"I'm not sure what to do with my hands."
It's a funny line uttered by Will Farrell's character, Ricky Bobby in 'Talladega Nights," but it's a real question so many people have asked right before going on camera. As a reporter, when people would ask me what they should do with their hands, I'd typically reply with a question: "What do you normally do with your hands?" because the key to looking confident on camera is to be yourself with a few minor tweaks. Let's run through three of the most commonly asked questions and concerns and when it comes to being on camera.
1. "I'm not sure what to do with my hands."
I recommend letting your arms hang comfortably and allowing your hands to rest at your side. As you begin speaking, think about what you're saying - not what your hands are doing. If it feels comfortable to "talk with your hands" to make a point or enhance your storytelling, go for it! Hand gestures can emphasize important details, while showcasing your authenticity. That being said, DO NOT put your hands in your pockets or cross your arms. Both of these positions will make you come off as untrustworthy or closed-minded.
2. "Where should I look when I'm talking?"
If you're being interviewed by a reporter on location for a news story, you'll typically want to look the reporter in the eye; the reporter will usually be standing to the side of the camera. Any experienced reporter will direct you where to look. On the other hand, if you are being interviewed via zoom, Skype or a similar program, look directly into the camera lens on your computer or phone. If you look at your own image on the screen, it will look as if you're not paying attention.
3. What should I wear?
Wear something that is comfortable and makes you feel confident. Avoid busy patterns that will distract the viewer. Instead, choose a strong, solid color. Wear an outfit that fits well and allows some movement. You certainly don't want to be speaking on camera in a pair of pants that are too tight. Being able to stand tall with your shoulders back, breathing comfortably is key for looking confident on camera.