J. R. Swab

What Live Streaming Taught Me

Categories: [self improvement]
Tags: [ideas], [streaming]

Many of us would like to overcome the fear of public speaking or became a master of small talk. However, the level of anxiety that we face is almost always enough to push us away from self-growth. After years of live streaming on various platforms the fear and anxiety of speaking to new people greatly diminished.



When it comes to video, live streaming taught me about lighting, image quality, and the rule of thirds. Since everyone wants to be a better streamer having a great quality video can give an edge against the competition. Lighting is the most important as far as I am concerned. Without good lighting, the quality will always suffer and even if you learn the rule of thirds, have a good backdrop, or focal position, if no one can see you it's wasted.

Image quality stems from lighting because with better lighting we get a more crisp image for your viewers. Clear, and high definition video is always preferred over grainy and low-quality video. To get excellent image quality, after lighting is set, is to have a good internet connection. Nothing will dive away viewers more than a super blocky or studdering video. Most streaming platforms will automatically turn down your image quality if you have a poor connection and then just makes the entire image look like trash.

The Rule of thirds is about the positioning of yourself and the objects in the background. This is subjective, and everyone has their opinions so research the topic and go with what you like. If you love how it looks, then you will attract people like you, and those people will be much easier to connect with over anyone else.


The audio quality is also an important part of live streaming but does not take as much work to get it right. Most headphone microphones that we can buy today will be more than good, especially when starting out. However, if you find that you enjoy streaming there are microphones made for every type of device. The Rode VideoMic Me is a great option for streaming with a mobile device and the Blue Snowball is great for streaming via a computer. Both of these microphones will give the streamer way better audio than a build in mic or headphones can deliver.

Self Growth:


It's because of streaming that I found my personality.

That sounds weird, but hear me out.

We all have a personality, but we may not know how that personality affects other people until we spend time with them. Multiply that by thousands throughout a year. That's what live streaming does, it gives us many more people to interact with and get feedback on our personality. Over time we may see that our character, when angry or frustrated drives people away and so streaming in that emotional state will not be the best option. Recognizing these changes in us an such a large scale audience keeps us aware of how we may be treating others in our personal lives. If we are not able to catch ourselves, we may be hindering our one on one relationships with the people we care about the most.

Side note: there is always a place and time when we need to vent with the right person. It's healthy, but not when it's our default.

Public Speaking

Public speaking is hard. Trust me, I know, I have a bit of a speech impediment, and I tend to mumble. Live streaming lets us practice talking to strangers in mass. It's not quite the same as talking to a group that is standing right in front of you, but it does help to teach us what words we need to work on or if we need to pronounce a word differently. This all adds up to a better speaking engagement in person whether it be a speech to a crowd or a small office meeting.


Honestly, I don't think anything has taught me more about patience then live streaming. When anyone starts out, there will be many, many streams when not a single person comes by to say hello. The chat stays dead and we, the entertainer, have to keep talking in hopes to engage any potential passerby. It's rough and really gets under the skin sometimes, especially when you see others doing less work and pulling tens of thousands of viewers. But patience pays off and the first time a person comes back to the stream to hang out again feels absolutely amazing.



There will come times when streaming that a person will come in and start chatting about their problems. When this happens, it's now our job to help them whether that be with encouragement, support, or telling them they are worth the breath in their lungs.

And we have to do this genuinely.

We never know how bad it is for any given person. If they are in our stream telling us stories that are hard to hear we need to show them love. Because the fact is we may be the last hope they have, and everyone needs to know that there is at least someone out there that cares about them.


The individuals that we encourage and love become our community, our tribe. They will come back and support us in return. We must be present, answer their direct messages, and be the leader the tribe wants to have. A great book to read is actually called Tribes written by Seth Godin. It goes into lots of detail on how to be a great leader of the new social group forming around us and our content.

Read that book, seriously. There is no way I can cover it all here, and I'm not ever going to try..

Shameless Plug:

If you are interested in chatting with me live I, at the time of writing this, live stream on an app called LiveMe. The app is like Periscope on steroids and has a ton of users. If I stop streaming here altogether, I'll try my best to remember to edit this part of the post.

If you are an email kind of nerd you can sign up for mine here. You can always replay to any of my emails to start a conversation or ask me a question. You can donate to this site from my Liberapay account if you so choose.