Every week the online business programme Business Connections Live invite a guest to speak live on their online television programme and in March 2016 I was asked to speak on Impact & Influence.
The studio is a reasonable size and there were 5 or 6 cameras – 1 on me, 1 on the interviewer, 1 or 2 wide angle showing us both from different sides and a couple on the screen of the presenter’s laptop and overhead. The only ones I needed to worry about were the few where I could be seen but it can be very intimidating sitting in front of a camera let alone in a studio of any size.
Imagine if my first visit had been to speak about some controversy that the business had been embroiled in or it was Newsnight or Question Time? How much more difficult would that have been?
When I first set up Partners With You I can honestly say that the chances of my being in front of a camera as a business person were very slim. However these days, even without the proliferation of television channels all looking for commentators, interviewees and experts, there is a high chance that you may be invited to a teleconference, telepresence meeting or on-line/Skype style meeting.
It is so true that the fear of the unknown is much worse than the fear of the known so if you haven’t been in a studio but might be, I would thoroughly recommend that you find a studio/media company who offer training in situ. Just knowing what a studio is like and having seen yourself on screen in an interview situation can lower the fear factor when you do it for real.
If you don’t have a media training company the team who interviewed me run a course in the studio they use for their television programme and you can either team up with a few other business owners or invest in getting a team of people from your office trained up – more information here.
Of course everything you need to consider when presenting stands true whether a camera is involved or not however below are 5 additional tips I’ve come up with for presenting in a studio:
- Be aware that the temperature can be very variable so arrive in layers that you are comfortable to be seen in. Avoid patterns; keep the colours plain but not green or white in case there is a green or white screen as your background.
- You will be able to see what the camera is looking at on a screen. Don’t look at yourself while being introduced. It will reduce your credibility and make you look as though you’re new to being interviewed on camera.
- Concentrate on breathing deeply while being asked questions – this will help you to think on your feet and reduce your nerves. It will also help to slow you down if you tend to gabble when nervous.
- Don’t be afraid to pause – it will feel longer than it is and the temptation is to “umm” to fill in while you are thinking. This will again affect your credibility.
- Nerves are often visible in the face so if you can do some exercises to loosen your jaw and work out your tongue, lips and facial muscles you won’t look as nervous and you will sound more articulate.
There are more presentation tips in the interview itself so grab a coffee and watch me use all the techniques I’ve learnt from our team of actors. You’ll see I haven’t quite mastered tip number 5 but I am improving! Here’s the cut down version!