Updated: Jul 23, 2021
How to be real and relaxed in your online content
By Kathryn Taylor Musseau
Second in a four-part series
Welcome to a series created to help you discover your virtual diva and stand out online. Last issue we started with The Set. This issue we’ll move to The Cast—which is you!
Avoid the floating head
Ideally, position yourself so that your image cuts below the armpits or even a bit lower. This gives some continuity to the body that’s attached to the head and looks more appealing and balanced. It also allows you to introduce colour and style to your presence.
In most cases, your body is positioned straight on to the camera but you can angle your body slightly if this makes you feel more comfortable. Make eye contact with your camera and give yourself a reminder of where to look with a dot or sticker. Remember to keep your eyes in the top third of the screen, and leave a little space above your head. Watch others on screen and take note of what you like or don’t like, then plan your image when you go live and use it every time.
Welcoming or wild?
What you wear communicates just as much as what you say, or more. Think of your business and the nature of your video. It’s okay to be relaxed below the waistline but not above. Dress for the occasion. No revealing or strapless necklines; no transparent, ill-fitting, or worn tops. Common sense prevails here. Solid colours work much better in video, and it’s best to avoid stripes and small busy patterns. Layer or experiment with texture. The combination of colour and style can be dynamic. Avoid black and white, which are difficult colours for a camera lens. Choose colours that complement your hair or eyes. Experiment with your look by pre-shooting short videos. Once you have a few on-camera outfits, document them so you can be camera-ready in minutes.
Hair and makeup
Whether you wear makeup or not is a personal preference. People want to see you as they expect to see you, but a bit of polish here and there can build your confidence. There are many video guides for makeup online, so take the opportunity to watch a few. Simple things such as concealer, contouring, and highlighting help you stand out on screen. Even a moisturizing lip balm will make your appearance pop. Hair care is not negotiable: brush it, style it, and make sure it is tidy and away from your face. Dry shampoos and hair spray are great tools. Constant self-grooming while on camera is distracting and can come across as unprofessional, so get yourself organized before you go live.
Don’t permit jewellery to interfere with your presence. Bangles and noisy pieces are distracting. The old adage “less is more” is your friend in these situations. If you want to wear a statement piece, pick one. If you already wear glasses, keep the rest of your accessories small. Carefully check your lighting for reflections in your lenses and adjust, adjust, adjust.
There are many ways to express your personality on screen. A simple, clean, defined space that is always camera-ready is a great plan. Include something in your background that speaks to your individuality, but never forget that the idea is to direct attention to your face, so use these accents sparingly and strategically. You are the star of your show, so everything you do should enhance your presence and reflect the message you want to communicate.
Kathryn Taylor Musseau
Kathryn Taylor Musseau is the owner of Kathryn Taylor Media. Her show Let’s Get Writing runs live on Facebook.com/kathryntaylormedia each week and features writers in all genres as well as publishers. Her first novel, Misty’s Misadventures, is a romantic comedy that has been e-published (available on Amazon) and is coming out in print this fall. The movie script was recently pitched to Netflix in its Canada Virtual Pitch Challenge.
You can learn more about Kathryn at her website, www.kathryntaylor.ca or reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.