BEFORE You Get on Camera, Do These 5 Things!

BEFORE You Get on Camera, Do These 5 Things!

1. Avoid dairy (Yes, you heard right!)

When I was younger, my singing teacher always told me to avoid dairy before getting on stage. She said that from her experience it produced more phlegm due to the high fat content in dairy... and she was right!

Have you ever felt that bubble in your throat or heard your voice coming out a little funny? Or found yourself constantly clearing your throat? That's the last thing you want when you're on that live or hosting a webinar.

This tip has stuck with me because when I do consume dairy and then I have to get on a zoom call or give a speech, I am always clearing my throat. That has been my experience personally so I don’t risk it. I don’t want to be coughing or clearing my throat continuously and I’m sure no one else wants to hear it either. Try it out for yourself and see if you notice a difference.

2. Fill that frame

When you see yourself on camera, try to take up space and fill the frame with your body. Say what??

When we see more of the room and your background than you, you are creating a disconnect through distance. When you're creating video to connect with your audience, you want to avoid creating that separation and make it as close to an in-person experience as possible. There's only ONE caveat... it's okay to be further away IF you're showcasing an outfit or a full body stretch for that yoga class you're teaching - but that's it!

Maintaining distance also has the effect of making you look uncomfortable, and that doesn't tend to resonate well with your audience.

So... how do you frame yourself to look confident and personable? Try setting up your position in the frame to show you from the waist up (what we call a medium shot) or from your chest up with your face and the tops of your shoulders in the frame (a close up shot).

BONUS: If you use your hands a lot while you're speaking, go for the close up - that way you don't have to worry about your flailing hands stealing the show. This obviously does not apply if you're recording in ASL (if this is you, check out this amazing Ask an ASL Actor panel where my fellow actress and friend Catherine Joell MacKinnon shares some thoughts about deafness in film and television).

Shooting in close up also prevents you from having to worry about other areas of your body that you may not be so comfortable with. Either way, play around and see what makes you the most comfortable!

3. Pep-Talk Time

Create a pre-shooting ritual, mindset is everything before you start and it doesn’t have to be longer than a few minutes. Our goal: to get you in the zone! Unless you are a trained professional where you can just “turn on” on camera, most of us need a little warming up. You wouldn’t jump into a full workout without stretching and if you do…it may be painful later.

My suggestions to you would be to listen to a song, practice your script or go over your bullet points. I personally like to listen to affirmations for a few minutes before I "go live". 

Hear me out, my friend.... I don't need these affirmations to get on camera and show up, but they make me feel complete. Doing a few minutes of focused awareness on what I want the outcome to be signals to me that I'm taking care of my mind, body and soul. That's the energy I want to bring to the table and that's the energy I want you to have too.

If you want a quick 5 minute affirmation recording, I created one specially for those who are about to perform or just show up in front of a group of people. Doesn't matter if it's virtual or in person, it will work. You can find it on my home page under resources or download it at

I'll leave you with a quote that has stayed with me for the last few weeks: Your mind is your instrument, learn to be its master and not it’s slave. -Remez Sasson.

4. Energy!

Contrary to popular belief, being more animated on camera actually works better than appearing cool and collected. People want to see you interested, lively and excited about what you are talking about. Think about it, what’s more interesting to you: hearing about someone’s embarrassing moment with all of it’s ups and downs OR hearing that the day was okay.

People want to connect and relate, so focus on topics that you could talk about without having a script on hand. The goal is to have a positive and energetic consistent energy throughout. Turn the dial up a bit on your voice and your personality.

Also, I always tell my clients that you should shoot videos in sections (i.e with a beginning, pause, middle, pause and end) because if you are struggling to keep up the energy, this will help the momentum up so you can recharge in between.

Remember you are doing this for you and your business. Your story matters and so does your voice. Use that motivation to fuel your success.

5. Do a Test!

This may just be the secret to my productivity. What am I talking about? Are you ready? Hit the record button, get into your seat or go to the spot where you want to stand 
and let the camera start filming you for about a minute. 

PS If you are standing put a piece of tape on the floor or a marker so you know exactly which spot to come back to next time.

When the camera is rolling, it is now at this time where you can introduce yourself, say your top 3 points that you will want to cover, and do any major gestures that you know you will have to do within your video. Pretend to go through your script. Will you be pointing to something, picking something up? This is your practice time, so do the motions and then turn off the recording. Play it back and see if anything needs to be adjusted and reset.

Do this step until you are confident with the surroundings and how you look on camera. You’d be surprised at how many times I noticed lipstick on my teeth, a hair go out of place, a tag that hasn’t been removed. You are most likely shooting alone so you need to look out for number one. That's you my friend haha!

BONUS: After hitting record but before starting your speech/script, give your camera and yourself 5-10 seconds to just breathe and settle. This allows for your camera to focus, you to collect yourself, & it will help you out when you need to edit your video after.