#7 in our Top Ten Tips to Engaging Content: Talking to Camera and Shooting Interviews

Published by TEN ALPHAS | 25th September 2020

Keeping up with technology

In this technology-driven world, DIY video production is getting easier, quicker and cheaper. But that doesn’t mean you get to stop advancing your skills. We want you to be getting better at the same rate technology is improving. Look better, sound better and enjoy better results.

The following are the best practices for shooting direct-to-camera videos.


We get it everyone wants to look good on camera. But you might want to leave the fancy outfits at home. Simple, solid coloured clothing will appear best on screen. Clothing with stripes can appear to strobe, and wild patterns will be distracting to the viewer. Keep your jewellery simple. Items that dangle or make noise can be a nightmare for video sound.

And avoid wearing any brands or clothes with words or slogans on it. 


There is nothing more commanding in a video than someone who appears confident with what they are doing and saying. And good posture is the quickest way to show confidence—even for the most anxious presenter. Open your body to the camera with your shoulders back and open. Positions the camera just above you, so you are looking up slightly. Look directly into the camera lens —this is far more engaging than looking away. 

Your hands

Who knew your hands would be so important to your camera presentation skills? Well, they are. Hand gestures require a fine balance. Too much and you will distract the viewer from what you’re talking about. Too little and you will appear dull or uninteresting. When incorporated correctly, hand gestures add a lot of value and emphasis to your presentation.


It’s really important to smile and show that you are enjoying yourself. Neutral facial expressions can make a video fall flat. Don’t be afraid to tap a lap around the room or hold a 1-minute dance party to pump yourself (and your smile) up.

However we have all seen the big overbearing cheesy smiles of the real estate agent or the shopping. Channel presenter. Out tip is to just internally think about smiling. It simply makes your face warmer!  


You don’t need a professional studio to shoot your videos. In fact, you can really shoot anywhere as long as it’s quiet. Make sure the location is tidy and free of clutter. But don’t be afraid to incorporate bits of personality. Take a few minutes to do some set dressing with things that won’t be distracting. Create space between yourself and the background. This will help reduce shadows and create a shallow depth of field.


Consider a location where you can control the light. This will provide a consistent look through the video and future videos, if needed. Avoid being backlit and look for natural light that you can bounce into the frame.


Audiences have low tolerance and very little patience when it comes to poor sound on videos. They know what videos should sound like and won’t settle for less. The secret to sound quality is to use an external mic and position it as close to you as possible. A lavalier mic (or “lav”) is ideal because it can clip to any type of apparel or accessory.

That’s about it! Now you’re all set to make a high-quality video direct-to-camera video. So get going, trust yourself and have fun.

Top Ten Tips of Engaging Content, brought to you by TEN ALPHAS and supported by City of Sydney