Video Performance and Appearance Tips

Video Performance and Appearance Tips

Video Performance

For faculty who are accustomed to teaching in front of a live, captive audience, making the transition to a faceless camera can be a leap. Please consider these tips before filming.

It's best to imagine you're teaching one-on-one. Picture yourself sitting down and engaging a single student in a conversational manner. There's no need to project your voice to the back of the room. Get rid of that "lecture hall" tone. We want a connective, intimate, personal tone.

Harness your passion for the content. Without that immediate feedback to energize you, it's up to you to carry positive energy through your entire presentation. Right before filming, do something that gets you motivated and excited; jump up and down, listen to music, etc. Then take that extra excitement and throw it into your topic.

Keep your inflection, fluidity and sincerity in mind. Pause before starting a new train of thought. Slow down.

Just like in the classroom, use your head, hands and body to help communicate your message. Show your enthusiasm for the content by gesturing. Use your hands to reinforce your words. If you're listing important points, use your hands to enumerate. 

Show some teeth. A smile is connective and approachable and will show your enthusiasm for the content.

Practice makes perfect. Before recording, practice in front of the mirror or with a friend or family member. You could even record a practice video before "showtime." 

Clothing and Appearance


  • Wear tiny/intricate stripes or patterns. Checkered, fine pinstripes, and other fancy patterns can create a flicker on camera (called "moire"). Solid colors (or large patterns) are best.
  • Wear bright white clothing. Off-white is fine.
  • Wear glasses if you also have contacts. Of course, some of us need glasses to see. Unfortunately, glasses have a tendency to reflect lights, create glare, and hide your eyes. If possible, wear contact lenses for your recording.
  • Wear anything with logos or writing. Besides potentially looking sloppy, this can also present trademark/copyright issues. 


  • Wear what you feel your best in. You don't have to wear a suit (unless you want to), but it's best to avoid sweats and t-shirts.
  • Wear solid, jewel-toned clothing. It never hurts to ask your better half or a friend which colors look best on you. 
  • Check yourself in the mirror. Be sure your undergarments aren't showing through a transparent garment and/or that your shirt doesn't pull or gape open when you sit or move. You may need to add a layer if you notice something doesn't lay the way you would like.
  • Tame your mane. Please take a few extra minutes to smooth it out, put it up, or use a little extra hair spray.
  • Powder or blot your nose. Shine is very noticeable on camera and can make you look sweaty or nervous. If you don't typically wear makeup, you don't need to get a "glamour shots" makeover for this, but a bit of powder or a tissue can go a long way.
  • Groom any facial hair. Think about your preferred look and prepare to trim your beard or shave in advance of your recording session.
  • Smile. Nothing looks better on camera than those pearly whites.