I have been streaming for quite some time. I have had my ups and downs, my busy streams, dead streams. All of it. I’ve read guides on how to become a better streamer and have put many of the tactics I have read to work. Through it all, these guides have helped me grow my channel to what it is, and helped me grow a community of viewers I am proud of.
I don’t claim to know much about anything, but one thing I felt like I could share were some tips on how to slay the silence. What do I mean by slaying the silence? One thing you will read in almost every streaming tips list, is that silence can hurt and hurt bad. To say it another way, when you are streaming, you have a few seconds to a minute in which a wayward viewer will enter your stream and decide to stay or move along.
I will use myself as an example. When I browse around to find new streamers to enjoy one thing I see all to often is long stretches where they simply say… nothing. This is not always a death blow for me as a viewer, but when I join a stream and the streamer is silent, the clock definitely starts ticking. Sure the game you are playing is awesome and part of why I am here, but just watching your face isn’t adding anything to my experience.
“Yeah, yeah I’ve heard this a thousand times!” you might say. Okay, then let me tell you how I have combatted the silence when I stream and maybe you can take and apply some of these tactics to capture a few more viewers.
Inner monologue need not be…inner:
This is perhaps the best change I ever made. If you are anything like me, I talk a lot of shit, laugh, cry, and scream in my head…we all do. Especially when playing games. This inner voice is perfect material for streaming. This is what people are looking for. Take it from me: when streaming a game, if you are thinking it…say it.
The voice in your head is yours, it’s who you are. It’s what people want to see, hear and ultimately get attached to. So open up and let them experience it all with you! It will give you a lot more to say and will definitely help you slay the silence.
Stream music can be more than just music:
I play a lot of music on my stream, and I have had many conversations about music. Music is one of those things that can appeal to your viewers. I often use the music on my channel as a talking point when I feel I have nothing else to say: “I love this song”, “This beat is legit.”, “Do you guys like this kind of music?” – something like that. You can use your music as a topic of discussion or if there is no discussion, simply throwing out statements about the music can spur conversations and even pull out some lurkers. I have done this many times, and it works. People are passionate about music, and it can be one of the main things that can bring people in or push them away if you’re not careful with your music selection.
Your day is important to more than just you:
This one might sound weird, but this is one of those amazing things about Twitch and being a broadcaster. When you think that people are just a viewer because of the games you play, you are wrong. I have learned that my regulars (and not so regulars) actually come to see me. Sure, the games are a big part, but if you watch anyone who has a following of any size you will see people who genuinely care about the caster. You can use this to fill the silence as well. Tell them about what is going on in your life. I am not saying you should dump everything, every stream, but don’t be afraid to talk about your day, good or bad. You will be surprised how much dead air you can fill and how many awesome, genuine, and stress relieving conversations you can find yourself in.
Bring your friends:
This is my last tip, and rightfully so. Having people on stream with you can be both good and bad. My personal rule is “friends on stream in moderation”. I often have my brother SeajayTV on stream with me and we have a great time. We have our brotherly banter and talk about a lot of stuff on stream. My community knows him and enjoys when I have him on. When he is with me on stream he definitely helps me keep the silence to a minimum. It’s great!
Always keep in mind, if you are a solo streamer then your viewers are there for YOU. They want to see, hear and experience you and not always your friends. Don’t be afraid to tell people that you are streaming and want to play alone that night. If you are taking streaming seriously, they will come watch and enjoy the stream with the rest of your viewers. This tip might be the most controversial, but again, this is just one of the things I have experienced first hand and have had to keep under control.
That’s all I got. This might not be useful to all of you or might be some things you have heard before. However, I practice these things every stream and have found a small measure of success and I believe that you can too!