Carmen Braidwood

Written by Megan MacNeill

Confidence on camera with Carmen Braidwood
September 22, 2021

Introduction

When watching TV, or listening to your local radio station have you ever took a moment to pay attention to the presenter and wondered if you would be able to do what they did?

Since I’ve started out the personal branding exposed podcast, bringing out my inner host to confidently interact with guests and my audience was an exercise I had to consciously do so that my business could grow.

And, because I realize that a portion of my audience might be going through the same process, I decided to invite Carmen Braidwood, host Weekend Brunch on Perth Talkback Radio Station, 882 6PR for a talk.

As a corporate media trainer and coach, Carmen had some amazing tips to help you keep it cool and professional in front of the cameras, here is what she had to share:

That Sounds Fun!

When I asked Carmen about what she wanted to do as a teen, her reply bent towards the side of modesty.

She claimed that at age fifteen she was not unlike so many other youths out there, someone who didn’t really thought too much about days to come and was more worried about getting good grades and enjoying her time in theater.

That was, of course before her own friends remarked something about her she had failed to notice herself.

“I remember sitting in voc-ed (vocational education), and my friends were the ones who said ‘you should be a newsreader’, and I remember going yeah, that sounds alright. And it was interesting that for the first time I got an understanding of what other people saw me as.”

Despite her friend’s observation sticking to her, Carmen wouldn’t consider a career as a presenter again until she was already in college, when she caught year of an opportunity to study radio. 

Her motivation, as she recalled, was that it sounded fun, which is how she decides on new enterprises to this day.

Keep It Simple, Keep It Natural

Now, being a coach myself and having to deal with all the changes brought about by the pandemic, I took the opportunity of having an expert in on-camera behavior to ask for some tips on how to improve presentations, be it on zoom or LinkedIn.

Here is what she had to say: 

“I think the amount of time you spend in any kind of online learning situation is really worth taking into account, we’ve only got a 45-minute attention span at best and that is limited even further when the dog might be in the room.” 

That is to say,  when doing a presentation online, try to break down the information and transmit it in a concise and clear way to make every minute of broadcast count, especially because you know that, since everybody is at home, there are bound to be unknowns.

But that was not her only piece of advice:

“But then there’s energy, the same we have to do as broadcasters, it needs to be 10 to 15% more than usual, and then the lens of the camera, that eye contact is imperative.”

Just Show Up

The reason why I thought this information was so important has to do with the fact that with Covid-19 and the fact that because of how internet changed our culture, a big part of our professional life today is being in front of the camera.

Now that cameras are just a part of our daily lives, a lot of people seem to believe that you need to have a whole studio’s worth in production value, and as Carmen explained, this was especially true for presenters:

“I really had to let go of that connection to perfection we have in broadcasting space in order to move forward. During the pandemic I’ve worked with coaches who really helped say, just get on with it.”

Getting on with it here means that you don’t really need to have perfect lighting or perfect audio to just pick up your phone on “selfie mode” and show how you do your breakfast.

Building your personal brand is all about being authentic (as overused as this word might be) so don’t worry too much about technical stuff and just make yourself known.

From Radio To TV

Another topic I was really excited to get into with Carmen was about how she transitioned from radio to TV and all the ways in which she had to adapt to it, and in answering my questions she actually dispensed an awesome little nugget of wisdom.

“ I guess I looked for areas where the skills were transferable, and to me, what the best radio broadcasters had in common with the best TV broadcasters, and that is that their authentic, they are themselves onscreen.”

There are few things I like about her answer.

First there is learning by observing the people you admire which is just good advice in general;

And then we also have a warning about a mistake many people make when putting themselves on the spotlight which is to over-memorize and allow themselves to become mechanical in front of the camera.

As Carmen herself said, “perfection is a problem”, and I would even go as far as to say that personality beats perfection every time.

And then, there is also 

Conclusion

There is a lot to gain by being true to yourself, and Carmen Braidwood certainly showed a lot of the practical benefits you can get when you allow people to see you for who you are without pretensions.

In many ways, this also what I do in my personal branding coaching program, with the difference that I try to teach people how to let the best parts of themselves shine through to the wider public.

If this sounds tempting in any way, then why not get in contact with me through this website or any of my social media for a full crash course on how to use the very best of yourself for the benefit of your business?

Book a Discovery Call with me and let me help you build your brand while you sleep!

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