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Do you remember what it was like to shoot and upload your very first video to YouTube?

Chances are, it wasn’t your best.

Not only do you need to come across as engaging in your videos on your channel, you also need to have great presence for your online courses.

To help you develop your on-camera skills, we invited Zain Meghji to share some of his best tips for amplifying your presence on camera and create engaging videos for your online courses.

Zain is the Head of Video Content for Daily Hive. For the past 20 years, he has worked in the entertainment industry on both sides of the camera – ranging from being an entertainment reporter on television shows such as STG E Talk, Extra, Showbiz Tonight and hosting the Canadian version of How To Look Good Naked, which aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network.

In this video, Zain will show you how to wow your audience with your presence on video:

The Difference Between Presence And Presentation

It’s no secret that one of the biggest factors for how engaging your videos are depends on your presence and presentation.

But what is the difference between those two?

As Zain puts it succinctly,

Presence, is how you’re being. Presentation, is what you’re doing. Zain Meghji

Presence comes from within.

It’s not something that you can just do. For example, you can’t ‘do’ excited. But you can BE excited.

Presentation on the other hand, is something you can do.

It’s the body language, the way you dress, the way you move, the way you make eye contact with everyone in the room.

It’s about the more overt features of how you display yourself, and as a result, it impacts the way you come across to others.

How To Transform Your Presentation And Look Good On Camera

Your presentation is the easiest to improve.

The first thing is to take care of basics – how you look on camera. Here are a list of tips Zain suggests you consider:

  • Fix your hair, collar, makeup, etc. to look your best
  • Put on clothes that you feel good in and flatter you
  • Find the right colors for yourself
  • Know who you are, what you represent and how what you’re wearing is supporting that (i.e. dress the part)

In addition to this, Zain recommends his advice from his show “How To Look Good Naked”, which is to look at yourself in the mirror and say “What do I like about myself?

From there, he recommends identifying the parts about yourself that you like, and finding the right colors, accessories and clothes that draw attention to your best features.

Zain also gives some basic tips on how to use lighting, how to smile, and how to figure out your personal brand in his video. Watch it above to learn more!

How To Amplify Your Presence And Connect With Your Audience

Your on-camera presence is something that can’t be faked.

But it is something that can be cultivated.

There are ways Zain amplifies his presence:

1) Big Energy

Zain makes sure to ramp up his energy, portraying a heightened version of himself every time he’s on camera.

There are various methods for how he does this – one being to physically jump up and down while saying out loud “I’m excited! I’m excited! I’m excited!

2) Emulate Examples

The second method that Zain recommends for amplifying your presence is to find people that you want to emulate, and bring what it is you like about them back into your presentation.

This is especially useful for quiet-spoken people, who would love to come out of their shell.

In his video, Zain interviews one of his team members Laurenne, at Daily Hive Video, and shows you how she emulates others to channel their essence on camera. See how she does it above!

3) See The Camera As Your Friend

One big mistake that a lot of video presenters make on camera is they unknowingly start speaking with what Zain calls, host voice.

Essentially, host voice is how television hosts spoke 10-20 years ago.

It’s a very structured way of speaking that involves ending every part of your sentence on a slight pause, and was designed to ensure every word was articulated perfectly so that it could be heard.

The problem with this however, is that it causes a disconnect from the audience.

What Zain and Andrew suggest instead is to imagine you’re having a normal, everyday conversation with a friend and remember that on the other side of the lens is a real human being who will be watching you.

That way, you show up as more present, even though you’re not physically there.

And by doing so, you deliver your message much more effectively.

The Art Of The Interview

If you’re planning to create online courses and content for your YouTube channel using interviews with guests, this section is for you.

Whether the content lives, a fundamental part of doing engaging interviews is to guide your guests through the story you want to tell.

Here are a few tips from Zain to do this:

1) Have A Plan Of What You’d Like To Achieve

What do you want to achieve from your interview?

For Zain, the goal for every interview is threefold: to get something insightful, something humorous, and something people haven’t heard anywhere else.

To do so, he ensures he researches his guests properly, and has questions in mind, in advance.

Once you have your set questions, you know where you want to go. Focus on that direction, rather than sticking to your questions.Zain Meghji

2) Don’t Research Too Much

Although it may seem somewhat contradictory to the first point above, it’s important to not overly research your guest at times.

The reason for this is it can remove the element of being interested and letting the conversation naturally build upon itself during the interview.

3) Don’t Jump Into The Deep End Too Quickly

As Zain points out, sometimes it can be tempting to ‘get real too fast’  with your guests, especially if you’ve already done as much research on them as you can.

And more often than not, it doesn’t play well, especially as a first question.

What Zain recommends in this situation, is to remember to ease your guest into the interview, so that they know they’re in a safe space to share more personal details about themselves.

4) The Audience Doesn’t Know Everything You Know

While it can be very engrossing to be caught in the interview with your guest, it’s important to note that your audience is watching to get value from your content.

Your audience doesn’t have the same knowledge of research or background information that you have, so keep that in mind. Even if it means asking a question you already know the answer to.

Zain continues in his video to explain when to let a conversation carry on, and when to do a hard reset to the direction you want it to go. Watch the video to learn how to maintain this delicate balance.

How To Tell A Story

The best way to get your messages across is to tell a story.

And as Zain points out, the way to craft a story is to have a:

Beginning – where you paint the picture of the way things are right now
Middle – where you show your audience the possibility of what could be different
End – finally where you get the audience to take an action

And like self-help author Stephen Covey says, you want to begin with the end in mind.

Pro tip: Plan the storyline of your online course using our guide to outlining an online course curriculum.

Think about what your message is, what the point of the video is, and what action is that you want your audience to take as a result of watching your video.

Then link a specific, personal story to the concept you’re trying to relay.

By doing so, you’ll ensure that the people who relate to it, understand what you’re trying to teach more and like you better.

To connect with Zain Meghji, visit zainmeghji.com, follow him @zainmeghji, or work with him at zainmeghji.com/courses-and-coaching.


Not sure where to start in creating your course? Download the free guide below for a roadmap on the first five steps to take to monetize your YouTube channel with courses!

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