Presenting to camera

For some presenting to a camera is a daunting experience and we know that this is not always easily overcome.  At Bitpod we make our own videos too, so know what you are going through. One of the biggest concerns is usually about getting it wrong. This is often more to do with lack of practise and familiarity with your script so there is much you can do before the filming day.

Here are our top tips on presenting:

  • Choose a morning slot for filming so that you are full of energy
  • Read your script through at least five times out loud before you arrive
  • Avoid high levels of caffeine and milk based or dry foods
  • Indulge in a little calm before you start
  • Don’t bring anyone with you unless absolutely necessary

Most of our visitors surprise themselves and enjoy the experience more than they thought was possible. We try very hard to be supportive and to make the process fun, after all we want you to come back for more!

Frequently asked questions about presenting to camera

What should I wear?

You can generally wear what you want with just a few practical limitations. Most people choose to wear a shirt/blouse with or without a jacket but more casual clothing is sometimes more appropriate. Stripes, checkered patterns, bright whites and fluorescent colours should be avoided as these can create technical visual problems. Larger shiny jewelry (mainly earrings and necklaces) can reflect light and be noticeable.

How much should I practice?

There is no such thing as too much! Reading your script out loud is essential when fine tuning it and of course when you practise presenting it. People who are familiar with their script usually have more time on the day to work on inflection, body language and other improvements that can make all the difference. As a rough guide we would suggest at least ten to twenty practise sessions, some of these on same day as filming.

What if I simply can’t present and decide to give up?

This is extremely unusual and not something we have experienced to date. The process we have provides lots of guides and information to help you practise and fine tune your script. This means that you will already have a very good idea how well its going to turn out before the day of the shoot. If you really don’t want to continue then we obviously won’t force you. As we will already have started your project and reserved time to shoot and edit your video we are unfortunately unable to offer a refund. We have a great success rate at working with people who are new to making videos and have lots of tips, patience and encouragement.

What if I can’t make the booked studio date?

We are happy to reschedule your slot if you are able to give us seven days notice. Less than seven days notice will incur a £95+vat rebooking fee (at our discretion) unless we are able to reallocate this slot to someone else.

How many goes do I get to get it right?

This varies from person to person so there is no real quotable average. It is not uncommon to record over ten takes and there is no limit other than the two hour studio slot. Practise and a well tuned script tend to reduce the number of takes required. As a warm up helps most people we suggest preparing for somewhere between five to fifteen reads before we are ready to choose the best take.

Can I bring others with me to the studio?

Yes you can.  We have limited space so would only suggest two additional people at the most. We generally find that most people prefer to come on their own and work one to one to achieve the best outcome. Although it might seem like a good idea to have some support, often this can be a distraction and there may be limited help they can provide in this scenario.

Who else will be involved in the filming?

Usually we work one to one and provide a camera operator who will guide you through each step of the studio filming process. On some occasions we may use two members of staff to provide additional assistance with practising the script before filming begins.

Do I need to memorise my script?

No you don’t although being very familiar with it really helps. The more you know the script the more effort you will be able to put into the delivery resulting in a better video. If you do know it very well you will find that the teleprompter lives up to its name and prompts you (helping with both timing and word accuracy) rather than being a lifeline for your script delivery.

Can I wear glasses when presenting to camera?

Yes you can, contacts are also fine and might look better as they won’t reflect the light like glass does. Some glasses have anti-reflection coating, if you have this option then these will perform best under studio lights. You will need to read text that is about 2cm high from approx. 3m away if this helps you decide. If in doubt bring them anyway and decide on the day. All glasses will reflect slightly, however we can usually make lighting adjustments to minimise this.

Can I wear striped or checked clothing?

We advise against stripes or checks as when the video is reduced in size on YouTube you can see a moving pattern called ‘moire’, this can be distracting for the viewer and may degrade the viewing experience. Large or very faint stripes are not usually a problem. If you want to test this then please bring a spare safe alternative just in case.

Will my bald head look shiny?

Maybe. We can adjust lighting to assist with shiny skin reflections but it is not always possible to remove it altogether. One option is to apply a light base layer of foundation to minimise this effect. We do not provide makeup services so if this is required please bring your own products. A mirror is available in the studio as well as the option to shoot a test still for viewing on a 40″ screen.

Is there anywhere I can change?

We don’t have a dedicated changing room but are very happy to let you use the studio to prepare and change as required.

Do I need makeup?

We recommend that you don’t do anything different to your normal routine. Studio light levels are very comfortable and use cool daylight LED rather than the hot orange bright lights used in the past. If you want to apply makeup in the studio you will need to bring your own products as we do not supply this for studio shoots. A mirror is provided and we can shoot a test still for you to check on a 40″ monitor.

How long does it take?

A studio session lasts up to 2 hours although often people can be finished well before this once they are familiar with the routine. We don’t rush you and allow plenty of time for a sit down, a practice and to get the shot set-up properly. If you are in a hurry or simply prefer to keep your energy levels up we can move faster and start filming straight away.

Do I need to record the script in one go or can you edit it together?

This series of videos have all been filmed in one shot (from a selection of takes) with no editing or cuts. This means that we need you to read your script in one go without mistakes to match the past videos. That is not as hard as it sounds and although it may take a little practise its is something we have done hundreds of times with many different clients.

Can I select my best take on the day?

Yes absolutely. To keep costs sensible we do not supply online previews for projects this straightforward, instead we allow you to choose on the day with previews played straight from the camera onto a large screen for your selection.

I am nervous, will you coach me?

Of course we will! Its natural to worry a little bit about presenting to camera and this can often be a good thing as the extra attention to detail helps with your presentation. We are very used to helping people who have not done this before and have a good track record getting great results. The experience can be very rewarding and a good confidence booster.

Will you help me look and sound good?

Its our job to make sure you are happy with the way you appear on camera. We will assist you with all aspects of the the process and try our very best make sure you are happy with the final result. The help we give varies depending on the situation and what we are asked for or what we think needs assistance. We will pay special attention to the way that you look, the way that you sound and the message you are communicating.

Can I make changes to my script on the day?

This is possible but we highly recommend that it is only for minor tweaks as our studio is not the best place to do this. Another consideration is that larger changes will not be rehearsed and this could lead to the delivery being compromised due to lack of practise. Small changes such as corrections and word replacements are no problem and can be completed prior to filming or during the session.

What happens if I run out of time?

Occasionally this happens and it means either a recorded take will need to be selected or we will need to extend the studio session. Additional hours cost £95+vat per hour or part of. If we run over by 5 minutes this will usually be fine but we sometimes have to consider other bookings that need to start on time. The main cause of this is normally excessive script changes or lack of practise prior to the filming session.