Embrace the Spotlight: 20 Tips for Going Live and Loving It
As a creative entrepreneur, showing up live is a significant part of my journey. It's a powerful tool for connecting with my audience, but let's be honest—it can also be nerve-wracking. Through my experiences, however, I've learned to not only manage these live appearances but also to love them.
Today, I want to share with you 20 tips that have helped me become more comfortable and effective when going live.
- Make the Live Experience Feel Like an Event - The first and perhaps most important tip is to make your live event feel like an event. You're not just hopping on a call; you're hosting an experience. To do this, you need to build anticipation. Announce the time and place in advance and ensure that your audience knows what to expect.
Think about the structure of the event: the beginning, middle, and end. In the beginning, welcome your audience and set the stage for what you're going to talk about. In the middle, move into the teaching or Q&A portion where you'll be the primary speaker. At the end, make sure to wrap things up in a way that feels conclusive.
You might also include a call to action or ask your audience to share their key takeaways. By doing so, you can make your event more interactive and engaging, ensuring that your audience remains attentive throughout the event.
- Greet People by Name - When people join your live event, make a point of greeting them by name. It's a simple touch that helps attendees feel seen and valued. It's also a good opportunity to ask them to share a bit about themselves, like where they're tuning in from or what they're currently working on.
- Give a Call to Action - As soon as your audience arrives, give them a call to action. This could be as simple as asking them to introduce themselves in the chat. A clear directive helps kickstart the conversation and gets people engaged from the start.
- Get Comfortable with Pauses - Don't be afraid to take pauses during your live event. It's okay to take a moment to collect your thoughts, take a sip of water, or simply breathe. Pauses can actually make your presentation feel more relaxed and natural.
- Use Visuals - Whenever possible, use visuals during your live event. Whether you're sketching a graph to explain a concept or writing a word to emphasize a point, visuals can make your presentation more engaging and easier to understand.
- Go Get Stuff If You Need It - If you need something to illustrate your point, don't hesitate to step away from the camera for a moment to get it. Your audience will appreciate the effort you put into making the live event more interactive and engaging.
- Establish Rituals - If you're hosting regular live events, establish rituals to create a sense of familiarity and continuity. These rituals could be the way you start or end each event, or specific things you do during each session.
- Outline the Event - At the start of the event, let your audience know what to expect. Providing an outline or a roadmap helps your audience follow along and understand the structure of the event.
- Consider Time Zones - When scheduling your live events, consider the time zones of your top audience locations. This can ensure that as many people as possible can attend your event live.
- Take Questions in Advance - To make your Q&A sessions more efficient and less stressful, consider taking questions in advance. This gives you a chance to review the questions beforehand and prepare your answers. It also allows you to combine similar questions and prioritize the ones that will be most beneficial for the majority of your audience.
- Share Only the Necessary Screen - If you ever share your screen during a live event, make sure to share only the necessary window or application. This prevents any unwanted notifications from popping up during your presentation. Additionally, always remember to put your devices in "Do Not Disturb" mode to avoid interruptions.
- Promptly Post the Replay - A key strategy to keep your audience engaged after the live event is to promptly post the replay. This allows those who couldn't attend live to catch up on their own time, and it also allows attendees to revisit the content. Try to have your replays up within 24 hours. Doing so is especially considerate to those in different time zones and helps everyone feel like they're keeping pace with the rest of the group.
- Make It a Two-Way Conversation - Even if you're the main one speaking during the live event, remember to make it a two-way conversation. Engage with your audience, respond to their comments, and even read out some of their responses. This interaction contributes to the sense of community and sets the tone for the kind of supportive, encouraging, and creative community you're cultivating.
- Include the Chat in the Replay - If possible, include the chat in your replay. This helps your audience access any resources or links shared during the live event. This is particularly useful if you use a platform like Zoom, where you can download and upload the chat along with the video replay.
- Have Support on the Call - Having someone on the call to support you can be incredibly helpful. This person can welcome people, answer questions in the chat, and share resources. This creates a more supportive experience for everyone attending the live event.
- Take Notes for the Replay - Taking notes for the replay during the live event can be a great time-saver. These notes can recap the topics discussed, the key takeaways, and outline some of the questions. Having someone do this in real time, rather than having to re-watch the whole event, is incredibly efficient.
- Decide on the Style of Call - Think about whether you want to do a webinar style call or a face-to-face call. This decision depends on the size and nature of the event. For larger events, a webinar style can be more manageable. For smaller, more intimate groups, a face-to-face style can help build stronger connections.
- Share an Insider Peek - Give your audience a peek behind the curtain. Show them something they wouldn't usually see, like a sneak peek at a new project or a glimpse into your day-to-day routine. This makes your live event feel more personal and unique.
- Tell Your Audience What to Do - Don't forget to prompt your audience. Whether it's asking them to keep their cameras on, stay until the end, or engage in the chat, your audience will appreciate knowing what's expected of them.
- You're in Charge - As the host, you decide the rules, the format, and the content. If there are any issues, you have the power to address them. Remembering this can help alleviate the vulnerability and uncertainty that often comes with hosting live events.
Remember, embracing the world of live events can open up exciting new opportunities for you as a creative entrepreneur. It allows you to connect with your audience in a more personal way, share your creative process, and foster a sense of community. The more you practice, the more comfortable you'll get, and the more your audience will look forward to your live events. So why not start planning your next live event today!
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