Or don't know what to say when the director says "action". Maybe you are suffering from presenter's block.
First of all, I have no idea if presenter's block is a real term or not, so I am going to define it just in case
WRITER'S BLOCK - the condition of being unable to think of what to write or how to proceed with writing
PRESENTER'S BLOCK - the condition of being unable to think of what to say or freezing in front of camera
Having worked for the BBC for many years and shot lots and lots of people, the number one reason for freezing in front of camera is - making it a "big thing"
When I worked for BBC Schools Television I'd often have to interview head teachers, class teachers and other school staff and there were times when the contributor would be so nervous they wouldn't be able to answer a question coherently. So this is what I did.
"How did you do that Neil?"
Funny you should ask
As we set up for filming (the crew putting up the lights, getting the camera ready and clipping on the radio mic) I'd chat with the contributor naturally, asking them things like "do you eat the school dinners here?" or "how was your sports day?" Questions that were easy to answer and felt like a part of a pleasant, natural conversation.
I'd then have a secret signal that the crew would look out for, like scratching my nose, which would tell them I wanted them to start recording. I'd carry on, chatting away with the contributor, asking them open questions and then I'd scratch my nose and slip in one of the questions I needed the answer to, with exactly the same tone as all the other questions.
9 times out of 10 they'd give me a great, relaxed answer and I would say to them "that was an amazing answer, [to the cameraman] I really wish you had been recording it", to which the cameraman would say "I was".
I would then compliment the contributor, thanking them for their answer and that they were a natural in front of camera. That would make the rest of the interview run smoothly.
"That's all very well Neil, but I'm not an interviewee,
I'm trying to present my own content to camera
and still struggle, what do I do?"
Funny you ask, actually it's a similar issue. You're making your filming "way too important" which is causing you to freeze. Making a video is NO BIG DEAL
If you are making a business video, where you are sharing your expertise, then you should have no problem talking to camera. Here's why I think that?
- You're an expert and you know your subject
- You talk about your subject all the time
- You can talk to your clients about what you do
- You can talk on the phone about what you do
- You can answer questions about what you do
- You've probably been filmed on your phone many times before.
Think about it... has someone filmed you blowing out your candles on your birthday, or doing one of the FaceBook video challenges or the like?
Which means talking about your expertise is easy and being filmed on a phone is not alien, you're just combing the two.
"Logically Neil I know that, but I still get stuck"
Ok... Ok... You're being stubborn here. So let me tell you a couple of tricks I've been using for years to help people through.
The camera's set, the lights are on, you press the record button or the director shouts "Action!" and then what?
Where do you look? How do you talk? What do you do with your hands?
So check out this film and the next time you're in front of camera won't seems so scary.
For support in the production of videos check out Business Video Services.
If you want to learn how to make your own videos using your smartphones or tablet check out the Easy-Pro Video Online courses
You can also attend one of Neil’s video workshops
Or Neil can support you in making Engaging and Inspiring training videos