We’ve conducted A LOT of on-camera interviews. Whether for network news, corporate video production, or media training sessions, you begin to see patterns with what clients and interviewees do well and where they do poorly. While we prefer to focus on the positives, there is a valuable lesson to learn from the negatives and that is the focus of this blog. So, what are the common mistakes we most often see when a client or interviewee steps in front of our camera? Let’s break it down:

  1. Stop talking! I know what you are thinking. That’s not me! You wouldn’t be able to get three words out of me! But that’s not what we have found at all. Once most people get talking on-camera, more times than not, they don’t stop. Maybe it’s nerves or they feel the pressure of the little red light being on, but regardless, most end every sentence with an “and” or “but” or “um”, and then continue to another thought. The problem? We often get way more than what we need and more importantly, the run-on sentence leaves us no place to edit. Trust us when we say, answer the question and then confidently stop talking. Just stop and wait for the next question. You will be a messaging hero!
  2. No energy. People think cameras magnify everything but I disagree and believe the opposite occurs. Time and time again I have learned that when appearing on-camera you need to exaggerate certain things for those things to be perceived via video. Energy, facial expressions, body language, vocal tone, and pacing all need to be put into turbo mode for those things to be at the proper TV level. I can count on one hand, maybe even one finger, how many people I have interviewed or coached who have had too much energy. But almost everyone I have had contact with needs more passion and energy conveyed on-camera. Add more energy, get better results. Guaranteed every time.
  3. No smile. So many people have great smiles but we never see it. Again, it’s probably nerves and general tightness about being on-camera but let us see those pearly whites! Not only does it look great on-camera, but smiling has been proven to physically relax the body. Smile and you will feel better too!

Rich Dubek is a two-time Emmy award winning TV news reporter with more than twenty five years of news media experience at the local and network level. He is President of the Dubek Media Group, specializing in expert media training and on-air coaching, and full service video production. The Dubek Media Group is based in Tempe, Arizona.