Effective Presentation to Camera – 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Effective Presentation to Camera – 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid

There was a time when camera  presenter training  was only needed by those in the TV industry, however, thanks to advances in technology, cameras are everywhere. They’re on our laptops, in our smartphones and even in our TVs and because of the existence of platforms like Zoom and Instagram Live, the need for authentic and relaxed presentation skills is that much greater.

Effective presentation  is so important, as it’s the only way you’re going to be able to build the necessary rapport and connection that gets everything you’ve got to say across clearly. Studies have shown that the average attention span when watching a video is around 8 seconds, so you’ve haven’t got long to grab and subsequently retain the attention of your audience.

Don’t worry if your talents in this regard aren’t quite up to scratch, as there is lots of top quality presentation skills training  to help you develop them at the Presenter Academy. We’ll detail how to access it at the end, but first we’re going to give you 5 tips on the mistakes you need to avoid to become the presenter you need to be when in front of any kind of camera.


Mistake #1 – Being Too Stiff & Robotic

Confident body language is vital whether you’re presenting to a camera standing up or in a seated position, as good posture transmits silent self-assured cues that your audience will pick up on. Conversely, if you’re presenting with hunched shoulders, an entirely different message is offered that’s weak, ineffectual and attention-grabbing for all the wrong reasons.

The key to effective presentation  is to try and relax while talking as if you were face to face with someone in person. Often people freeze up in front of a camera, becoming robotic, stiff and over-aware of their hands, so they combat it by stopping their movement entirely.

This automatically gives your presentation a more rigid and uncomfortable look, so use your hands like you normally would when talking, as they’re an extension of your speech. Otherwise, you’ll naturally start fidgeting and shifting your weight to compensate for it – neither of which will help.


Mistake #2 – Not Looking at The Camera Enough

Something you’ll typically learn fairly early on during presentation skills training  is the need to maintain eye contact with the camera. When your audience sees you looking at the camera, they think that you’re speaking directly to them, however, when you avoid doing so for no obvious reason, it just looks plain awkward.

It’s actually one of the hardest effective presentation  skills to master, as you don’t get the usual verbal and non-verbal feedback that you do when speaking face to face. Without this to guide you, it can be easy to lose your confidence, so as a rule of thumb, always maintain focus on the lens, unless the audience can see what you’re looking at.


Mistake #3 – A Monotone Voice

We’ve all sat through boring lessons, with teachers droning on, making everyone’s eyes glaze over in an attempt to stay awake. Your vocal tone is affected by pitch, pace, rhythm and volume, which can significantly alter the meaning of the words spoken and the interest a person has for listening to them.

When speaking with friends, we have a much more natural and engaging tone, so try and harness that – something that will come when you’re relaxed. The calmer you are, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to adjust your tone to a degree that accentuates your message, rather than detracts from it.


Mistake #4 – A Lack of Facial Expressions

When was the last time you spoke to someone who had virtually no facial expression when they talked? That’s right, it doesn’t happen very often does it? According to the Albert Mehrabian Theory facial expressions account for 55% of what people pay attention to during communication, so it’s THE most important element to get right.

Someone with effective presentation  skills will be able to inject enthusiasm, emotion and life into what they’re talking about. Regardless of whatever the subject is, it can still be delivered in a way that shows you’re emotionally engaged with it, meaning your audience can be too.


Mistake #5 – Poor Preparation

There’s a common misconception out there that experienced presenters don’t need to prepare, as they find it easy, right? Well, no. Regardless of whether you’ve just finished your presenter training  or you’ve been doing it every day for years, you still need to prepare, as invariably, most of the hard work is done off-camera.

Before you set foot in front of the camera, script your presentation – with auto-cue if you need it – so that you don’t forget to mention everything you want to – including your call to action. Even experienced ad-libbers use bullet points or cue cards to help them, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking that prep isn’t needed – ever!


Effective Presentation  – Anyone Can Achieve It!


Being a good presenter takes practice, hard work and confidence, but the good news is that it’s something anyone can master with time and the right presentation skills training . At the Presenter Academy, we offer a wide range of engaging e-courses to help you develop your skills, with our free 3 Tips For Perfect Presenting Course being a great place to start and yours in exchange for a simple subscription.

Our founder and director Brian Naylor has also written and published a book Presenting for TV and Screen: The Essential Guide which will guide you through all the key principles, essential presenting skills, techniques and career strategy. As well as an in-depth look at why tonality, facial expressions and body language are vital for effective and engaging communication. This practical guide is an essential tool for anyone who wants to become a natural, confident and engaging on-screen presenter or anyone who is looking to prepare for an effective presentation. You can pre-order your copy of Presenting for TV and Screen: The Essential Guide now on Amazon.

If you’d like to know more about us and what we do, you can find what you need by visiting us online at www.presenteracademy.com and taking a look around. Alternatively, if you need any advice or guidance about your training needs, you can get in touch by filling in our contact form. Upon receipt of your enquiry, we’ll get back to you as soon as we possibly can.

If this blog has whetted your appetite for more presenter training , then you can find what you’re looking for by visiting us online at www.presenteracademy.com today. Alternatively, if you’d like to speak to us directly about your needs, fill out our contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as humanly possible.


Thanks for reading. We’ll be back with more hints, tips and advice from the TV presenting world again soon.