The Impact of Preparation on your Video Appearance

When clients take our advice and put time into practicing and preparing for the camera, something magical happens. Because they have learned and absorbed all the key points they want to make on camera, they can redirect their energy toward delivering that information from the heart.

Your delivery makes most of the impact

Once you craft a message, your job has just begun. It’s worth taking the time to practice your delivery until the message becomes a part of you. That’s when your humanity will begin to shine through—when you stop trying to remember what to say, or how to say it, and simply communicate in your own natural style.

Winston Churchill read all his addresses out loud before he faced a camera or a live audience. He eliminated fancy words and tongue twisters, inserted dashes to remind himself where to breathe in between words. He knew his content and the meaning behind each phrase.

Choose the right method for your communication style

An essential part of the preparation process is choosing a communication style. There are three main styles: speaking directly to the camera, having a conversation with an on- or off-screen interviewer, or speaking to a larger, simulated audience.

Executives who are new to video may not understand which communication style fits their performance strengths. And some video veterans have been burned by choosing the wrong method. They may have come across as stiff while reading a teleprompter or sounding uninformed when asked an unexpected question.

The executive and the director should communicate early on in the process to figure out the most comfortable communication style for the video. This decision then shapes the way the executive practices for the performance.

Memorizing your video script can do more harm than good

Now, it’s just down to practice, practice, practice, right? Not exactly.

There’s a few reasons we don’t ask CEOs to memorize a script beforehand. First and foremost, we understand that corporate executives have fully booked calendars. It’s amazing we get even a minute of their time to shoot the video. So we can’t expect them to take hours of their time to rehearse.

Secondly, we don’t want you to focus on the words, but just the message. When you truly understand why you’re speaking in this video and who the audience is, the right words will come naturally from you.

That’s what the director is there for: to coach your performance and get the best answers out of you—even if it takes a couple of tries.

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“It’s one thing to understand the role of video in business communication, it’s another to know how to use video to solve actual business problems. Vern Oakley gets that.”


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