Speaking on Camera: Tips for Speaking on Podcasts & Videos​

Ed Darling
5 min read

What you’ll learn:

  • How to feel confident speaking on camera.
  • Tips for podcasts, panels and explainer videos.
  • Technical advice around shots and frames.
man speaking on camera

Anyone can learn to speak on camera.

These days, we all have access to the spotlight.

Whether it’s recording a video for LinkedIn, speaking on podcasts, or creating content for your business. 20% of people actively pursue these things to build their careers and businesses, and 80% fear the day they find themselves to speaking on camera.

As a public speaking coach, I see many people with anxiety around speaking on camera. Often, more so than speaking to an actual real life audience!

But feeling calm on camera doesn’t require years of media training or the confidence of an actor. Infact, it can be achieved with some simple reframes and practical understanding.

If you want to feel more calm, credible and confident the next time the lights are on you, follow these simple tips.

Speak to your most familiar audience.

Many people have an irrational fear of speaking on camera. 

They imagine its dark lens will expose their weaknesses for the whole world to see. As a result, they stiffen up, lose their authenticity and end up speaking like a corporate dear in the headlights.

But the people actually watching you are just that: people. 

Anxious speakers get thrown off by cameras because they forget it’s just normal, everyday humans who may or may not be watching. 

What to do instead:

Firstly, ask yourself: who is my audience?

Are you recording a professional video to share with customers, or a personal video to share with colleagues on social media?

Either way, figure out who your audience is and visualise that person in your mind.

Speak to a person you’re comfortable around.

If you’re nervous, it can help to visualise someone you feel relaxed and comfortable around in person. Then, as you look at the camera, imagine that person at the other end, eager to listen. 

See them reacting positively as you begin speaking, and imagine you’re communicating directly with them.

This is how you “make friends with the camera”. By forgetting about the camera entirely and focusing on the person who’ll ultimately be watching.

Doing so will help you to feel relaxed, speak in a more conversational tone, and connect with your audience on a personal level.

charismatic speaker scorecard

Discover Your Charisma Score!

The Charismatic Speaker Scorecard benchmarks your ability to speak in an engaging way, and identifies opportunities to improve based on three key areas:
  1. Confident Mindset
  2. Compelling Content
  3. Engaging Delivery
Take the scorecard to find out how ready you are to speak in public – and receive a report that’ll tell you exactly what to work on.


Rehearse speaking on camera.

Improv speaking is the skill of communicating off the cuff, and it’s something I recommend getting good at. 

It allows you to answer questions on the spot, deliver speeches on the fly, and sound uncannily charismatic in any circumstance.

But even if you have the gift of the gab, relying on “future you” to handle speaking on camera is a big mistake. Your first take is rarely your best. Therefor, the best plan is to set out a rehearsal schedule. 

This can be quick and simple.

Speaking on Camera – podcasts, panels or interviews:

Begin by thinking about how you’ll introduce yourself. What key information would you like to get a across? How you can make this interesting for the audience?

Next, plan out the questions you’ll likely be asked. Better yet, email ahead of the recording/event date to ask for a list of questions.

For each question, think about the best way you can answer. The simplest way to figure this out is by practising your responses, then keeping the bits you like best.

This doesn’t mean you plan things out word-by-word. You can still keep the spontaneity. But your answers on the day will be more cohesive and confidently delivered.

Finally, make sure to plan something for the “any final words” question that’s usually asked at the end of a podcast or panel discussion.

This is your chance to reach out directly to the audience with a call to action.

Perhaps you’ll ask them to view your website, connect with you online, or email you with their questions? Whatever your call to action is, make sure to not miss the opportunity. 

Speaking on camera – marketing videos, explainers, how-to’s: 

If you’re asked to present a video for work, or want to create something for your own business, then you’ll want to prepare your content ahead of time. 

The aim is to work out:

A. What you want to get across to the audience.

B. The simplest way to actually say it.

If you’ll be delivering this directly to camera, you many also want to partially memorize your content.

The easiest approach for this is to segment all of your content into roughly 1-2 minute chunks, which can then be edited together. Remember that people have exceedingly short attention spans, and will expect you to get into things quickly.

So while preparing and practising your content, keep asking yourself: is it simple, is it clear?

By planning your content in advance, practising your delivery, and segmenting it into memorable chunks, you’ll find the process of presenting to camera infinitely easier. 

Many people “put off the prep” out of fear, but even a small amount of rehearsal pays huge dividends in terms of your final delivery. 

Don’t procrastinate, set yourself a rehearsal schedule and stick to it. 

Ready to feel confident while speaking in public?

Join our next 1-Day Public Speaking Masterclass

Match your speaking style to the camera frame.

Let’s finish with some practical advice. 

If you’re speaking on camera, it helps to know what the camera is actually seeing. This is called your ‘frame’. Here’s a few standard frames you’ll be familiar with from TV and Film:

Wide: Zoomed out shot showing a wide view and the person’s entire body. 

Midshot: Medium shot where we can see the person’s upper-body, waist to head. 

Close-up: Tighter shot, typically only seeing the person’s head and shoulders. 

It’s vital to know where the camera is set, as your delivery style will change depending on the frame. As a rule, when speaking your gestures should grow with your audience. For example, you’d have a “bigger” performance when speaking in an auditorium vs. in a meeting room.

The same goes as your frame expands when speaking on camera.

If you’re filming a close-up, most of your body-language and posture will be out of view. As such, you’ll want to keep your body relatively still, and focus on conveying your thoughts and emotion through subtle facial expression and voice. 

For a mid-shot, your arms and hands are more in view. So you’ll need to be aware of how you’re gesturing, and your overall posture. 

If filming a wide, you may want to animate your body, use more gestures, and possibly even use movement to keep viewers engaged. 

All of this is especially important if you’re not the one filming (i.e. there’s a camera already set-up) in which case, always remember to ask the camera-op what frame you’re in – then adjust your delivery accordingly. 

Speaking on camera like a professional.

Speaking on camera can be daunting for the best of us, but doing so allows you to share your message, grow your audience, and build your business or brand by connecting with people at scale.

Like all public speaking, the more practice you get, the quicker your skills and confidence develops. So the next time you’re asked to communicate on camera, say yes!

Then remember:

  • Connect with your audience by looking through the camera and visualising the person watching at the other end. 
  • Don’t rely on ‘future you’ to wing it – set a rehearsal schedule and make your life easier by practising your delivery.
  • Understand what the camera is viewing, and adjust your delivery to match the frame you’re filming in.

Any further question about speaking on camera?

Feel free to drop me an email or connect with me on LinkedIn!

charismatic speaker scorecard

Discover Your Charisma Score!

The Charismatic Speaker Scorecard benchmarks your ability to speak in an engaging way, and identifies opportunities to improve based on three key areas:
  1. Confident Mindset
  2. Compelling Content
  3. Engaging Delivery
Take the scorecard to find out how ready you are to speak in public – and receive a report that’ll tell you exactly what to work on.