Today I am sharing a bit of my professional wisdom with bloggers out there who are making, thinking about making or aspiring to make better videos for their blogs. This information is geared to bloggers wanting to do more personality driven videos, not straight technique demos.  Today I will focus on performance.

My professional coaching is tailored to the specific person and their innate strengths and challenges. I am used to working intensively one on one addressing their fears and often develop customized exercises based on the student’s skill set to help get them to the next level of performance. Basically, I focus in on working organically with what the person has naturally and develop their strengths from there. I aim to polish and enhance what is already there. That’s what one should strive for in an on camera performance. The tips below are general and pared down. Still, they may be a bit overkill for the purposes of home blogger video but take what works for you and throw out the rest.


Own Your Segment:

The segment is yours. You created it. Own it. You and your personality are driving the segment..

Be Authentic:

Many people have their personalities kidnapped by the evil camera fairy when they get in front of one. For amateurs, usually two things happen: 1) They lose their personality all together and become wooden and stiff. 2) They take on a whole new fake persona which has nothing to do with their real one, usually this is a false, exaggerated person who comes off as if they are talking to a child. Imagine the camera is your best friend or family member. Have a conversation with the camera. Don’t talk AT it. Talk TO it. Being conversational is key. Speak in a normal voice. That being said….

Wine a Little:

Apologies to the teetotalers out there, but if you are having problems overcoming your stiffness in front of the camera, sometimes having a few sips of wine before you shoot can relax you and take away your inhibitions. I would never recommend this in a professional situation but at home, for a video? Why not! Many home cooks relax by sipping a glass while preparing a meal.

Voice control/articulation:

There are some breathing exercises I teach to help students consciously connect breathing with the diaphragm to produce a fuller sound (breathe into your back people!) Those of you who have taken singing lessons understand what I mean. In general, try to use your chest voice and not your head voice. A few deep breathing exercises before you start can relax you and lower your voice. Many people  speak behind their nose, totally up in their head. There is no texture or resonance to the voice. Take a deep breath and let the sound out as you exhale. Repeat until you feel your voice has a fuller sound and is not coming from your head or throat but from your chest and belly. Some of your family members may come rushing into the room thinking you have been hurt or have lost your mind. That’s show biz.

Articulate your words:

If you have difficulty in this area try the old tried and true Peter piper picked a peck of pickled peppers or Rubber baby buggy bumpers or any other tongue twisters you know. It helps to warm up your mouth, tongue and mind before you start. An external mic makes a world of difference as well. If you can borrow one, do so.

Body Language:

It should accentuate what you are saying, not distract from it. Be aware of repetitive hand gestures. Give your hands something else to do. This is much easier when you are making a cooking video and you have to physically move the segment along. Many people’s tics and bad body language habits naturally go away as they become more accustomed to being on camera and their confidence grows. Ummm…Uhhh: These also seem to fall by the wayside as camera confidence increases. Mostly these ums and uhs happen because people think they have to fill in the blanks (or airtime) while they are gathering their thoughts. If you feel one coming on. Stop. Gather your thoughts and continue. Eventually as you become more secure, those pauses in between thoughts will get smaller and smaller.

Speak and think in Soundbites: Time yourself in rehearsal. In general your video should not exceed three minutes. That’s three minutes people. Not three minutes fifty seconds. If you are over your 3 minute mark, go back to your cards and be brutal in editing them. Condense your words and thoughts until they are more streamlined. Of course never compromise the quality of your information. If you absolutely must have that extra 10 seconds to make the video comprehensible, take it.

NEXT WEEK: Tips on how  to  structure the story for your blog’s video


Meet Lora Wiley-Lennartz:

Lora Wiley-Lennartz  is an Emmy nominated producer, media coach and food blogger who has produced the best of the best TV personalities both nationally and internationally.  A passionate home baker, she is the author/creator of a food blog, Presently she is working as the Managing Director of a creative web agency and the Managing Editor of an online magazine.

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July 3, 2012

Top Performance Coaching Tips For Your Blog’s Video

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  1. Lora

    July 4th, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Honored to be featured here.!

  2. Rene Syler

    July 4th, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Lora these are great!

  3. Rebecca Parsons

    July 10th, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    yes, yes…super tips…thank you for sharing your awesome wisdom. Rachel said I would love you and I do!!!