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On Camera? Know Where To Look

"Eyeline" is the acting term for knowing WHERE to look when you're on camera

You're making a video. Maybe you're talking about your company. Maybe you're introducing a new product. Or maybe you're explaining a technical concept as part of a training video.

It doesn't matter. Because when it's just you and the camera lens - especially when you're not used to speaking on camera - it can be a bit unnerving.

One of the biggest questions is: where should I look? At the camera lens? At another point in the room? And that's just if you're the only person in the shot. But what if there are other people in the shot, as in a panel discussion? What's appropriate: speaking to the camera or to the other people? Or to your shoes? (No, do not talk to your shoes. That was a trick question. It's unlikely they'd answer back.) You need to know something about eyelines.

"We're so used to directing our attention on the person we're having a conversation with. So what happens if no one is there? Just a camera lens, silently watching. And recording." - Laura Doman


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Laura's Quick Tips

  1. Speaking directly to the viewer? Address the camera.

  2. Is this a 1:1 interview? For the most part, ignore the camera and look and talk to the interviewer.

  3. Are you part of a panel discussion? Look at whomever is speaking, as you would normally.

Be aware of where you should be looking while you're on camera, but don't dwell on it or let it distract you from saying what you're there to say. Focus on your message and the other person who is receiving it, even if the other person isn't really there (like a future viewer of the finished video). And feel comfortable to look away from time to time, just as we do in real life when we gather our thoughts or consider an important point. No need to stare - that's best reserved for Halloween or other creepy occasions.

Curious about other acting tips for becoming more comfortable on camera? Check out On Camera Tips for Success.

Laura Doman smiling

I'm Laura Doman, a former tech industry sales executive, hands-on mom, voice & TV/film actress, and improv performer. I create memorable characters that tell my client's stories, from the friendly CEO touting new upgrades to your sassy best gal pal dispensing some necessary, real-world advice...Let's Talk!


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