Preaching to the choir has been replaced with preaching to an empty room – such is the reality for many churches during the COVID-19 epidemic. It’s hard to maintain the same enthusiasm without a live audience, and even with one, there are a few things you should do to get the best out of the camera.
Here are our tips for preaching to a camera.
Choose Your Wardrobe Carefully
First of all, avoid shiny fabric and strong patterns. Neither will look great on camera, and intricate patterns can cause a moiré effect on-screen – thoroughly distracting and unhelpful!
Make sure the colour you are wearing doesn’t clash with the background, and if you’re speaking in front of a green (or blue) screen, wear a colour that contrasts. Otherwise, parts of you may disappear in the final production.
Don’t wear anything too complicated and avoid fabrics that rustle or make noise when you move. If you’re going to be sitting down, ensure that the outfit sits properly with you.
If you’re going to be wearing a microphone, make sure there is somewhere for it to attach – including any pack that it connects to.
Stand up Straight!
Good posture looks great on camera, but bad posture is amplified. Even if you are sitting down, good posture shows through on camera. People in attendance may forget how you looked and focus on your message, but when it’s out there on video-on-demand, you’ll always be glad that you held yourself properly.
Remember to smile and be engaged with your topic and your audience, wherever they are. You’re talking to everyone, so look and smile directly at the camera as you are speaking – this helps everyone to feel connected with you.
Cameras can have a strange effect on some people – they start talking and keep talking until they can’t talk anymore. That doesn’t mean they talk for hours, rather that they don’t come up for air. Pause after each sentence, take a breath, and then carry on. This helps to clarify your message, keep you calm, and allows you to get all the words out.
Really, Be Happy
Smile when you start, and smile when you finish. Don’t forget to smile in-between too. All of your facial expressions will be amplified by the camera, and people enjoy a cheerful speaker.
When you say the wrong word, get a sentence backward, or lose your way, just keep going. You don’t have to be perfect, you just need to finish your message. If you’re really lost, take a deep breath, smile again, and carry on.