, or they have a very stoic look or a very, you know, that scrunching we get between our eyebrows when we're really focused. Their look, their face, doesn't move or it doesn't move very much. That doesn't work so well.
But the other thing that I think about when it comes to movement that a lot of people forget about is the stiffness across our shoulders and in our neck. For just a moment, I want you to roll your head, roll your head around, like loosen up your neck, a little roll, that's what I'm doing right now which means my voice is probably gonna go a little weird. Roll your neck around. Now I want you to roll your shoulders back, a few times backwards. Roll your shoulders back and then roll your shoulders forward and then roll your shoulders back one more time. Okay, move that neck around with that neck around. It's kind of an interesting activity to do when we're just audio.
What we're doing here is we're loosening up your shoulders and your neck. What I want you to think about I want you to imagine in front of you right now there is a camera and a microphone in front of you, which is actually the setup that I have right now. I want you to imagine for a moment you talking to the camera and I want you to pretend like you're talking to that camera, but do not move your shoulders, your neck or your head at all. Just imagine talking to the camera being totally perfectly stiff like a statue. I'm gonna pause and let you say something. Say hi, I'm talking to this pretend camera like a frickin statue. Good job. Thanks for following along with my weird little roleplay here.
It felt weird, right? It felt really, really weird to hold ourselves still. I want you to think about though. When you actually go to speak on a camera, you don't do it intentionally. but I would imagine you actually become that statue or a version of that that we just did. So in order for you to be more effective when you show up live on camera, I want you to think about movement, movement with your eyes, right, looking at the camera, that eye contact we talked about before, but more so your facial expressions and how you move your head and your shoulders. I know this feels very weird to talk about when I can't actually show you these things but I think there's a gift in that because then I'm not actually showing you moves to copy. You have to go by the feel of your own body and start thinking about what does natural movement look like for me when I speak? How do I naturally move my head and my neck and my shoulders? And I know that sounds super geeky and super specific and super weird but that's what we do around here on the show is we get super geeky, specific and weird. These are things that I want you to not only think about but I want you to practice.
So if you're at somewhere right now, where you're, I mean not good to have people look at you like you're a crazy person. Actually, if that's the case, if you're somewhere right now with people around and I'm in your earbuds, pretend like you're on a phone call. Pretend like you're on a phone call and move your head like you're talking. How does your head normally move? How does your shoulders normally move? I want you to start thinking about movement because movement is going to create more captivation in your message, right? It's not just about the words you're singing on camera. It's about the experience you create around those words, right? You learn that two episodes back. It's not just what you say, it's how you say matters. But specifically, one of my most important power tips for speaking on camera is to be aware of your shoulders, your neck and your facial expressions. So I'm going to challenge you just start thinking about this. Start recording yourself and ask, do I need more variability in how I moved? Do I look stoic? Do I look flighty and frenzy? How can I elevate how I'm showing up with my movement? That's number four.
Number five, I saved my absolute favorite one for last because this is my best, best, best secret. Now it's no longer a secret because I want to get to to you. But this is my favorite strategy to use for myself and my private clients, especially those who are super nervous for some kind of speaking gig coming up. Here it is. Make yourself smile and or laugh, preferably laugh early on in your presentation, Make yourself will just say make yourself laugh early on in your presentation. I'll clarify what I mean by this. It's exactly what I said, make yourself laugh early in your presentation. Why? What typically happens when we present as much as we practice be natural, as much as we practice those things I've told you before, what happens is we will show up at a little lower energy level than we typically are when we reach our stride with speaking. You know what I mean by that, right? When you get going into conversation, even in this podcast, right, you've noticed my energy open up or jiving, but I bet if you go back to the early episode, it's a little slower pace, maybe a little softer toned. You typically will hear me warm up in these episodes. You probably do a version of that and I would argue for you, it's probably really tampered down at the beginning of your videos or podcast interviews or speaking pieces, but then you hit your stride.
For most of the clients I've worked with, when I watch and audit their videos, I see them hit their stride between the seven and 12 minute mark and typically, these are 20 to an hour and a half long presentations, 20 minutes to an hour and a half. Having someone hit their stride five to 12 minutes and this is when I start working with them that's what I noticed. What happens is you lose that momentum you can gain with your audience right out of the gate. There is power in first impressions and when you do not show up with your best energy right out of the gate, you kind of like get your audience a little bit more skeptically. They're evaluating now, down the stream they really nitpick the content more of like, is this really applicable to me, versus when you show up as you that authentic, vibrant, engaging, excited you. I don't mean like rah rah, you, but you whatever version of you. That is when you show up rah at the best level right out of the gate, you create a connection, right? Where it's not as so important to have all of the words so technically correct.
How do we do that? The best way we do that is for us to fall into our natural like, ha ourselves is when you laugh and I don't mean like hysterical pee your pants laugh although that's really fun. You don't need to be peeing your pants in your presentations. What I want you to do is get something to make you laugh, like not fake laugh, but authentically laugh. But like you actually, I've laughed multiple times myself through this episode. Have you noticed that? I laugh. I used to not do that but I allow myself to laugh. And what happens is when you laugh, couple things happen. What happens when you laugh, a couple things happen. Oh my gosh, my words are just all over the map today. It's okay, here we go. Here's what happens. Your voice changes to a more dynamic tone and volume, your voice changes to a more dynamic tone and volume. So let's pretend that you were speaking for a moment and it was a little more polished, maybe a little slow or a little more dry and you say something to make yourself laugh. You're gonna come back with a little bit more of a like a, I'm gonna say like a growl. It's not the right way to do it. There's like a warmth and there's just like a spark in your voice when you come out of that laugh and that'll stick with you. There's like a hangover of the laugh that elevates how you speak. That's number one.
Number two, when you laugh, your whole body language changes. Your face lights up, your eyes light, like totally come alive and your shoulders. It's like they come out of your ears and sink down into this comfortable, confident I deserve to be here and I know what I'm talking about kind of feeling. Yes, all of this comes on the aftermath of a real laugh. So what I do with my clients and again, that has to come back to if you're the kind of person that's able to laugh at yourself, you like could be humor. You enjoy a little joke here and there, right? It doesn't have to be a planned like we're not talking about a knock knock laughy taffy joke here. We're just talking about something that just makes you chuckle. I like to tackle this in within the first two to three minutes of a presentation, sometimes sooner. But you'll notice this, now I'm gonna have to be, now I'm thinking about this because I'm just doing it on autopilot. But when you hear me in my interviews with other people, I try to say something to break the ice and make them laugh very quickly in my presentations. Sometimes it's self deprecating humor. Sometimes it's something funny that happened. Sometimes it's making fun of the tech issues that we're having or whatever, right, but something to lighten and lift the spirits to to make it all not so heavy or so serious. And for me as a gift for my audience, right, because it lightens things for them but it's a huge gift for me as a speaker, because it allows me to go, huh, and sink in to the real me. And the reason why I put this last just because when you do this, if you can master the art of a little laugh, right, not just at the beginning, but throughout your presentation. We're not comedians here, you don't need to do a joke filled presentation. But a well intentional joke, or just a little point of laughter, will lift the spirits of your energy and lift your talk. It's really powerful. And everything we talked about today, everything then gets elevated.
So it'll elevate the eye contact of how you connect with the camera. It makes you more you, right, more authentic, more that magnetic nature of you comes out. It makes your movement and more natural. All of this comes together and with your natural smile, oh, my goodness. And I know these tips, right? They might seem super simple and basic. But as you and I both know, it's the simplicity that those are the tips that makes things really powerful. Stop trying to look for the sexy tech, filters, tools, apps. That all can be well and fun. But what we really can focus on here is how can we be, how can we honor more of our raw, organic voice? How can we really start to hone our craft, as speakers, as storytellers, as teachers, as leaders? How can we get better using our voices as a true instrument as part of our brands to connect with people, to compel people into action? You do this by coming alive on camera.
So let's recap real quick what we talked about today. Number one, we talked about preparing and you have to define what preparation looks like for you. Maybe you're a more I need to have the structure, I got to think through the scenarios, really gotta have a game plan. Maybe that's you and that's fine. Do what works for you so that you show up more prepared. Maybe you're like me, you're a post it note kind of gal, right, where you write a couple things down on a post it note. I'm just gonna say this. I didn't say it before. My biggest recommendation, you've heard me say it over and over again, the most important thing when it comes to prep is that you say it out loud. You don't just say it in your head. If you haven't said things out loud, beforehand, you don't quite know. Spoiler, today, obviously, I didn't say these things out loud before this episode and you got that really raw thing which works in this format for a podcast. But I could not do what I did today with how fast and loose I got with my language and how just a little bit all over the map it was, It wasn't totally all over the map but you know what I mean? I wouldn't do that on a virtual stage. If I was guest speaking for some of these audiences. It would be tightened up which would require me to be instead of me just writing down my outline for today, me actually thinking through what I said out loud. I hope you caught that. You caught that distinction.
Number three, eye contact, making sure that you're prioritizing the need of your audience, which is connection. Therefore looking at the camera instead of staring at the screen to see the faces of the other people. Number four, get more comfortable being yourself. So adding your sense of humor, adding your quirky stories, adding your movement, adding your your mistakes, allowing space for mistakes and spontaneity and your recovery like oops, that was my puppy jumping on my lap or what boop there goes the firetruck. Whoop, whoop is optional. Number four, get more comfortable with movement. Do not be stoic. Do not be reserved. I want you to take up space. Be powerful on camera and I don't mean physically in your face powerful. But I mean, own your space. Open up your chest, be loose with your neck. Use your facial expressions to your advantage. Connect with your audience and showcase your authenticity and charisma and passion for your topic. And lastly, to really come alive on camera and number five, make yourself laugh. Make yourself smile. Because that is like a, that's a spark that ignites you when you come alive in that way. When you see that bright light have a smile on that realness and someone, your audience melts into you and it's just magic. It is absolute magic.
All right, we covered a lot of ground today with these five tips for helping you show up on camera. My best speaking tips for that I hope these were helpful for you. Be sure to send me a message on Instagram or hit reply on one of my emails and tell me what you loved about this episode. I love doing these for you each and every single week. I'll see you back here next Monday.