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How to Star in Your Own Promotional Video

Well, it's official. You are going to star in the company marketing video (or commercial) and you will have a part talking to camera. After ringing your mother, to let her know about your newly found fame, reality hits in. How are you going to pull this off?

The good news is a charismatic business leader can add tremendous impact and clout to a marketing video or commercial. The bad news is that few leaders have the right skills to talk to the camera in a natural manner.

But before you get put off, talking to camera is a skill. And any skill can be learned.

Here are some tips to help bring the sparkle into your 'moment of glory'.

1. Wear the right clothes. If you are the CEO, a suit is the right way to go. Opt for conservative colours and stay away from checks, stripes and reds. They do not film very well and serve as a distraction to the viewer.

2. Go for makeup (whether you're male or female). A nice even skin tone, neat hair and a quick brush with powder can help keep the shine away. Once you get under the bright lights of a film set, it will be hard not to perspire (even more so, if you are nervous). A professional make up artist will also make you feel special and more confident in front of the camera.

3. Trust the director. Forget that you are the client and realise that you are now the talent. Let the professionals do their work and let go. While this might be difficult for most people, it can be a refreshing change. Let yourself get bossed around and don't worry about how it's all going to work.

4. Relax. Forget about the pressing amount of work piling up on your desk. Focus on the most important task for the day ? your cameo. If you are relaxed you are more likely to be easy-going and friendly. This will enable the director to elicit the best performance from you.

5. Rehearse. Always have your lines prepared and don't expect that you can wing it on the day. It's amazing how a big camera in your face can make you forget what you wanted to say. Rehearse your lines over and over again in front of a mirror. Make sure you look and sound natural. Practise speaking clearly and with a smile on your face. Rehearse as many times as you can. The more confident you are in giving an appealing speech, the better you will be and the less takes will needed. This will help reduce costs. If you don't feel comfortable with your performance, hire a media trainer beforehand to coach you on talking to camera.

6. Have fun! The shoot will be much slower than you anticipated. Lights and audio equipment can take a while to set up. If you are shooting outside, waiting for the sun to make an appearance on a cloudy day can also be painstakingly slow. Take a book with you and any work you can do in downtime. And just bask in the glory of being part of an exciting film shoot!

(c) Marie-Claire Ross 2005. All rights reserved.

Marie-Claire Ross is one of the partners of Digicast. Digicast works with organisations who are not satisfied that their marketing and training materials are helping their business grow. She can be contacted on 0500 800 234 (Australia wide) or at mc@digicast.com.au. The website is at http://www.digicast.com.au

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