A Film Technique For Looking In The Camera on Zoom
There you are, comfortably settled on your couch, half-watching a movie, half-scrolling through your phone, when suddenly the main character is looking in the camera, speaking directly to you! What do you do? If you’re like most people, you drop the phone and look back at the actor. Perhaps you sit up a little taller or even attempt to respond.
Why? Because it feels like the actor is right there in the room with you having a conversation.
That actor is using a technique called breaking the fourth wall. This is a highly effective device for getting the audience actively engaged on the edge of their seats, while forming a personal connection with them. You’ve probably experienced breaking the fourth wall yourself in films like Wolf of Wall Street, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, or television shows like Modern Family or The Office.
What if you could leverage the power of this film technique to dramatically improve your connection and engagement with your virtual audience? Here’s how it works:
Break the Fourth Wall:
The fourth wall is an imaginary wall that exists between the audience and the actor. In film, tv and video, the camera is that “wall” separating and distancing the actor from the audience, creating a more passive experience for viewers. Think of your own behavior during films and TV shows. While the actors are going about their business, you probably feel free to check your phone, grab a snack, or even carry on a conversation.
In virtual meetings and Zoom calls, we also have that fourth wall separating and distancing us from our audience. Sellers routinely reinforce that wall between themselves and their customers by looking at their screens instead of looking in the camera.
When you “break” the fourth wall by looking in the camera, just like an actor on screen, it puts your audience in the role of an active participant. Suddenly they feel visible and compelled to pay attention!
The Power of Looking in the Camera
The actor accomplishes this by looking in the camera while visualizing having a conversation with a single individual. Even though the actor may be reaching thousands or millions of people, the actor’s focus is still on connecting with one specific person. By narrowing their focus this way the actor is able to establish a personal connection with each person watching.
Remember: The default for today’s virtual audiences is that of the passive observer. If you don’t actively engage them with techniques like looking in the camera, it’s going to be more difficult to make the impact or connection necessary to move a sale forward.
Want to learn how to leverage the power of looking in the camera?
This is just one of the tips that I include in my new book that won the 2021 Gold Medal Top Sales Book, Look Me In The Eye Using Video to Build Relationships with Customers, Partners and Teams. Feel free to check it out if you’re looking for more tips on how to engage customers and drive more sales on video.Get your copy today on Amazon!