for a strong, fast pick-me-up
If you are ever being interviewed on camera or in a live presentation – here’s a technique you can learn from Former Wallaby and current Union commentator Matt Burke.
More and more business people are being interviewed – not just by the mainstream media – but in corporate videos and all sorts of vodcasts and vlogs and “new media” and webinars and live-streamed video events.
I enjoy Rugby (Union AND League) and I often pass on “Rugby life lessons” to my son.
I used to enjoy watching Matt Burke in action on the field – and these days I’m still a big fan of his TV commentating technique – especially when he is asked questions at the start of a Bledisloe Cup coverage.
The “simple trick” you can apply – include your audience.
When Burke is asked a question by Scott Mackinnon – Matt starts off looking at Scott but then he does an “inclusive look” towards the camera (and this “includes” the audience in the “conversation”).
To the viewing audience – when you look into the camera, you look as though you are talking directly to them and “including” them.
Fellow Wallaby legend and co-commentator Stirling Mortlock will also occasionally look towards the camera – but in my opinion for not as long and not as directly and not as comfortably.
I enjoy both Burke’s and Mortlock’s commentary and expertise – but, to me, on camera Burke seems more at ease and comfortable.
Now, in TV there is a “eye contact hierarchy”. Only certain people are supposed to look directly into the camera. The hosts or newsreaders, a reporter doing a live cross or “talent” when they instructed to look right into the camera.
Some of the most common questions I’m asked when I help people deal with the media is: Where should I look? Do I look straight at the camera?
Usually, the person asked the question looks at the person asking the question – not straight into the camera. (unless instructed to do so for a particular grab or for a live cross from a a different location)
When asked a question – Burke doesn’t spend all his time talking directly to the camera. It’s as if he gives an occasional “inclusive glance” towards the camera (and the audience behind it) then back to the person asking the question.
When you watch Burke’s coverage of the Bledisloe Cup or other Rugby, see what you think about his “inclusive glance” technique.
As a former TV journalist/producer, I’m often asked to help business people be more comfortable and engaging in business presentations and events.
Sometimes, they are talent being interviewed on camera or on stage. Sometimes they are acting as the person asking the questions.
I encourage them to “do a Burkey” and make an occasional “inclusive glance” towards the audience – whether the audience behind the camera or a live audience.
Make it comfortable. Make it direct. Not too short. Not too Long.
Take a look at Matt Burke’s execution of the “inclusive glance”. Once again, his timing is impeccable!