Streaming for the first time can be a nerve-wracking experience but it’s an amazing way of creating a community around your content! Heffé, a veteran World Anvil streamer, has put together a detailed guide with streaming tips to get started streaming. Let’s take a look at what he has to say!

Streaming tips: have a stream plan!

A stream is a live event, so it might seem appropriate to leave things to improvisation. And that’s exactly why you should plan your streams beforehand! Even if you have amazing improvisation skills, it’s easy to forget everything in the heat of the moment. As you get more streaming experience you might find out that you don’t need planning, but as a first-time streamer it’s a great idea. So, here are some things to keep in mind when coming up with a plan:

  • Keep it simple: if the plan is complicated, you’ll have to spend on-stream time trying to decipher it. That’s not a helpful plan! Plans are supposed to be a guideline, not a strict timetable.
  • Come up with a plan B, maybe C too: it’s possible that you’ll realize that you can’t follow your plan while you’re on stream. This could be due to technical difficulties or just because what you had in mind doesn’t work as well as you expected on stream. Always have backup plans!
  • Don’t worry if your plan doesn’t work, your audience will understand. And it’s a great moment to use those improvisation skills I mentioned before!

What to plan for?

Different kinds of streams have different kinds of plans. But here’s some tips to prevent stalling!

  • Content: what are you going to do for the stream? Make a list of what you want to do and how.
  • Prepare ideas: coming up with ideas while you’re streaming is difficult, and you don’t want long periods of awkward silence while you think. So, if you plan on writing, drawing, or doing any other creative activity, make sure you come up with ideas before the stream starts.
  • Structure: how is your stream going to be structured? Don’t come up with a minute-by-minute timeline, but think about the order of things you’ll do. For example, if you want to write on your world and read articles from your audience, you could split the stream in two parts or switch activity every twenty minutes (roughly).
  • Research! Watch other streamers, and ask yourself “why do I enjoy them?”. Analyze what they do and see if you could do something that has a similar effect on your audience. Learning from experienced streamers is always a great idea!

Streaming tips: share and interact with your audience!

You’re streaming for other people, so make sure you keep an eye on the chat to see what they have to say. Not only that, but ask them questions! If you have an engaged chat, they’ll be more than happy to give you ideas for your worldbuilding. A great way of interacting with them is showcasing their work! You can have them submit their World Anvil articles, maps, art (or anything related to your stream) and then not only showcase it but give feedback! Make sure the feedback is positive, constructive, and honest —the goal is inspiring and motivating them!

There are many ways to showcase. You could use channel points (that’s a Twitch feature) or have a submission channel on your Discord server (if you have one). You could have a whole showcasing stream or instead dedicate only part of your regular streams. Whatever you do, make sure the feedback you give your audience is positive, constructive, and honest —the goal is to inspire and motivate them!

Above all, have fun!

Streaming is something you should do only if you find it fun. And make sure to show that you’re having fun! Treat your stream as a show: prepare yourself ahead of time, physically and mentally —after you press the Go Live button, it’s showtime! And, as Heffé says, “Get yourself excited, stay positive and smile”. I couldn’t agree more!

Heffé’s guide has a ton of extra streaming tips for you! He expands on this blog post and adds loads of extra details about technical stuff like screen capturing and bot commands. So make sure to check it out on World Anvil to get started streaming!