#Tuesday Tips – On camera presence tips with Noah Sacco

Noah Sacco (’21) on the set of KCAU9 News

It’s normal to feel nervous in front of a camera. For those who want to explore areas of broadcast news, it can be intimidating at first.

Former SCTV co-anchor Noah Sacco graduated from Simpson in May with a degree in sport communications major with a multimedia journalism and sport administration minor.

Sacco now works as a sports reporter and weekend anchor for KCAU 9 News in Sioux City. He has a few tips on establishing good on-camera presence.

Good Posture

“A good posture helps you appear more charismatic, trustworthy, and professional to viewers,” Sacco said. “Throw back the shoulders, avoid slouching and use your hands to show emotion. This shows authrority and confidence, which is crucial if you want an engaged audience. Everyone is different, so find a good stance for yourself where you feel comfotable and alert. I suggest keeping your feet firmly planted on a chair or the ground if you’re standing up.”

The Camera is your Friend

“Speaking to a camera lens can be a difficult concept to grasp. Treat it as a way to talk to yourself, rather than imagining a crowd of eyes watching you. Practice talking to yourself in the mirror. Once you get comfortable talking to yourself, speaking to a camera won’t seem as hard,” Sacco said.  

“The goal is to get a better feel of your voice, facial expressions, and mannerisms. The best way to connect with a viewer is to speak to them directly and BE NOBODY BUT YOU! People can tell the difference between authenticity and spuriousness.”

Show your Passion

“You can’t fake passion. Without it, you’ll come across as disinterested and like you don’t care about what you’re saying. Who wants to watch that? Get to know your subjects. Learn more about the topics, ask probing questions, start conversations … Make an effort to be an expert in what you’re sharing with viewers,” Sacco said. “Passion fosters enthusiasm. Show emotion with your delivery, but don’t overdo it to the point where it’s disengaging.”

Project your Voice   

“This is where most people struggle. Think about your energy levels while on camera and whether you need to bring more of it or tone it down,” Sacco said. “If you can’t tell, err on the louder side and make sure you articulate, articulate, articulate!”

“Stay away from cadences. Notice how you start and end sentences and try to vary up your volumes. Same goes for speed,” Sacco said. “Be conversational. Act like you’re telling the script to a close friend. Make it flow. Being comfortable should not affect delivery. The voice is the biggest weapon in improving your on-camera presence, so don’t let it be weak!”

Passion

“Constant, consistent practice is the most efficient way to be better in front of a camera. Use a camcorder, computer screen, or phone to record yourself talking about a topic you enjoy. Forget the script. Just hit record and go,” Sacco said. Always get names right! Nothing makes an audience tune out easier than the mispronunciation of a person, business, or organization.”

“Watch all of your practice videos. It may be cringy, but who cares? You’re making progress and you’re already better than when you were before,” Sacco said. “Like riding a bike, the more you work on it… the better you’ll get. Practice makes a perfect presence on camera.”

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