Mastering On-Camera First Impressions: Avoid These 5 Mistakes

Discover the secrets to commanding trust and attention on camera.

Have you ever wondered why, despite having all the right words and ideas, you feel that your first impression lacked the desired impact when on-camera?

First impressions matter, especially on camera, and today we’re diving into the 5 most common mistakes people make that are sabotaging their on-screen presence.

These might be the difference between being remembered or forgotten, trusted or doubted.

Ready to level up your camera game?

For more help around this topic, check out the videos on warming up your audience and overcoming presentation anxiety.


People are lazy.
They make snap judgements.

They usually decide within a few MICRO seconds whether to:
Trust you
Listen to you
Care about you

We’ve been taught how important first impressions are in person..

Firm handshake
Eye contact

But somehow on camera…
We show up unprepared.

If you fail to make an impression on camera…
Worst case:
They won’t believe you or trust you.

Best case:
They will forget about you.

Here are 5 mistakes you might be making on-camera that are damaging your first impression.

Mistake 1:
You start talking immediately.

Whether you’re making a presentation, an intro call or doing an interview, starting slow serves you well

Take a micro second to:

You’ll become more aware of the audience
The audience will get a chance to look at you (and remember you)

Mistake 2: Your background is poorly dressed

We make an effort to put on a business-casual top.
But we forget to make our background look pro.

Think of how many blank walls your audience has seen lately

And now make an effort to “dress up” your background:
Add a plant
Add some books
Step away from the wall

Don’t blur your background or use a fake one

Studies show: using a blurred or fake background gives a signal that you’re hiding something

Mistake 3: poor eye contact

Eye contact is important in person to build trust
So why do we forget the same science applies on-camera?

X Don’t look at another screen the whole time
(tick) Have your audience on the same screen as your webcam

Mistake 4: bad camera angle

If your camera is too high,
You look small
You send the signal: I’m not that important

If your camera is too low
You look intimidating
Your signal: I’m dominating

Keep your webcam at eye-level
This establishes “equality” between you and your audience

Mistake 5: poor hand gestures

Your audience only sees your top half.
Which means: your hands are now twice as important.

People trust you more when they can see your hands
Use them intentionally in the first few seconds to build trust

Before your meeting, check your video frame
Make an effort to raise your hands so they are visible in the frame

If you make these small adjustments,
You are increasing your chances of winning at your next meeting, presentation or call

It takes longer to correct a bad first impression than it takes to make a good one in the first place

Get a Free 5-Day Course in Speaking Fearlessly

Transform your speaking skills in 5 days.
Sign up to find out how to turn your words into powerful, confident communication.
This free video course will give you concrete strategies to gain more confidence and speak fearlessly at your next presentation, meeting or podcast.

By clicking the button above, you are agreeing to the terms outlined in our privacy policy.

5-Day Free Course in Speaking Fearlessly cover image