Many new streamers, especially those who don't have a lot of on-camera experience, are terrified of allowing their true personality to show during a stream. They might be extremely quiet on their shows for fear of saying anything wrong. They could hide behind the wall of the familiar, copying the style of other streamers who are already established. Or they may allow their own self-doubts to walk all over them, constantly second-guessing their own choices for their channel. These fears lead to bland streams, either less entertaining to watch or too similar to other shows to stand out- both of these outcomes are terrible for your channel's growth.
I know it's difficult to put yourself out there- speaking in front of crowds of strangers is terrifying to most. It terrifies me too. But here's the thing: in order to stream on Twitch we all have to do it, so you may as well show your true colors while you're at it. Let your authentic personality come out on stream. You'd be surprised how much good it does!
➢ NEVER STRIVE TO 'FIT IN'
|If you're aiming to fit in with all the other streamers,|
you're missing the point.
I've spoken a lot before about incorporating your passions into your channel- you can probably tell I consider it extremely important. I think many people have a hard time really letting themselves run free, whether they're trying to start their channel or introduce these things into an existing one. Some streamers might even say there's "nothing unique about them," which we all know isn't true. All you have to do is reach within yourself and find those things that truly fuel you. It may take time to zero in on these things, but as long as you're keeping an eye out for them, they will present themselves.
When I started on Twitch, despite already having years of on-camera hosting experience, I wasn't truly allowing my most out-there quirks to show. Throughout the rest of this entry, you will hear three case studies. They describe instances when unleashing my passions on stream has helped my own channel in major ways. Your personal passions won't be the same, but hopefully by seeing the process and its benefits you will understand its rewards. Be aware that these changes for me didn't happen overnight, some of them took weeks or months of constant streaming to tease out, but the amount of time it takes should never deter you from doing this yourself- the benefits are enormous.
1. THE QUEST FOR ABSOLUTE ENJOYMENT
I've always loved the artistry and meticulous design that goes into video games. When I play the story-based games I love on my own time, I'm oftentimes more interested in looking at the posters on walls, reading the books and diaries scattered around, and searching through levels for secrets, than actually doing the main quest or any action related to the normal gameplay.
|Searching for secrets in the 2016 DOOM, a game normally|
about high-octane shooting, was the first instance
of my passion revealing itself on stream.
After hundreds of broadcasts, I started facing my fear and slowly doing more unorthodox things in games. And when these quirks eventually did show up, people found new types of entertainment in them. I'd read in-game books in different invented character voices. I'd spend time analyzing posters and bits of environmental storytelling, and many viewers who had played the game before loved discovering something they never noticed in their own playthrough. People in chat would get excited when I started finding more secret items, to the point that we now have a channel emote and chat commands dedicated to moments when we find amazing hidden things. All the quirks that I was afraid to show on stream ended up becoming some of my channel's biggest branding points. Most importantly, there's now no barrier between how I authentically enjoy video games and how I play them on stream.
2. KEEPING THINGS INTERESTING
After starting to read in-game books and diaries using different accents, I began creating characters that I would voice on stream, who would appear for about a minute each and respond to different things in the game I was playing. Not just impressions, but original characters off the top of my head with all different dialects, mannerisms and backstories. This became such a massive hit that one dedicated community member even created a Wiki to chronicle these appearances. Now there are hundreds of separate characters on the Wiki, and I clip and add new appearances daily. The 'Expanded Nickiverse', as we call it, has become the hallmark of my entire channel, and contributing to this larger project, or being there for moments where new voices are summoned, is a huge reason for many viewers to keep coming back to streams.
3. PASSION IS INFECTIOUS
|Becoming a cowboy on stream was a major event|
for my channel.
Many people have said that the cowboy streams were their favorites on the channel, with others specifically mentioning that they originally followed just because of these unique shows and have become major fans of all my other content ever since.
➢ BEING TRUE TO YOURSELF
Allowing your passions to take root in your stream will not just make you happier, but help you to avoid every streamer's nightmare: 'burnout.' Here's the thing many people don't consider: even when you're playing video games for a living, if you have to put on a mask every time you go live, you will eventually feel trapped within your own stream. Many great streamers larger than you or I have had major falling outs, even stopped their channels entirely, because of this phenomenon. Not being able to express oneself on stream can be a major contributing factor in losing motivation and becoming burned out. Don't let this happen to you.