Four Tips to Improve Your On-Camera Presence from a Hollywood Actor

Will Livecasting Take Over on Facebook?
April 11, 2017

Facebook Live has become one of social media’s greatest frontiers – every day it continues to grow and grow. If you’ve seen your Facebook feed filled with Live videos and their replay that’s for good reason.

According to MediaKix, Facebook Live videos are watched three times longer than videos that aren’t live. That is a huge increase in audience engagement! And that’s why brands and social media professionals are using Facebook Live to tell their story, reach new audiences, and have engaging conversations with their followers.

However, while this is a great tool for people and brands to use, there is room for improvement when it comes to the quality of live videos on Facebook. Especially when it comes to on-camera presence.

In a recent episode of Edge of the Web, we talked with David H. Lawrence XVII about the course he’s developing called Camera Ready U. You may have recognized David as the “Puppet Master” from Heroes and his several roles in television and film.

David shared with us a few tips that he teaches his students in his course in our interview. You can listen to David explain them here and read my commentary below.

The Rule of Thirds

This rule is a commonly used photography principle but definitely still applies to videography. This rule means that you mentally divide your screen into thirds, both vertically and horizontally, which creates kind an image that looks something like this:

When you are shooting your video, try and place your key subjects or talent along those lines and ideally where they intersect. A lot of times when people do a Facebook Live, they try to center themselves in the shot, but having you just a little off-center will make your shot more compelling.

Aligning your Body

David makes a great point about the alignment of your body. For a Facebook Live video, you need to remember the rule of thirds and then angle your body slightly away from the camera. In the video, David talks about how his left shoulder faces forward and is in the right-third of the screen rather than centered in the frame and squared perpendicular to the camera.

We’ve trained ourselves to read things from left to right. By setting our talent/host up in this manner for our shot, viewers will read strength into our face and will make the talent look more confident.

Avoid Awkward Eye Contact

When it comes to Facebook Live, people think that they need to look directly into the camera the whole time. But in reality, it just isn’t natural. It’s not how people talk and have conversations. It’s ok to look off camera while speaking!

Use Your Smartphone

There are a lot of cool toys out there – we’ve bought and used our fair share of them. But if you are just starting out with Facebook Live, buying a better camera won’t make you any more interesting on camera. Camera technology in smartphones has improved greatly over the last few years and many of smartphones even shoot in 4K. Use what you have and work on your camera presence before buying the cool toys.

If you can develop those four things, I can guarantee you will see an improvement in your Facebook Live videos. And if you want to watch our full interview with David H. Lawrence XVII, you can watch it here: