Ah, I love how I look and sound on camera, said no one ever (okay, except maybe Brad Pitt). Creating video content is still a hurdle for content producers, and live video is extra scary. But it has to be done, friends. The algorithms your content lives and dies by love some live video.
Let’s help you get past that fear of hitting the record button—and give you some killer tips for making the most of every video clip in your arsenal.
Psyching yourself up to go live
Just don’t have it in you to go live just yet? You can work your way up to it with the tips below. Think of these ideas as Couch to 5K, but for video.
1. Get comfortable in front of the camera. Yep, most of us tend to be the ones doing the filming, not being filmed. Start by recording yourself using your camera app or Canva. Or get your friends to record each other. Think of it as for training purposes only. None of it has to go on the internet just yet.
2. Be a guest on someone else’s show. Ease into things by putting all the admin, technical and scripting stuff in someone else’s hands. Show up, do your interview or Q&A, and let them guide you through. Having a “host” take charge of things can really help with stage fright.
3. Interview other people. Take some of the spotlight off yourself by having a guest on your show. You can deflect some of those eyeballs while also delivering value to your audience. Keep it casual (assuming that’s your brand) and let the other person shine.
4. Use props. Hats, sunglasses, stuffed toys and merch can all help you feel less exposed, while also helping you build a memorable visual brand. Try to relate them to your brand or what you do—a giant set of keys might be great for a realtor, while a baseball cap might work for a coach.
5. Grab a partner. If going solo in front of the camera gives you the heebies, partner up with someone else in your industry and make your show a two-fer. You’ll be able to bounce off each other and reduce the pressure to “perform”.
6. Start small. If you’re not ready to dance on TikTok, try a smaller medium like Instagram Stories. These vanish after a day, so if the result isn’t killer it’s no biggie. Keep your early subject matter simple as well. Talk a walk and introduce yourself. Film yourself making a coffee. Pet a dog! The people will love it.
7. Focus on things that aren’t you. Your videos don’t have to just be you, you, and all you. Take advantage of location and activities. If you’re going to a conference, tell people where you are, why you’re there, and who you’re excited to see. After the conference, talk about what you’ve learned, and the value that you got from that conference. (Psst, and repurpose it into extra content!)
8. Do something you’re comfortable with. When you’re getting started, don’t worry about delivering award-winning industry insights. Think about engagement and showing your human side. Talk about your pets, the weather, and whatever else you can comfortably wax lyrical about for a minute or so.
9. Create a bulleted list. If your brain blanks when you go live, jot down a couple of ideas to help you see your way through. Try not to use your crib sheet—but reap the confidence of knowing that it’s there.
10. Practice. The more you do this, the easier it gets! Find a quiet spot or do your thing when the house is empty. Host a Zoom meeting with just you in it, record yourself, play it back, and critique the things that aren’t working.
Making your Live video
Okay, so you’re ready to show the world what you’ve got. Here’s how to make even the scrappiest Live video shine.
1. Be you! There are plenty of other people out there pretending to drive Lamborghinis and all that. But there’s only one you.
2. Start in style. The first ten seconds matter. Launch right in and get started—don’t hang around waiting for people to show up, or spend the time fiddling with tech.
3. Energy up! Be a bit more extra than you would be in the real world. Smile, be cheerful, and get confident. (Protip: but also slow down your speech). It’ll come out fine on video.
4. Aim for edutainment. Aim to educate and entertain at the same time. Deliver great value while also being interesting. But don’t stress about getting it perfect. We’re all human!
5. Plan ahead. Plan out what you want to say and the key points you want to touch on. This will help your brain stay on track.
6. Consider sound quality. Be kind to your listeners. Use a good microphone—or earbuds at least—and avoid noisy places with a ton of background noise. And don’t forget those captions!
7. Natural lighting. Your lighting doesn’t have to be studio quality, but it should be decent. Open the blinds, and move around to avoid dark shadows or glaring sun. Natural light is ideal, but a ring light is good, too.
8. Camera angle. Avoid that double chin look—or an angle that cuts off the top of your head. Make sure your camera is angled to show you in your best light.
9. Use good tech. Try apps like StreamYard to go live in multiple places at once. You’ll get to kill two (or more) social media birds with one Livestream!
10. Just do it! Stop dilly-dallying! Pull out your phone, hit play, and just do it. It might be scary, but you’ve got this. Think about Live video as a way to share your expertise and bridge that gap between work and you.
11. Repurpose your content. Turn your video into a blog post! Slice up your live video and create multiple short videos. Take a still or a quote, and redirect people to your FB live. Make your content work smarter.
Ready to hit record? Let me know how it goes! For more pointers on generating content or getting comfortable in front of the camera, follow me on Instagram!