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5.3 Energy and Pacing

Lights, camera, action! In this lesson, you’ll learn how to deliver your message to the camera with energy and personality.

5.3 Energy and Pacing

I'm Cindy Burgess for Tuts+. Welcome back. So you've decided what you're going to say. And whether you're going to ad-lib or use of teleprompter. In this lesson, you'll learn how to deliver your message to the camera with energy and personality. Let's begin, by talking a little bit about framing. How much or how little you move your body on camera, depends in part on how your shot is framed. In other words, how much of your body, you can see in the shot. There are a couple of standard shot types, used for on camera presentations. One is a medium shot, where you're framed or seen from about the waist up. This type of shot is excellent, if you plan to use props or demonstrate something or if you use a lot of hand gestures when you speak. You're close enough to the camera that viewers can see your eyes and your facial expressions. But you have room to move within the edges of the frame. Another type of shot is the closeup, where all that's visible is your head and the tops of your shoulders. I am framed in a closeup right now. This kind of shot allows for excellent eye contact, and a more direct personal connection with the viewer. And on the plus side, you don't have to worry about what to do with your hands or having to suck in your stomach. A wide shot shows your entire body from head to toe. Unless there's a reason to see your entire body though, like you're modeling clothes or demonstrating a dance move, this type of framing is less effective. Your face is very small on the screen. Which creates a sense of distance or detachment from the viewer. It's like having a conversation with someone who's standing twenty feet away. If someone else is setting up and operating the video camera, ask them how you are framed. Knowing how much of your body is in the shot will dictate how you use the space around you. Of course, if you're setting up the camera yourself, you can decide whether you want to use a close up, medium shot or wide shot based on some of the things that I've just mentioned. All right. So, you've set up your shot and you're ready to start. Here's a really good habit to get into, any time you're recording yourself on camera. Hit the record button, but, don't start talking right away. Instead, stare directly into the lens and count to five in your head, then start speaking. Leaving a few seconds before you start to talk, will really help you out when it comes time to edit your video. For example, you might want to fade up from black or add an animated introduction. Things that will be tough to do, if you start speaking the moment you hit record. Okay, you're recording. You've paused for five seconds. Now it's time to turn up that energy. Video has a way of sucking the life out of us. When we're nervous or unsure of ourselves we tend to speak more softly even tentatively, and we don't move around very much. Unfortunately. This comes across as flat and boring on camera. So, be lively, and show enthusiasm for what you're talking about. Project your voice, and your personality. This doesn't mean you need to shout. We can show energy by varying the pitch of our voice. Gestures can help add animation as well, but, keep them natural and controlled. Don't just move your hands and arms for the sake of moving them. And remember the framing of your shot. Now, keep that energy level going. It's not uncommon for us to start off strong. Then start to flag a bit as we go on. Don't be surprised if you do get tired. Performing in front of the camera can take a lot out of you, especially if you're on for a long time. Your goal should be to keep a consistent energy level from start to finish. Don't be afraid to pause if you need to, in fact, sometimes it's good to pause to allow what you're saying to really sink in. As you get more experience, you'll learn to use pauses for emphasis just like comedians do, when they deliver a punch line. Keep in mind that it's not necessary to stop, if you trip over your words or make a minor mistake, people aren't expecting perfection. Either ignore the stumble and keep going or do a quick restart with a phrase like, that is to say or something similar. Don't draw any more attention to your slip-ups than you need to. When you're finished your presentation, do the same thing you did at the very beginning. Stop talking, but, keep looking into the camera and smiling. Count to five in your head before you move away or hit that stop button. Again, this will really help you out on the editing end. It will give you a bit of a tail, so, you can do things like fade to black or dissolve to a closing slate with your web address and phone number for example. Finally and perhaps most importantly, have fun. Don't beat yourself up, if you're nervous or you make a mistake. I have made just about every mistake in the book over the years. This is not brain surgery. If you're truly enjoying yourself, your viewers will pick up on that and respond to it. And that's what we want, right? There's no point in going to all this trouble, If no one watching. I'm Cindy Burgess for Tuts+. Thank you for watching.

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