Real is best--with no distractions. Virtual is a poor substitute. Try to have a blank wall behind you. See the video above.
*If your goal is to insert a virtual background post-recording, use a solid and highly contrasting backdrop as a "green screen." This provides a uniform color to select and remove for the purpose of adding other creative touches and backgrounds.
Lighting should face you. It should not be behind you or to the sides of you. When test recording, be sure that odd shapes of light and reflections do not appear and adjust accordingly.
If you can be rid of glasses, go for it. The reflection of light can completely diminish that "connection" that is wanted with the audience. There's another consideration, too: Glasses can reflect the items in the room and have viewers squinting to figure out what pictures they see.
Keeping the focus close to face and shoulders to create an intimate experience that mimics personal storytelling. Eyes should focus on the viewer--not necessarily the camera or blinking light. Check to see where your eyes land and adjust accordingly.
Note: If this is for recording purposes, leave room around yourself for later editing--to center or enlarge your image.
Whether you sit or stand, the camera should focus on your upper body--shoulders and face. Gestures that are made with your body are carried through your facial muscles. Nothing is lost. But, you don't have to have your body in the frame and doing so can be a serious distraction, as can hands. Try to limit bouncing and swaying; it can be very disconcerting to persons with vestibular issues and the like.
If showing your hands is absolutely necessary, keep them at your sides, or, when raised, close to your shoulders. Moving them forward enlarges, shrinks, or blurs them and can be distracting and unsettling.
The rule of thumb for teachers and other professionals holds that jewelry should be kept to a minimum and clothing should be modest and muted. In other words, don't let your attire pull attention away from you, unless there is a significant reason such as being a clown or character actor where such things play an actual role.
Practice with different microphones if you are able to. It's good to have a usb digital microphone. They are available at a full range of prices, and you can certainly explore the internet for additional information. Or contact me, and I can help. Personally, I use a Blue Snowball. It's relatively inexpensive and does an adequate job for me.
Do not assume that everyone has a traditional family complete with a mom, dad, brothers and sisters, and grandparents.
Be sensitive to those who do not. Try to refer to adults as adults rather than your mom or your dad in personalizing stories, especially with younger children.
To the point, some children do not have moms and dads to ask for help, but they do have an adult.
Use technology to bolster easy comprehension of the tales. Close Captioning and details in text can make a tremendous difference to the story reception and experience.
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