A good film director will coach their actors and presenters to deliver an on-screen performance that conveys the content of the script effectively and authentically.
Unfortunately, most of us who are filming our own video presentations don’t have the luxury of a director behind the camera to coach us to deliver an effective and compelling on-screen delivery. Let’s get you on the right track.
From Script to Screen
Its rear to be able to present a compelling on-screen delivery if your scripting is weak and lacks focus. Most film directors know that you can stack a Hollywood movie full of A-list actors, but if the script sucks, so does the film.
Do you Speak Human?
Often, I see clients trying to deliver messages that look good on paper, but bear no resemblance to how they or people speak in life.
If you are writing your own scripts, read every sentence aloud as you write, and write exactly as you speak.
Some Scripting Pointers
- Use contractions. For example, don’t write, “I would like” if you normally say “I’d like” when you speak. Using contractions keeps the tone of your script friendly and conversational
- If your script doesn’t roll off the tongue easily, or you find yourself tripping on certain words, don’t ignore these signs thinking you’ll “get it” on the day. If it’s not flowing well in the draft it most definitely won’t flow well when you are filming
- Also, only use words that you are familiar with and can pronounce correctly. Remember, most video viewers want their information delivered in fast, succinct chunks.
“You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail”.
– Charlie Parker
Know Your Material Well
Even the best script will die on the page if you don’t breathe life into it. If you don’t take the time to practice connecting your thoughts and feelings to the words of your script. Your vocal intent and meaning can be lost as a result of this. Often the appearance of glazed-over-eyes, nervous gabbling, lots of “ums” and “ahs” and filler words occur in an attempt to recall what to say next.
These can all impact the effectiveness of your video delivery and how it lands with your intended viewer (especially if you are doing Live video).
When you become familiar and confident with the flow of your script, the words you use, your vocal transitions and phrasing emphasis. You’ll speak with more conviction and authority, and you’ll also communicate your key message in a more effective, compelling way. Making it easy for your viewers to watch, listen and stay engaged with you.
Failing to do so, by winging it can actually waste a lot of time on set. It can cause you a lot of frustration, and it can become an expensive process in your post-production i.e. editing or scrubbing through hours of unusable video footage.
Avoid this Authority Credibility Killer
Charlie Parker, the great jazz trumpet player famously said, “You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.”
It’s the same with presenting on video. Start with a great script. Then practice, practice, practice! Know your content so that you “own your words“. And are able to speak with expert flow without resorting to video editing credibility killers like using unskillful jump-cuts.
Full Expert Flow
These authority killers can undermine the look, feel, and professional visual tone of your videos.
Worse still poorly timed edits can make you look and sound like you’re not able to string a full sentence together, let alone a thought. Plus they can give the impression that you make a lot of speaking mistakes, and that you don’t know your content well enough to speak with full expert flow and authority.
Not only that – this low-quality editing practice (a “youth” orientated editing style), may not appeal to your demographic nor support their media viewing sophistication. Rather, it can upstage you and your message.
And to top it off, visual media research has shown that this type of editing style can actually impede the comprehension level and clarity of the message being received by the viewer.
Embrace Your Rehearsal Process
Prepare, prepare, prepare. When the pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion; you fall to your highest level of preparation.
– Chris Voss, Former FBI Top Hostage Negotiator
No professional film production would ever skip the rehearsal process and just wing it on the day, and neither should you! Everyone on the film set including the lighting crew, the camera operators, the actors, and the director all rehearse prior to filming!
There is safety in your rehearsal process, it keeps you grounded and focused on the process – and not mentally distracted, future tripping on the outcome. It also gives you the opportunity to correct any issues on the spot.
Plus it helps you get mentally, physically and emotionally primed and it builds your inner confidence. The more prepared you are, the better you’ll handle any issues that crop up on the day. Rehearsing helps to reduce stress and it frees up valuable brain space so that you can just let it flow and have fun with your performance.
Established in 2006 Bianca Te Rito, founder of STEBIAN.com provides an exclusive, consulting service for business owners, entrepreneurs, thought leaders, speakers, best-selling authors, and VIPs to help them present themselves, their products, services, or brand message to their target audience in the most effective way possible on video. Get the tailored expertise from a real-world operator with over 20 years of TV/Film industry experience working in front of and behind the camera. Enhance your on-camera presence. Find out more today.