Okay, let me start off by saying: Yes, I know it’s awkward. Watching yourself on camera is pretty uncomfortable. You even understand that it’s not logical – as a streamer you are putting yourself out there to the entire world every time you stream, yet when it comes to re-watching your own stream, it becomes Cringe-Fest 2015.
That being said, once you get past the awkwardness, watching your own broadcasts is one of the most effective tools at becoming a better streamer. Watching film provides incredible feedback across a number of professions; whether you are a professional athlete, gamer, broadcaster, actor, or entertainer, you are watching film to make your performance better. These same principles can apply to streamers as well. The best part? You don’t even have to watch very much of it in order to find areas to improve!
The next time you have 30 minutes to spare, instead of launching the stream early, grab a notebook and writing utensil and fire up your last broadcast. Here are four things you can focus on while watching your film:
- Your Demeanor – One area to take notes is how you present yourself to your audience as you are streaming. After all, this is the face you are broadcasting to the entire world – anyone with access to the internet and the link to your stream can see this. Therefore, you should comport yourself accordingly. Think about what you are doing – you are playing video games, an activity that you love, and other people are watching you do it. It’s amazing! It’s one of the most fun things to do that I can think of! So let that enthusiasm come out as you’re streaming – smile, laugh, cry (if it’s a sad game), get startled (if it’s a scary game), and just immerse yourself in the experience. You will enjoy yourself more, and your viewers will too.
- Your Delivery – As you are watching the film, you should also be assessing your delivery, whether it’s reacting to the game or interacting with the audience. Are you speaking too slowly, too quickly? Are you stumbling over your words at all, or are you speaking clearly? Are there instances where you are zoned out and not talking at all? Are you talking too much? These are all things that you may not realize you are doing as you stream, but by giving yourself the opportunity to evaluate your performance from a viewer’s perspective, you can easily identify areas for improvement and focus on them the next time you stream.
- Vocabulary and Repetition – Your vocabulary is another area that you can review while you are watching an earlier broadcast. Think about what sort of words you find yourself using. Is there a particular word or phrase you are using too much? Did you say something during your stream that stuck out and you would like to use again? Making a conscious effort to expand your vocabulary, using new and unique words or phrases, and cutting down on repetition is another way to improve your stream. Who knows, you may even come up with the next awesome catch phrase or hashtag that everyone on Twitch will start using! #GetRekt #NiceMoves
- Finding Things You Liked – Lastly, your film session does should not be all about finding areas to criticize. You should also be taking notes on what you did on your broadcast that you really liked, and want to continue to include in future streams. Focusing just as much on the positives of your broadcast and continuing to do them in future streams, when combined with the improvements you will make from the first three sections above, will help you deliver an overall better performance.
Once you have finished and you have taken your notes from the film session, pick one or two areas that you think you can improve upon from your film session. Don’t try to do them all at once – it’s better to make these improvements incrementally, so that you don’t get stuck in your head and your performance comes off naturally. Before you know it, you’ll be finding less and less things to write about during your film sessions, and you’ll find yourself a more complete streamer and entertainer. Good luck!