Posture Perfect: How Posture Impacts Your Media Presence
“Sit up straight!” – A phrase many of us would hear throughout our childhood, prompting us to correct our posture. After years of reminders (and some badgering), sitting up straight has become ingrained in many of us but unfortunately; we don’t always take notice of our posture when it matters most. When a potential client sits down in your office for the first time, do you sit up straight? Sure — but for some of us, this doesn’t always translate to on-camera appearances.
Do you have decent posture but can’t seem to get it right on television? The reason behind your slouching and rounded shoulders really isn’t that surprising. It’s called nerves and while you may think you have none, your subconscious has a completely different opinion. Like any high stress situation (like appearing on live television for the first time), it’s natural for us to revert back to old habits without even realizing it. When you first step on set, your mind is likely running a mile a minute as you review your talking points, check your appearance, make friends with the host/producer, and so on. Once you mic up and take your seat in front of the camera – you’re likely wondering if you’re prepared and ready to preform. But what have you most likely not thought of? Your posture.
While sitting up straight plays a crucial role, there are several other factors that can contribute to your overall posture as well. The following are few tips to help make you posture perfect.
- Sit on the Edge of Your Seat – Sitting toward the front of your seat will encourage better posture. While sitting with you back rested on the chair can help provide good support, it usually leads to slouching or slumping. This is also true if you tend to utilize armrests as this will encourage you to shrug and round your shoulders.
- Relax Your Shoulders – After taking your seat, take a deep breath in and pull your shoulders back and down. This will not only encourage you to sit up even straighter, but it will also release the tension in your shoulders that can cause you to shrug, creating an illusion that you have little to no neck.
- Ground Your Feet – If possible, place your feet on the floor. This will limit any nervous twitching or tapping of the foot. If you’re in a director’s type chair, try resting your foot on the ledge provided. Female should try crossing their legs at the ankles as opposed to at the knee. This will allow you ground both of your feet as opposed to just one.
- Square Your Shoulders – In simple terms – turn toward the host/anchor while keeping the camera in mind. It’s important to engage the host throughout your interview by facing toward them and leaning in slightly. However, keep in mind this conversation is taking place between three people—you, the host and the audience so be sure not to turn completely away, shutting out the audience. Addressing the camera from time to time can help personalize your interview.
- Level Your Chin – Depending on what’s naturally comfortable to you, many of us have a tendency to either drop or raise our chin during public speaking. This often times can create an unflattering angel and can impact your ability to breath properly while speaking. Prior to your interview, try practicing in a mirror to get a feel for the most natural resting position for your chin.