If you are like many people in the world right now, you are most likely using some form of on-camera virtual communication.
How you look and sound creates an impression. Appearing casual when chatting with friends and family is appropriate. However, when you are speaking with clients, bosses and/or co-workers, you will need to present a more business-like image.
The following tips address various camera shots, how much you should move, whether standing or sitting and the kind of delivery that works best to present the appropriate image.
Types of Camera Shots
There are several different kinds of framing (or shots) to use on camera. It is important for you to know how the camera set up frames you because your delivery should vary according to each type of shot.
A head shot frames you from a couple of inches above your head down to the knot of your tie for a man or about the same spot for a woman. This shot works effectively when you’re appearing on any type of small screen. However when your image is projected onto a large screen it is a terrible shot making your head will seem gigantic, as if you were the great Oz.
You absolutely should not use your hands when framed in a head shot. They won't be visible and all the audience will see is your shoulders moving, making you appear nervous. However, if the headshot is mixed with longer shots, it’s fine to use your hands because your movements will be seen and understood in context.
Head shots require your delivery to be intimate. Speak as if you were having a one-on-one conversation.
A bust shot frames you from a few inches above your head down to mid-chest. This shot is good for interviews or for delivering particularly important messages. Just as with the head shot, your hands will not be visible, so keep them still. With a bust shot your delivery will not be quite as intimate as with a head shot. Talk to the camera as if you were talking to people across a small table.
A waist shot frames you from a few inches above your head down to your waist. This is also good framing for interviews. Most presenters prefer this shot since it allows them to use their hands naturally. However, you should not shift your body below the waist unless the camera is following you as you walk. This framing allows you to speak with greater energy and power than the shots described above.
Cowboy or Three-quarter Shot
A cowboy or three-quarter shot frames you from a few inches above your head down to midthigh (where your holster would be if you were a cowboy—hence the name). This framing allows you to move more freely than in the previously described shots. Address the camera as if you were speaking to a roomful of people.
As you’ve probably assumed, a full body shot frames you from a few inches above your head down to your toes. This framing allows movement of the whole body. As the shot encompasses more of your body, your gestures must become larger and greater vocal energy, though not necessarily louder.
Balance your stance and maintain good posture. Make sure your physical presentation matches your message. Hold your position — if you shift your weight, you’ll distract from your message.
If you are concerned about your weight or size, present your body at a slight angle and your face full front.
If you wear glasses, consider purchasing contacts or non-reflective lenses to assure a glare-free shot. If necessary, you can tilt your glasses slightly to reduce glare.