Many business leaders are very comfortable speaking before a live audience. The crowd’s energy, the visible smiles and laughter, and smatterings of applause throughout your talk provide you with instant feedback on how your presentation is going.
Even if things aren’t going perfectly, you can often take cues by observing your audience’s body language, allowing you to switch gears and turn things around.
However, speaking to a camera during a livestream is an entirely different concept. There’s no instant crowd feedback or reassuring smiles from your audience to guide you – just a lifeless glass eye broadcasting your message to people you cannot see.
The COVID-19 pandemic transformed the way we communicate with mass audiences. Livestreaming was no longer an option – it was a necessity. Even with the world returning to a form of normalcy, many companies continue to embrace livestreaming as an efficient, cost-effective way to take their messaging to the people.
With video conferencing going mainstream, leaders need to familiarize themselves with speaking before a camera on a regular basis. Not everyone is an on-camera natural; it’s a skill that needs to be developed to ensure you feel confident every time that little red light goes on.
Whether you’ve livestreamed before or are about to undertake it for the first time, here are 9 tips that will help boost your on-camera confidence:
- Maintain eye contact: The same principle of polite conversation applies here too – except that the other “eye” is the camera lens. Be prepared to speak just as you would in person: knowing what to say, avoiding trigger words, and not constantly reading from notes. Maintaining eye contact will not only give the appearance of confidence to your audience, but boost your own confidence the more you do it.
- Focus on your message: It’s perfectly natural to be concerned about how you’ll look and sound on camera, but keep in mind that the most important reason people are tuning in is to hear your message. Being confident and comfortable with your message will be reflected in your look and delivery, so prioritize focusing on what you’re communicating to make the most significant impact on your attendees.
- Create an audience persona: You and your team have developed strong, niche content tailored to the audience attending. But who will be watching, and what are they expecting from you? Create an audience persona to help you understand your audience, and deliver your message as if you’re speaking only to that individual. Not only will that help boost your confidence, but each person in your audience will also feel as if you’re talking individually to them.
- Dress for livestream success: Just like in the real world, dressing the part helps you feel confident. However, some blocky or striped patterns don’t translate well on camera and may affect your delivery if you catch a glimpse of yourself on the monitor just before your livestream. The best bet for broadcast is solid colours with a few personal touches that compliment your style and help you feel great. Also wise not to dress in green if you’re using a green screen behind you.
- Speak with enthusiasm: Speaking in monotone might suggest to your people that you don’t want to be there or that the content is boring. In this case, your audience will feel the same way. Add a good dose of enthusiasm to boost their attention levels. If you genuinely believe in your message, your enthusiasm level will come naturally – giving your confidence a healthy boost in the process.
- Hook them right away: There’s a common rule of thumb that the first three seconds of your livestream will determine whether people will pay attention. You have precisely this long to hook people in. That’s why many online presenters ask the audience if they can hear them or to drop their location in the chat. It’s a means to get people engaged from the get-go. You can be funny or creative in how to hook viewers but always keep it natural to maintain your confidence.
- Be relatable: Many business leaders include personal stories during their online meetings. They do this to make themselves more relatable, primarily when the tale reflects the audience’s concerns and has a positive outcome. Engagingly telling a great story will capture your audience’s attention and form a deeper connection with them – even if you can’t see them.
- Don’t aim for perfection: Leaders put a lot of pressure on themselves to be infallible at all times. Unless you’re a professional, well-trained on-camera spokesperson, you might have to accept saying “uh” or “um”, stuttering or stammering, or losing your train of thought at some point during your livestream. And that’s okay – your audience isn’t expecting perfection but appreciates authenticity. Own those little quirks that make up who you are to present with increased poise and minimal stress.
- Review your performance: Watch a replay of your livestream to identify areas of improvement and practice them. Don’t be overly critical of yourself, but instead use development areas as a means of growth. Most leaders understand that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as we learn from them.
Another great way to boost your self-assurance during livestreams is to have all of the technical work taken care of for you by professionals. That includes setup of all audio and video feeds, switching, Q&A management, and much more. Leaving all the background work to others allows you to solely focus on delivering your message and not worrying about pressing buttons or trying to troubleshoot while broadcasting live.
That’s where LiveMeeting’s streaming solutions can help. Whether you are hosting a town hall or AGM, press conference, or other corporate events where messaging is critical, our team of dedicated production professionals can make it happen.
Our technicians will effortlessly bridge multiple locations into one easy-to-use web-based platform. Every aspect of your livestream will be managed for you, including polls, voting, and Q&A sessions so that you can deliver your presentation with added confidence.
Experience our streaming solution to discover how our cutting-edge technology will elevate your next livestream. Contact us today for a free demonstration!