Let’s face it. It’s stressful working from home. Especially when you’re asked to livestream what it looks like during quarantine. I’ve been livestreaming to millions and here is how I overcome the anxiety of it all.
The current lockdown means everyone has become a content creator. It also means the playing field is leveled. You and that Influencer with 1M followers are both going to the same restaurant. Your own kitchens.
The anxiety we’re feeling is seeing live streaming as a chore instead of what it really is – a chance to become better communicators in our lives.String Nguyen
First thing first, you need to be yourself. You’re not playing a character on television. And that means…
Be Authentically Awkward
Your audience doesn’t care about the office anymore. Outside of that one aunt, no one cares if you’re up on the latest fashion trends this season. People watch you for your personality. Yes, people might find your podcast or livestream looking for answers to questions but they’ll stay for you. Invite them into your living room, not an isolation pod.
One night I was rushing between livestreams. I barely noticed I had a pimple on my forehead and a bucket of fried chicken hanging out in the background. My viewers, C-Level professionals on LinkedIn, barely noticed too. If anything, it simply revealed my love for fried chicken.
Remember, in our attention economy the only sin is being inauthentic.
Prepare, but Don’t Cram. It’s Not a Test.
I asked my lawyer how bad law school was and he replied, “Not so bad, you have a few hours to write down all you know. Naturally, you’re always over prepared when you study.” Livestreaming is the same way.
You do not need a script to livestream. And chances are, depending on your field, you do not to to spend late nights behind a computer screen in preparation. As humans, we have already dedicated our lives to gaining knowledge. Sharing it is the easy part. I recommending doing the following:
- Think about the main key message.
- Create a loose outline. Bullet points only.
- Do light research: On your topic and audience.
- Stick to the things you know. Don’t get sidetracked.
Prepare for what you know but remember, you can only talk so much in a hour.
Aim for Progress, Not Perfection.
We all entered the COVID-19 world together at the same time. It’s okay not to be an expert at this stage. Businesses, influencers, and teachers have to redesign their online presence overnight. My friends who work at universities had to redo entire semesters by the next morning. By the end of the semester, they’ll be better online presenters because it’s about making progress.
The first time I streamed, I had my old iPhone 5s staring back at me. I didn’t have a professional camera, studio lights, or idea of what would happen. Eventually, thousands came across my videos and it propelled me to be one of the top voices on LinkedIn.
Your first studio is the phone in your pocket or the Thinkpad in front of you. Before you spend money on upgrading it. Focus on communication, engaging with similar communities on social media, and reorganizing your background with things important to you.
Don’t think of livestreaming as a sprint, but a marathon of self improvement.
Upgrade Your Equipment and Enviroment
A lot of anxiety about live streaming boils over from our daily lives. As I said earlier, we are now asked to invite people into the most private place for us – our home. Some of our homes could use a good spring cleaning.
Here are some of the things I recommend to improve both livestreaming and your daily lives at the same time.
- Upgrade Visuals; Buy a webcam with 1080p or 4K resolution. Now focus your energy to creating the space you always wanted. Repainting walls, adding plants, or reorganizing bookshelves. You’ll feel better and your background will look cleaner.
- Upgrade Lighting; After your spring cleaning, update your light bulbs to LEDs. Add floor lamps to dark spots in your room. For live streaming have two lights in front and one behind you to make you pop out from the background.
- Upgrade Audio; No microphone will magically make your voice sound better to yourself. However, some will make you sound better to others.
Lastly, Remember to Connect
There is a reason every YouTuber asks you to subscribe. It’s because ultimately, they want to connect with you. *Cough, follow me on LinkedIn.* Our anxiety of using new tools like Zoom and Facetime to replace phone calls and one-on-one meetings won’t go away overnight. And livestreaming to the world is always intimidating whether you have a studio or an old iPhone in your pocket.
Any therapist will tell you, what kills anxiety is progress. That holds true to Livestreaming. Keep at it. With each stream, the heart will settle down and experience will take over. I promise.
If I could stream with a pimple on my head and bucket of chicken in the background, trust me, you got this!