Your palms are sweating, the lights are hot and bright, your thoughts seem to be sucked from your brain. Is this an alien abduction? No, just time for you to appear in your company video. Well, take a deep breath. Dallas-based consultant Mark Meder has worked with lots of execs who hate to appear on camera, and says, "Those who take a little extra time and accept some direction end up looking like old pros." His tips:
1. Allow plenty of time for the video shoot--never less than half an hour (even for one line). Plan on about an hour for every three minutes of scripted material.
2. Read your script before the shoot. Sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised . . .
3. Give the crew time to make you look good. It may seem as if the crew barely moves a light, then looks at the monitor for minutes at a time, but they really do want the shot (your shot) to look as good as possible.
4. Use a TelePrompTer. If you are addressing the camera and you have more than three lines, a TelePrompTer is essential. If you've never worked with one, allow plenty of time to rehearse with it.
5. Use a professional make-up artist. They're trained and experienced in making people look good under TV lights. Note to men: The guys on "Sportscenter" wear make-up. Just wash it off after the shoot.
6. Watch and listen to a replay of at least a portion of your tape before you leave. You might find that what you thought was an animated delivery was actually pretty dry. Make adjustments and try it again.
7. Relax. If you're prepared and have plenty of time, there's nothing to worry about. If you blow a line, just keep trying until you get it right.