Engagement with patients – producing video for the National Health Service – Getting past the scary bit

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A lot of us get anxious about speaking in public, making presentations or being filmed. That is made worse by watching TV types (Jeremy Paxton etc.) humiliating people on screen. Obviously engaging with patients is totally different in terms of atmosphere and approach and there are some simple things you can do which will make the whole experience less challenging and dare I say it? – great fun. When choosing people for filming go for the right ones. Don’t push anyone if they don’t want to do it. Make a list of people who you think would be right for the job then ask them. But be positive, don’t anticipate rejection – they will probably feel nervous but flattered. Acknowledge that your subjects are experts in their own experiences and stories – because they are. Go for a conversational approach in your filming – either with your subject talking across the camera to a real person (not into the lens) or you can have two or more people sitting next to each other, either talking between themselves or part of a conversation with someone else to the side of the camera. Presentation is difficult but conversation comes naturally.

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