As a content creator, you will get to see and hear yourself in ways you likely have never done before. This can be confronting. Any anxiety you have about how you look or sound can be immediately amplified, and if you’re in a situation where you’re editing your own content you will see and hear yourself a lot.
The struggle is real, but know you’re not alone in this particular struggle.
Hi, I’m John Lacey, and this is Build A Presentation Muscle.
Earlier in the week someone described their struggles in a Facebook group. They wrote:
“I know going live and making video content for my business is going to be a big part of my marketing, and I do have a deep desire to do this, but the couple of times I have gone live or recorded video, it’s so difficult to watch or listen to because I am so critical of myself and how I show up.”
It’s okay to be a beginner, infact it’s essential
You will never improve if you don’t get started. The starting can be messy and uncomfortable. But the only way out is through.
Let’s take a moment to consider the mantra that inspired this podcast.
Everytime I go live, I’m building a presentation muscle.
I encourage everyone to think not in terms of any individual piece of content, but in terms of the skills you’re building within yourself.
Some days will go more smoothly than others. You might trip over your words. You might experience technical glitches. It’s okay. It shows you’re human and relatable. Most people are likely much more forgiving of you than you are of yourself, but especially so if you’re prone to perfectionism.
Self-acceptance is a habit. Like the presentation muscle itself, you’ll need to practice to get better at it.
I know it can be tempting to not want to watch or listen to the things you’ve produced, but I want to encourage you to feel the fear and do it anyway.
You need to assess what went well and what could be improved. But I want you to do this matter of factly. Don’t dwell on the past. Things that have already happened have already happened. Move on with an intention for the next thing to be better.
Don’t beat yourself up. Remind yourself you’re still learning and honing your craft. Congratulate yourself for showing up.
Over time you’ll discover you have indeed improved.
Manage your own comfort zone
When you start, you won’t have an audience. This might seem like a bug, but it’s actually a feature.
You can make a lot of mistakes early on and get them out of your system without too many people noticing.
If you’re going live, you can also hide the recording afterward.
But if this is too much for you right now, consider a more private setting with some supportive friends. You don’t need to go live to the whole world if you’re not ready.
Showing up prepared
I know a lot of people who can show up and improvise their way through their content. Personally, I feel much more confident when I’ve had some time to organise my thoughts ahead of time. I like to plan. I prefer to work with a show run document during a livestream.
Anticipating potential problems and having contigency plans can be helpful too. If you need to step away from the computer for a while, do you have something you can put up on the screen (like a still image or a recorded video)? If your guest runs into issues and cannot join you, is there something else you could talk about?
Having decent lighting, cameras and microphones can help you show up well. This too can add to your confidence and comfort levels.
But remember people are unlikely to be joining you for your dashing good looks unless you are indeed a supermodel. If they can see you and hear you and are interested in your message and content, you are set.
It’s less lonely with a friend
Content creation can be a lonely venture. Like many things in life it can be better with a friend.
Whether this person is a cohost, a cheerleader or an accountability buddy, this can be a real game changer.
I’m really honoured that my friend Sam Proof chose to be my co-host on The Video and Livestreaming Show. We started having conversations about our content creation journeys both on and otuside the show. These were conversations I rarely had with anybody else.
So many people in my day to day life have no understanding why I do what I do. That in itself is its own strange form of isolation.
So, to the extent you’re able to, find some fellow creators. Join supportive groups online. Befriend some fellow travellers.
So much of the time we fall into the trap of comparing view and subscriber numbers with other people when really we should be comparing our struggles and what has helped us get beyond them.
Finally, I want to draw your attention to the 90-9-1 Rule for Participation Inequality in Social Media and Online Communities from the Nielsen Norman Group.
The summary of this report says:
“In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.”
If you’re creating and sharing content online, you’re doing something 90% of the rest aren’t doing. This is a big deal. I am proud of you. I want you to be proud of you too.
Don’t give up, keep going, but be gentle and generous to yourself as you’re finding your way.
I believe in you. And over time I hope you’ll believe in you too.
For more information about today’s show, head over to JohnLacey.com