CHAPTER 3 M—Mental Mind-set: The Prep before the Performance

Reaching the Real Audience

When you speak directly to a camera, how many people do you think you are talking to?

You might say, “Well, it depends.” After all, your performance could be viewed by a roomful of people or an individual sitting at his or her desk. While this is true in a literal sense, it is not true in a conceptual way, and it brings us to a key difference when presenting to a camera: It is always an audience of one.

No matter how many people may be watching your performance at any given time, every person feels like you are talking to just him or her. The conversation between you and your viewer is very intimate—more like talking to someone across the dinner table than from up on stage. That key mental concept dictates everything you do.

Imagine if someone spoke to you across the dinner table as if he was speaking from behind a podium. He might appear full of bombast, out of touch with what is appropriate for the setting. Many people who have tried to translate their formal presentation skills to on-camera performance fail for this very reason.

You have to understand the closeness of the on-camera conversation and respect its boundaries. If you talk at your audience, you risk turning them off and having them tune you out. Instead, you should talk with them, as if you were having a conversation with a friend or colleague.

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