The Blog

Articles + videos to help you get inspired

The Secret to Using Cue Cards on Camera

I’m a trained actress, and I feel pretty comfortable talking on camera – but people often ask me if I use cue cards or scripts. Is it necessary, to make quality video content, to have your words mapped out perfectly?

Well, no – and following a script can hinder self-expression. It can make you look stiff, unnatural, and even boring. And furthermore, every time you look away from the lens to glance at those written points, you’ll lose your connection with the viewer.

For short, informative videos, I’d recommend you strive to introduce your idea, make three great points, and then wrap it up – and you can see this format in almost all of my videos, whether they’re for online courses or other areas of my web presence.

But if you’re concerned that you’re going to forget what your points are, or lose track of the plan once you hit record, here’s what you do:

Use mini “cue cards,” placed near the camera lens, so you can’t keep track of your outline without letting it affect your gaze.

You don’t want to look like you’re reading something off to the left or right while talking on camera, so I suggest using a little post-it note, easily attached to your smartphone or recording device, and you’ll be able to glance at your bullet points with your peripheral vision while keeping your eyes looking ahead to your audience.

Keep it simple with 3 bullet points, and they’ll serve as “thought bubbles” to trigger your speaking. Just make them visible right near the lens, and riff on your key ideas from that shortlist, while continuing to imagine your viewer right in front of you, and making virtual “eye contact” with them.

Post-it notes are the perfect size for your “cue cards” – and this set-up is the secret to make talking on camera look easy and natural.

Alexa Fischer

Meet Alexa Fischer

Wishbeads founder Alexa Fischer is an actress, teacher, author, and speaker whose work helps people go after their dreams, build their confidence, and break free from fear. It’s time to ignite your light.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE…

Meet the Magnificent Joyce Aimee

Let me introduce you to Joyce Aimee. To glance at her is to fall in love with the human spirit to create, reinvent, perform, and delight. In her nineties, she decided to take on television after a life in the performing arts - singing in cabarets, running a talent...

Awkward on Camera? How to Overcome Your Habits

Awkward on Camera? How to Overcome Your Habits

Years ago as an actress filming a shampoo commercial, the director yelled, “Cut!” and then he said to me: “Alexa, can you please stop licking your lips?” Embarrassed, I became suddenly super self-conscious of how I hold my mouth on camera. (And all I could think about...

The Benefits of Healthy Boundaries

The Benefits of Healthy Boundaries

Years ago, I worked with a freelancer who set the most perfect ground rules at the beginning of our relationship: Don’t call - instead, email me, I prefer email. If you email after this time, I won’t respond until that time. And we won’t discuss work on the weekends -...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This