Presentation Framework: On-camera Presence

Have you ever watched an online video and immediately clicked off the video or rolled your eyes at the presenter on your mobile device or computer? If you did, you experienced what it’s like when an online video presenter is unsuccessful at building on-camera presence with you, the viewer.

This post will continue to explore the framework model of on-camera presentations by focusing on the second core element, “on-camera presence.” Our last post addressed the first core element, message design.

On-camera presence includes a wide variety of delivery elements. Through establishing and building presence, you create rapport with the viewer and build credibility in their eyes. How is credibility established? Quite simply through your ability to look directly into camera lens and establish eye contact. This connection is the most powerful, and even though the speaker needs to imagine their viewers are immediately in front of them, it can feel very real to viewers.

Additional components of establishing presence include coming across as personable, informal, and natural onscreen. Because the more natural you can be, the more effective you can be. The best way to do this is to use informal language and a conversational tone. If, however, gestures seem contrived, speakers appear to be reading a script verbatim, or the like, the relationship between speaker and viewer feels distanced, and a connection is not made.

There are many other elements which contribute to successful establishment of presence. Vocal variety and conversational tone, as well as confident body posture and attentive focus all contribute positively to presence.

One of the best ways to establish relationship with your off screen viewers is to rehearse delivering your message to real people in a real context. Tranfer that experience to the camera frame, and you will find that your delivery is much more natural. Natural will have greater reach and impact.

In order for viewers to receive your message, whether you’re attempting to entertain, inform, or educate them, the relationship starts by building a persona that is likable to viewers. If we like what we see, we will listen to you, and we may just act on it.

What say you?

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