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2 Very Common On-Camera Issues And How To Fix Them

Photo of Kent Davis with a Massive Softbox

Last month, I published the first post in a series I’m writing, about one of the top players in the real estate industry here in Panama, named Kent Davis.

In short, I went to his office, showed him how to setup his webcam and send a video email.

Kent 1.0

After I first met with Kent, he produced the following video email message:

While this low quality video email alone was dramatically more engaging than a regular email response (and it got an incredible response which I talk about near the end of the first post), it did leave some areas for improvement.

Here’s what I told Kent to work-on:

1) Posture: Due to his ergonomic work chair, Kent had a tendency to look as if he was slouching and therefore lacking confidence. So, I gave him an exercise to improve his posture. I asked him to breathe in deeply to fill, first his belly, and then his rib cage with air. This straightens out the back and improves your head position…then breathe out through your belly, keeping your rid cadge full of air. This brings your posture (spine and neck) into a neutral position.

2) Head vs. Heart: Camera anxiety affects people in different ways. In Kent’s case, his speech lacked the natural fluidity he has in-person and on the phone, meaning he came across as robotic. This is a common issue for newcomers, because when being recorded, your brain becomes overactive, and as a result, your words lack conviction. Practice helps, make the technical steps rote. Ultimately, it’s about connecting with your heart—so I recommended Kent try to speak naturally by befriending the camera, and speaking like he would to a friend at a dinner table.

Note: Wanting to showcase the gorgeous view of the Panama City skyline from his office window, Kent appeared dark in his video. So we bought a large fluorescent softbox light to brighten his face.

Kent 2.0

Kent took cliff notes on my feedback and then sent a few practice video email messages to his friends and family. He invested around 20 focused minutes on two separate occasions to put my tips into practice.

You’ll instantly notice (a) he doesn’t look like a zombie and (b) he’s communicating much more clearly and succinctly:

As you can tell, Kent’s 2.0 video email messages are dramatically better than his first attempt. I feel substantially more confident about Kent sending video email messages to his clients now, simply because his appearance and on-camera performance showcases him in the best possible light.


It’s important to recognize that Kent isn’t superman. Some take to video email quickly (like Kent), while others take a bit more time.

But this is compelling proof that anyone, who puts in the effort, is able to reach a high level of professionalism on-camera.


Now that Kent’s firing on all cylinders, I reviewed his pipeline and pinpointed several evergreen video email messages he can use, to turbo-charge his sales process.

Kent’s working on recording those video email messages now and I’ll check back with him in a few weeks and report on his progress.

More to follow. Stay tuned.

About the Author William Franco

Will is the Managing Director of jiveSYSTEMS and creator of the Digital Handshake™, a digital version of a time-proven tradition that turns tedious follow-up into a closing conversation. Will’s a hands-on guy, with a decade of experience enabling sales teams to leverage video. Will's an instant catalyst for positive change, once you get to know him, you’ll completely understand why.

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  • Paul says:

    Great example of how version 1 is better than “version none” AND how to innovate and improve 🙂

  • David Newby says:

    Hi Will. Great tips!! I use the camera light on my phone to minimize shadows and pretend I’m talking to my friend as well when recording. I still sometimes use “um” as a filler word with friends, so I hope I sound natural on my videos. I’m going to ask people on my team about that today!

    As far as getting comfortable doing a video, I usually write out some key bullet points of things I want to highlight in the video, then do a few takes to get it natural-sounding/less robotic, and with the clearest/most effective message.

    What techniques have you found/heard work best? I attempted a whole script/teleprompter and it was a challenge to talk naturally reading it. I look forward to your insights- thx!

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