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Video Content Marketing: How to Make People Comfortable On Camera

By Lisa GulasyMay 21, 2013

comfortable on camera kuno creativeIf you’ve been following the Brand & Capture blog, you’ve likely noticed an increase in video. We’re now shooting, editing and uploading Kuno Clips, which are bite-sized videos of the Kuno team, effectively expanding our content offerings. (See our most recent Kuno Clips on our YouTube Channel!)

We’re not the only ones. Businesses are flocking to video content marketing, and for good reason. According to Forbes, online video is gaining strength as a source for content marketing, with most consumers preferring video to white papers and case studies.

For attention-loving extroverts or those with broadcast experience, video’s popularity is more than an opportunity – it’s a downright good time. But for introverts or the highly self-conscious, telling them they have to be engaging on camera can be worse than dragging them to a party where they know absolutely no one – and telling them they can’t bring their (insert random electronic device here) to avoid actually speaking to people.

But these people aren’t hopeless – they just need a little more coaching. Here, I share a few of my best tips for coaching your subjects to be more comfortable in front of the camera.


Kuno Clips: Content Marketing Specialist Lisa Gulasy shares a few of her best tips for coaching your subjects to be more comfortable in front of the camera.



Make Them Comfortable with You

The relationship of the videographer and his or her subjects is arguably the most important component to a successful video shoot. To capture great video, you need to connect with your subjects on a personal level as quickly as possible. For example: I, along with a couple of co-workers, recently interviewed a man on behalf of a client about a beautiful, romantic mural he’s creating. Early in our interview, he mentioned his inspiration for the mural was a work by Rex Whistler in the Tate Britain museum in London. Not only had I heard of the work, I saw it in person on a visit to London just more than a year ago. I took the opportunity to share this personal tidbit, and the man’s eyes lit up, bringing a new intimacy to our interview and taking our footage to the next level.

Come Prepared

Before setting up the equipment, make sure your subjects are entirely prepared for what’s to come. First, help them create a broadcast-friendly script. Writing for the ear is significantly different than writing for the eye. Scripts should be conversational with strong, concise sentences. Stick to subject, verb, object. (Example: Lisa wrote a blog.) Then, have your subjects read their scripts out loud several times, encouraging them to look at their paper less and less each time. Take note of any areas they continuously have trouble saying, editing the script as necessary. If your subjects still feel uneasy, run through a few fun tongue twisters, like “How Now Brown Cow,” circa Anchorman.

Have Them Look at You

Watch any broadcast journalism video (or package, as they call it) with a feature interview. Is the subject looking directly into the camera? Probably not. Instead, the subject is likely looking just off camera as if he or she is talking to another person. Not only does this type of shot look more natural, speaking to a human as opposed to a lifeless camera lens will help put your subject at ease. If you’re the person subjects are looking to, remember to listen and engage without making sound the camera could pick up. Smile and not your head so they know you are listening and are doing well.

Reassure Them About Number of Takes (And Outtakes)

It’s 2013 – we’re not shooting with film anymore. Reassure your subjects that you have plenty of space to fill on your SD cards, so they can have as many takes as desired. Also remind your subjects they’re not on live television. Outtakes and bloopers are perfectly acceptable; they may even calm nerves. The bottom line is, you want your subjects to feel comfortable with what you’ve captured – otherwise, you won’t get them in front of the camera again.

Remember, capturing the video is only half of the battle – marketing the video is the other half. Check out this Content Marketing Institute blog to ensure your video content marketing strategy is on point and your audiences are seeing the fruits of your labor.

How do you coach people to be more comfortable in front of the camera? Share your tips in the comment section!

Photo Credit: NY Daily News


lisa gulasy

Known as Hawkeye for her near superhuman copy editing abilities, Lisa Gulasy applies her unique experiences in agency and journalism to manage strategy and day-to-day engagement of client social media profiles and assist in researching and writing blogs, press releases and advanced content. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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