The Value of the Pause

Why is it that once we get started speaking or presenting, we don’t know when to stop or how to pause? Because we’re afraid we might forget what we’re saying or that the audience will think we’ve lost our place. But pausing actually helps us listen. Constant sound makes us tune out. So if you want to make someone listen to you? Stop talking!

Here are 3 good reasons to use the pause:

  • A short pause–a half second or second–jerks the rhythm and can help the speaker stay focused on content.
  • Pauses helps the listener or audience keep up with the content so we stay interested.
  • Just listen to any great music and you’ll notice that it stops and starts. It’s in the pauses that we listen most acutely. Speaking is the same. We need to pause to be effective. But when we’re nervous or even just excited, we can tend to do what I call ‘motoring,’ which is when we rattle off the content without finessing the pacing. Learning to finesse the pacing adds to your brand as a powerful presenter.

In working with a Business Presence client recently, I actually had to say “stop” and “start” to inhibit the ‘motoring.’ It forced the client to take a breath and think of the next beat, or idea. While it felt unnatural at the time, when the client listened back to herself she realized the actual pause wasn’t that long and how it would help keep her audience engaged.

So practice putting pauses in your presentations so we can pay attention and enjoy what you’re saying.

This post was created by Screen Presence voice and presentation coach Marilyn Pittman

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Why is it that once we get started speaking or presenting, we don’t know when to stop or how to pause? Because we’re afraid we might forget what we’re saying or that the audience will think we’ve lost our place. But pausing actually helps us listen. Constant sound makes us tune out. So if you want to make someone listen to you? Stop talking!

Here are 3 good reasons to use the pause:

  • A short pause–a half second or second–jerks the rhythm and can help the speaker stay focused on content.
  • Pauses helps the listener or audience keep up with the content so we stay interested.
  • Just listen to any great music and you’ll notice that it stops and starts. It’s in the pauses that we listen most acutely. Speaking is the same. We need to pause to be effective. But when we’re nervous or even just excited, we can tend to do what I call ‘motoring,’ which is when we rattle off the content without finessing the pacing. Learning to finesse the pacing adds to your brand as a powerful presenter.

In working with a Business Presence client recently, I actually had to say “stop” and “start” to inhibit the ‘motoring.’ It forced the client to take a breath and think of the next beat, or idea. While it felt unnatural at the time, when the client listened back to herself she realized the actual pause wasn’t that long and how it would help keep her audience engaged.

So practice putting pauses in your presentations so we can pay attention and enjoy what you’re saying.

This post was created by Screen Presence voice and presentation coach Marilyn Pittman

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On-Camera Makeup for Women: Why Less Is More

With cameras and TV studios mostly shooting in HD (high definition), the heavy, theatrical makeup often used for TV appearances in the past is no longer appropriate. HD exposes far more detail than standard definition cameras, which means that makeup texture shows up on screen if not applied carefully.

Here’s how to present a more natural look for your HD camera appearance:

  • Avoid a caked-on look by using a finely milled translucent powder, such as Make Up For Ever.
  • It’s easy to look pale with HD cameras. A slightly darker shade of foundation will help you look less washed out. Again, using a foundation made for HD will provide lighter coverage while still masking imperfections.
  • Be sure to apply makeup to the neck area and blend well. You want to avoid a line around the bottom of the face where the makeup ends. A two-tone look for the face and neck is not what you’re going for!

Product and application matter a lot when it comes to HD, and it’s worth investing in an HD makeup kit if you’re going to be on-camera regularly. Many people will feel more confident with a makeup artist to help them prepare. Finally, if you’re not sure whether your appearance will be shot in HD or SD ask the producer. Your video appearance is likely to live on in easily searchable online archives, so make sure you’re showing up as your best on-camera self!

Screen Presence hair and makeup stylist Sarah Hyde provided the content for this post

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With cameras and TV studios mostly shooting in HD (high definition), the heavy, theatrical makeup often used for TV appearances in the past is no longer appropriate. HD exposes far more detail than standard definition cameras, which means that makeup texture shows up on screen if not applied carefully.

Here’s how to present a more natural look for your HD camera appearance:

  • Avoid a caked-on look by using a finely milled translucent powder, such as Make Up For Ever.
  • It’s easy to look pale with HD cameras. A slightly darker shade of foundation will help you look less washed out. Again, using a foundation made for HD will provide lighter coverage while still masking imperfections.
  • Be sure to apply makeup to the neck area and blend well. You want to avoid a line around the bottom of the face where the makeup ends. A two-tone look for the face and neck is not what you’re going for!

Product and application matter a lot when it comes to HD, and it’s worth investing in an HD makeup kit if you’re going to be on-camera regularly. Many people will feel more confident with a makeup artist to help them prepare. Finally, if you’re not sure whether your appearance will be shot in HD or SD ask the producer. Your video appearance is likely to live on in easily searchable online archives, so make sure you’re showing up as your best on-camera self!

Screen Presence hair and makeup stylist Sarah Hyde provided the content for this post

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On-Camera Makeup Tips for the Eyes

The good news about applying eye makeup for your on-camera appearance is that it doesn’t need to be very different from your everyday eye makeup. However, if you generally don’t wear eye makeup, be sure to apply some for the camera. Your eyes are an important part of how people see you through the lens. They help your face come to life.

Whether you prefer a more natural or a made-up look, the goal is to frame and define the eyes. Lining the eyes will bring out definition and make the eyes pop. Here are some guidelines for defining the lash line:

  • If your eyes are close set, add liner to the outer edge to make them appear wider. If your eyes are far set — defined as the space between your eyes being bigger than the length of one eye — add liner all the way to the inner corner.
  • Although liner can be challenging to apply, there are many eyelining pens that can make the job easier. Thinner lines along the lash make for a natural look; a stronger lash line will really frame the eye. In both cases add a dark brown or black mascara to finish the look.
  • If you really can’t deal with liner, cheat by adding a dark eyeshadow along the lash line.

Other eye makeup tips:

  • Avoid make up that glimmers. Neutral colors and matte finishes will work best to draw the viewer in rather than reflecting light and attention away from the eyes.
  • Use a primer or base to prevent makeup from smudging under the heat of the camera lights.
  • Remember the basic color rules: lighter colors will make your eyes look bigger, darker colors will be more intense.
  • Finally, have eye drops to hand to remove any red eye on shoot day.

Screen Presence hair and makeup stylist Sarah Hyde provided the content for this post.

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The good news about applying eye makeup for your on-camera appearance is that it doesn’t need to be very different from your everyday eye makeup. However, if you generally don’t wear eye makeup, be sure to apply some for the camera. Your eyes are an important part of how people see you through the lens. They help your face come to life.

Whether you prefer a more natural or a made-up look, the goal is to frame and define the eyes. Lining the eyes will bring out definition and make the eyes pop. Here are some guidelines for defining the lash line:

  • If your eyes are close set, add liner to the outer edge to make them appear wider. If your eyes are far set — defined as the space between your eyes being bigger than the length of one eye — add liner all the way to the inner corner.
  • Although liner can be challenging to apply, there are many eyelining pens that can make the job easier. Thinner lines along the lash make for a natural look; a stronger lash line will really frame the eye. In both cases add a dark brown or black mascara to finish the look.
  • If you really can’t deal with liner, cheat by adding a dark eyeshadow along the lash line.

Other eye makeup tips:

  • Avoid make up that glimmers. Neutral colors and matte finishes will work best to draw the viewer in rather than reflecting light and attention away from the eyes.
  • Use a primer or base to prevent makeup from smudging under the heat of the camera lights.
  • Remember the basic color rules: lighter colors will make your eyes look bigger, darker colors will be more intense.
  • Finally, have eye drops to hand to remove any red eye on shoot day.

Screen Presence hair and makeup stylist Sarah Hyde provided the content for this post.

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On-Camera Hair Tips for Women

Up or down? Straight or curly? Around the face or away from the face? Women and their hair is a tricky business without the added pressure of the camera. The heat of the camera lights affects our locks, so it’s likely that your hair will become either flatter, more frizzy or flyaway, depending on your hair type.

How you style your hair depends on your face shape and your hair texture but here are some rules of thumb for your screen presence:

  • Flyaway hairs that pick up light are what professional hair people spend most of their time cleaning up by using styling cream to keep them in place. But beware of using too much product, which can make the hair look flat. Frizzy hair is a common problem too. Applying a styling cream or serum will help it from looking dry and unattractive.
  • Thin, stringy hair and in particular loose bangs do not usually look flattering on camera. If you have thin hair, it will look better clean and either short or possibly up.
  • Products, like Toppik, can help conceal thin spots, but you may also consider hair extensions or even wigs. These are a fun option, and you’d be surprised at how many people wear them!
  • For many women, the easiest approach, if you can make the time, is to go for a professional blow out. This will create luster and fullness. Make an appointment for close to your on-camera time so that it holds.

Given all the things there are to think about as you gear up for an on-camera appearance, you don’t want to be distracted and preoccupied by your hair. Figuring out in advance a style that creates a finished look will provide you with confidence and enable you to focus on what matters most — what you’re going to say.

Screen Presence hair and makeup stylist Sarah Hyde provided the content for this post

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Up or down? Straight or curly? Around the face or away from the face? Women and their hair is a tricky business without the added pressure of the camera. The heat of the camera lights affects our locks, so it’s likely that your hair will become either flatter, more frizzy or flyaway, depending on your hair type.

How you style your hair depends on your face shape and your hair texture but here are some rules of thumb for your screen presence:

  • Flyaway hairs that pick up light are what professional hair people spend most of their time cleaning up by using styling cream to keep them in place. But beware of using too much product, which can make the hair look flat. Frizzy hair is a common problem too. Applying a styling cream or serum will help it from looking dry and unattractive.
  • Thin, stringy hair and in particular loose bangs do not usually look flattering on camera. If you have thin hair, it will look better clean and either short or possibly up.
  • Products, like Toppik, can help conceal thin spots, but you may also consider hair extensions or even wigs. These are a fun option, and you’d be surprised at how many people wear them!
  • For many women, the easiest approach, if you can make the time, is to go for a professional blow out. This will create luster and fullness. Make an appointment for close to your on-camera time so that it holds.

Given all the things there are to think about as you gear up for an on-camera appearance, you don’t want to be distracted and preoccupied by your hair. Figuring out in advance a style that creates a finished look will provide you with confidence and enable you to focus on what matters most — what you’re going to say.

Screen Presence hair and makeup stylist Sarah Hyde provided the content for this post

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Facial Hair Tips for Men

Some men tend to show a 5 o’clock shadow well before 5pm. Others, particularly of a certain age, may have rogue eyebrows and nose hairs. In real life you may not pay much attention to these grooming details but on camera, especially in close up, they become more obvious and can be distracting to viewers.

Here’s the facial hair checklist for men:

  • When it comes to nose hairs use scissors or trimmers. Scissors with a slight curve are probably the best choice and can be picked up inexpensively at the drug store.
  • For bushy, long or sticking out eyebrows, scissors and a mustache comb can work. Comb them up and see which hairs are really long and just trim the long ones. The eyes are one of your most powerful communication tools so keep them clear.
  • Unless you’re going for the 5 o’clock shadow look, you’ll appear more polished by shaving close to shoot time. This might mean remembering to take a shaving kit into the office with you and finding a quiet bathroom.

If you prefer not to deal with extraneous facial hair, have your hair stylist or barber tend to mustache, eyebrows, nose and ears.

For character actors Einstein brows might be a signature look, and scientists will be welcomed into the TV studio with a grizzly beard, but for the everyday executive, business owner or entrepreneur a neatly trimmed look is the way to go for your next on-camera performance.

Screen Presence hair and makeup stylist Sarah Hyde provided the content for this post

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Some men tend to show a 5 o’clock shadow well before 5pm. Others, particularly of a certain age, may have rogue eyebrows and nose hairs. In real life you may not pay much attention to these grooming details but on camera, especially in close up, they become more obvious and can be distracting to viewers.

Here’s the facial hair checklist for men:

  • When it comes to nose hairs use scissors or trimmers. Scissors with a slight curve are probably the best choice and can be picked up inexpensively at the drug store.
  • For bushy, long or sticking out eyebrows, scissors and a mustache comb can work. Comb them up and see which hairs are really long and just trim the long ones. The eyes are one of your most powerful communication tools so keep them clear.
  • Unless you’re going for the 5 o’clock shadow look, you’ll appear more polished by shaving close to shoot time. This might mean remembering to take a shaving kit into the office with you and finding a quiet bathroom.

If you prefer not to deal with extraneous facial hair, have your hair stylist or barber tend to mustache, eyebrows, nose and ears.

For character actors Einstein brows might be a signature look, and scientists will be welcomed into the TV studio with a grizzly beard, but for the everyday executive, business owner or entrepreneur a neatly trimmed look is the way to go for your next on-camera performance.

Screen Presence hair and makeup stylist Sarah Hyde provided the content for this post

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How to look bright-eyed on-camera

A good night’s sleep before your shoot day will do the trick, right? Well yes, partly. Actually the eye socket is round, sunken and prone to creating shadows under bright camera lights, even after a good 8 hours of sleep. Also, as we get older the skin in this area becomes thinner, making the shadows worse.

Here are some tips for effectively camouflaging the dark circles under your eyes:

  • The delicate under eye area can be prone to dryness, which will be visible on camera. Mix some moisturizer with concealer to keep the eyes looking hydrated and soft, and be sure to apply all the way into the inner corner which will brighten the eye.
  • Avoid ‘raccoon eyes’ which may occur when the concealer you apply under your eyes is too light, and often too yellow. Instead, go with a color that’s just a half shade lighter than your natural skin tone.
  • Mascara can tend to smudge in the area under the eye. To prevent this try a light application of powder directly under the eye.

Ideally your eyes will look bright and engaging on camera, but even after a good night’s sleep this may be a challenge. Focus on finding the right product in the best color shade for your skin tone, and use these application tips to avoid smudges and flakes which will only draw more attention to dark circles under your eyes. And, if this all seems too tricky, there’s always an on-camera makeup professional to help you look your finest!

Screen Presence hair and makeup stylist Sarah Hyde provided the content for this post

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A good night’s sleep before your shoot day will do the trick, right? Well yes, partly. Actually the eye socket is round, sunken and prone to creating shadows under bright camera lights, even after a good 8 hours of sleep. Also, as we get older the skin in this area becomes thinner, making the shadows worse.

Here are some tips for effectively camouflaging the dark circles under your eyes:

  • The delicate under eye area can be prone to dryness, which will be visible on camera. Mix some moisturizer with concealer to keep the eyes looking hydrated and soft, and be sure to apply all the way into the inner corner which will brighten the eye.
  • Avoid ‘raccoon eyes’ which may occur when the concealer you apply under your eyes is too light, and often too yellow. Instead, go with a color that’s just a half shade lighter than your natural skin tone.
  • Mascara can tend to smudge in the area under the eye. To prevent this try a light application of powder directly under the eye.

Ideally your eyes will look bright and engaging on camera, but even after a good night’s sleep this may be a challenge. Focus on finding the right product in the best color shade for your skin tone, and use these application tips to avoid smudges and flakes which will only draw more attention to dark circles under your eyes. And, if this all seems too tricky, there’s always an on-camera makeup professional to help you look your finest!

Screen Presence hair and makeup stylist Sarah Hyde provided the content for this post

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On-Camera Hair Tips for Men

If you’re bald or have thinning hair you may find pre-shoot preparations a little awkward, even with an on-camera hair professional to help you. Or you may fall into a different group, the man who is very particular about the way his hair is styled and prefers not to have anyone else touch his locks.

Whether you’re sensitive about your hair or not, here are some tips as you prepare for your next on-camera appearance:

  • Having a haircut may be the one thing a man does when he has an appointment with the video camera, but don’t cut your hair the day before a shoot.  It will look more natural if it’s grown out by at least a week.
  • Men who don’t usually wear product will typically want to add a little styling cream to avoid hair standing up on end under the heat of the camera lights; styling product also helps with camera-associated frizz.
  • If you’re bald, you need to be aware that the camera lights will bounce off your head, making it extremely shiny and distracting to viewers.  However, the good news is that there are products out there created specifically for you.
  • For those with thinning hair, shiny spots on the scalp will tend to show through the hair. Again, there are clever ways to camouflage this problem and products designed just for you.

While many of the great film stars have the luxury of great hair — think Cary Grant, James Dean and George Clooney — there’s no reason why you can’t at least be at ease with yours.  Above all else, get comfortable with the idea of using the hair product to fit your needs, so that you’re ready to sit under the heat of the camera lights with confidence, undistracted from your mission to communicate effectively on camera.

Screen Presence hair and makeup stylist Sarah Hyde provided the content for this post.

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If you’re bald or have thinning hair you may find pre-shoot preparations a little awkward, even with an on-camera hair professional to help you. Or you may fall into a different group, the man who is very particular about the way his hair is styled and prefers not to have anyone else touch his locks.

Whether you’re sensitive about your hair or not, here are some tips as you prepare for your next on-camera appearance:

  • Having a haircut may be the one thing a man does when he has an appointment with the video camera, but don’t cut your hair the day before a shoot.  It will look more natural if it’s grown out by at least a week.
  • Men who don’t usually wear product will typically want to add a little styling cream to avoid hair standing up on end under the heat of the camera lights; styling product also helps with camera-associated frizz.
  • If you’re bald, you need to be aware that the camera lights will bounce off your head, making it extremely shiny and distracting to viewers.  However, the good news is that there are products out there created specifically for you.
  • For those with thinning hair, shiny spots on the scalp will tend to show through the hair. Again, there are clever ways to camouflage this problem and products designed just for you.

While many of the great film stars have the luxury of great hair — think Cary Grant, James Dean and George Clooney — there’s no reason why you can’t at least be at ease with yours.  Above all else, get comfortable with the idea of using the hair product to fit your needs, so that you’re ready to sit under the heat of the camera lights with confidence, undistracted from your mission to communicate effectively on camera.

Screen Presence hair and makeup stylist Sarah Hyde provided the content for this post.

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On-Camera Makeup Tips for Men

Men generally prefer no fuss and can feel awkward when it comes to applying anything to their face for a shoot, but we think all men could benefit from a little attention, and some product.

Here’s why:

  • The camera tends to wash out skin tones, so adding a little color helps to create a healthy look.
  • Camera lights reflect on the skin and can make the skin shiny, especially the nose and forehead areas.  Using some anti-shine will eliminate the hot spots.
  • Women tend to look polished when they’re facing an HD camera for their close-up. Men should be no exception.

So, if you’re a man about to face the camera with the luxury of a make-up artist on set (or just a producer with some anti-shine), don’t resist! A little product in the right places will help you look your best and avoid those awkward shiny spots, and your audience will be listening to what you’re saying instead of being distracted by how you look.

Screen Presence Hair and Makeup Stylist Sarah Hyde provided the information for this post.

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Men generally prefer no fuss and can feel awkward when it comes to applying anything to their face for a shoot, but we think all men could benefit from a little attention, and some product.

Here’s why:

  • The camera tends to wash out skin tones, so adding a little color helps to create a healthy look.
  • Camera lights reflect on the skin and can make the skin shiny, especially the nose and forehead areas.  Using some anti-shine will eliminate the hot spots.
  • Women tend to look polished when they’re facing an HD camera for their close-up. Men should be no exception.

So, if you’re a man about to face the camera with the luxury of a make-up artist on set (or just a producer with some anti-shine), don’t resist! A little product in the right places will help you look your best and avoid those awkward shiny spots, and your audience will be listening to what you’re saying instead of being distracted by how you look.

Screen Presence Hair and Makeup Stylist Sarah Hyde provided the information for this post.

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