• Lynn Torrie

Speaking Dynamically on Camera

For most of history, storytellers have gathered, in person, to share tales. We have called out"Crick Crack" and gazed into our listeners' eyes. Now is the time to take those skills online, to find new ways to connect.



Speak to the Camera

Resist your urge to look at the faces in the gallery. Instead, look at your webcam.

Keep your gaze steady. If your eyes dart from face to face, the audience doesn't know where you're looking. You might appear shifty.

Each person in your audience is seeing you close up. When you look at the camera, you appear to look them right in the eye.

Since it can be hard to relate to a camera, imagine that it is your very favourite listener, the one who adores your work. Put a sticky note below the webcam, with a little face on it, to remind you where to look.


Practise

Remember how awkward you were the first time you told to a live audience? Telling online also takes getting used to. Whenever possible, practise with a friend. Keep doing it until it gets easy.

Get your friend to give you feedback about your eye contact, your gestures and your sound.

Record yourself when you practise. You’ll be surprised at some of the things that you do unconsciously when you tell. Do you flip your hair or crack your knuckles? Do you rock back and forth in your chair?


Bring Some Energy

Normally, tellers get energized by the audience. Now, you have to create that energy yourself.

Try standing while you tell. You will have to raise your device to keep eye contact, but the extra energy will be worth it. If you sit, sit on the edge of your seat, like the queen. You might even try sitting on a Pilates ball, to engage your core muscles. Be sure not to bounce!

Concentrate on what you love most about your story. Imagine sending that passion out over the internet.


Ground Yourself

If you stand, plant your feet firmly on the floor.

If you sit, uncross your legs and push down through your feet.

Drop your shoulders.

Open your chest.

Breathe slowly and deeply into your diaphragm.


Don’t be afraid to move!

Any movement will attract the eye of your listener…and that can be a good thing. People who are too stiff are uncomfortable to watch.

Movements that support your story will draw the audience in. Strong, natural gestures work well. Be sure that they fit on your screen, however.

Be careful of movements that distract. Touching your face, fixing your hair or fidgeting will take your listeners out of the story.


Be Imperfect

Your listeners will relate to you better as a person if you make the odd mistake. If you go off-script a bit, but it still makes sense, keep going! No one will never know.


Remember why you tell stories.Your listeners need them now, more than ever.