Let’s face it, most full time employees at your company are not actors. They may go home and watch big brother or survivor, but the thought of having a camera directed at them, for even a second, makes their blood pressure sore. If you are trying to produce corporate photos or videos its hard to create quality work when your subject is dripping sweat and paralyzed in fear. Here a few tips to put your talent at ease during corporate video production and transform them from a Rigid Ryan into a Laid-back Larry.
Find the Cause of the Nervousness
Ask questions if you notice your subject is nervous or uncomfortable. Find out what their pain points are and work hard to find ways to alleviate them. Are they worried about a zit or their hair? Tell them they have nothing to worry about and they look fine.
Ask Questions not Related to Work to Put Them at Ease
“Whats your favorite movie?” “Don’t you hate it when you eat meatball subs and one of the meatballs falls out?” Speaking in front of a camera can feel very uncomfortable and not natural. Before you begin the actual questioning/ script reading, give your subject time to become acclimated to speaking on camera and with a microphone in their face. This is also the time for them to become comfortable with talking in front of you (somebody they may not know) as well.
Avoid Sugar and Caffeine
This is a good rule to follow for both you and the subject. If your talent has had a sugary beverage or food or have recently had caffeine this can put them on edge and make it hard to relax. The negative effects make it hard to achieve a relaxed delivery on camera. In the same regard, if you (the videographer or photographer) are drinking coffee or consuming a lot of sugary foods you could possibly rush the process which could result in a sub par production.
Your Emotions Affect Their Emotions
If your subject arrives to the set and you are in an irritated mood they are going to sense it. If they are energetic, confident, and ready to go and you are active negative, their once perfect demeanor will devolve into something less workable. if you are feeling less than great fake it for the sake of the on camera talent or your sour mood could be detrimental to the production.
Encourage your Talent
Who isn’t given a little boost from a compliment or a few nice words? Make sure you let your talent know they are doing a great job (even if they aren’t) and offer constructive criticism in an encouraging way. Say “hey that was great! You looked great and sounded great, but could you just just put a little more emphasis on that last sentence?” Before offering any criticism, its important to provide a complement to soften the blow. Even though you are growing the tree just to chop it down, you still need to give it water.