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July 12, 2023

Silent On Camera

Getting comfortable in your own skin while appearing silent on-camera will help you communicate more effectively.

Practice being on-screen without saying anything for two mins. This PRO-TIP is fantastic if you appear on-camera at corporate events, and/or if you produce online events.

Far too often when I’m attending an online conference or event, while a guest or presenter is being introduced by the Host/MC, they've been brought on-screen too soon by the producer. This means the person is sitting thereon-camera, silent, as their (too long) BIO is read. If this has happened to you, while it may only be for 30 seconds, it can feel like an eternity. If you've seen it happen, it can feel like an eternity.

I’ve actually laughed out loud (alone in my office) when someone is finally introduced, say, “Hi, thanks for having me”, and the producer immediately minimizes their screen and adds another guest/presenter who then has to sit there silently on-camera while their lengthy BIO is announced.

If you’re a PRODUCER, opt instead to keep guests and presenters off-screen until they’re actually named. Collaborate with the Host/MC on the timing and execution of this transitional task. If you’re unconvinced about how important this is, take some time yourself to practice being on-screen without saying anything for a couple of minutes. See how it feels. Even the most seasoned presenters start to squirm a little when they’re just sitting there waiting.

It's different AFTER you’ve been introduced and, for instance, you’re on a panel with a number of people later on in the Agenda. This has a totally different feel, yet is another reason why you should practice being silent on-camera.

So: practice because you can’t guarantee producers will wait to bring you on-screen at the right time; plus, if you’re ever on a panel or in an interview where someone else is speaking at length, it’s important for you to appear like an engaged listener.

Put an emotion or some form of “energy” into your facial expressions and body language and become comfortable in your own skin by rehearsing just sitting silently on-camera. Record a few of your short practice sessions and have a look at how you appear.

You may genuinely be engaged in the conversation. But, it’s crucial that you appear engaged to your colleagues and the attendees.

It's particularly important for you to look engaged for the entire time when someone is introducing you.

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