I was very excited to find that at least one person was inspired by my Tip No 1 on being engaging on video last week. Well done Kimberly Manning!
So what is Tip No 2 for being engaging on your videos and in front of the camera?
For those of you using a video camera or a phone with an obvious lens, even if its tiny like on your iPhone:
Notice what you look at when you’re recording yourself.
I’ve noticed that when we feel uncomfortable we either look away from the lens completely or use a distancing strategy of looking at the circular housing around the lens. Now this is a very subtle thing but I know it works as I can sense the difference in my own energy when I shift.
So my tip is ‘Look down the lens, as if it is an eye’. It is down there you engage with your audience.
Play by shifting your attention between the two: become aware of what it feels like when you talk to the camera but have your attention on the bit around the edge of the lens, and then look down the middle of the lens and see if you notice any difference in your sense of connection. You may find, like me, that you actually sense your energy being drawn down this portal.
It’s the difference between talking to someone while checking out their eyelashes and actually looking deep in to their eyes.
BUT what if you use your inbuilt camera and record while seeing yourself reflected back?
I’ve not tried this but I think its also worth a play.
Do you remember those magic eye posters which were really popular a few years ago? All you could see was a pattern until you shifted your focus and looked at a spot a few inches beyond (or behind) the image itself. It was always easier if the poster was behind glass as you could focus on the reflections. The moment you got your focus just ‘right’ a whole new image revealed itself and even looked like it was in front of the actual 2D poster. I became quite good at shifting my focal point but it was a bit discombobulating when I discovered that patterns on carpets suddenly hovered a couple of inches off the floor. I even found that wall paper patterns leapt off the walls in front of my eyes! I began to wonder if there are dimensions visible if we only trained ourselves to find that perfect focal length.
But anyway I’m going off the point!
When you record on a laptop or iPad, place the screen so you can see some reflection from behind you. Then relax your eyes and focus on one of those reflections. Don’t worry if you seem to go a bit cross-eyed, after all this is just playing around to see what the results are. I’ll be interested to know if it works.
The more you use the tunnel of the lens as your focus, the more you’ll enjoy the experience of talking direct to the camera.
Please let me know how you get on.
I promise to soon video these blogs but at the moment I’m on the move and using previous videos is just that much simpler. Here is one I did, using a posterise filter, of one of my favourite poems of all time. There is no doubt I’m totally engaged.