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To use or not to use a camera on Twitch

By 24 June, 2015 No Comments

Let’s talk about the camera, the do’s, the don’t, the usage, the need and the most important the “why?”.

I’m not going to bullshit you, I hope you know that, and this is a topic that have been on my mind for a few months now. I’ve shared my thoughts with a few clients that are in different fields and what to move to Twitch or live-streaming in general. I also did some research and came up with a few very interesting thoughts.

The bad argument for a camera on Twitch

I think the one I’ve heard the most is the “It will help you interact!”, yes it can! It’s a true statement, but I also hate this statement because it explains nothing, and for those that have read my article before I hate that. The truth is that while it does help to interact… however almost no one uses it that way. Most of the time the camera is there for no reason, it fills no real function but the ability to see the streamer. That’s not interacting, that’s watching. I can look at a bucket, but unless that bucket speaks to me or I start play with it there’s not interaction. So let’s stop saying that it’s used for interaction because almost no streamer uses it to interact.

On top of that it’s not used. Using it the wrong way, as many do, will only take away from your stream. Unless you understand what to do with a camera, and it’s more than turning it on, it will take away a lot more than it will add. Unless you have the right charisma (the right charisma, not just any charisma), the antics and the control of the camera. Those parts need to click with each other on the right level and work together to the right goal.

People have come so caught up what works for other that they’ve stopped looking at what will work for them. A dangerous path to walk. Since you’re no longer making decision according to what you bring and can bring to Twitch. Look at your strengths instead of your weaknesses and look at the context your streaming. Apply all of that to usage of camera on Twitch.

You don’t need a camera

Maybe not use a camera on Twitch?

Photo by Toby Oxborrow

You don’t need one. It’s that simple. No matter in what way you look at it, if you’re entertaining that’s all you need to be. It won’t magically add interaction by having it on. But if you do want to have one take a look below to see how to use a camera on Twitch.

What do with a camera on Twitch

The right charisma

You can have charisma, I would never doubt that anyone can have charisma. I’ll even argue that a leader don’t need to have a charisma to become a leader but a leader gets charisma from leading. But for the usage of a camera you need to right charisma. What is the right charisma? I don’t know actually. The reason I don’t know is because it will shift depending on who you are. If there was a copy and paste formula everyone would copy it, but I don’t believe there is. Instead there are a lot of different factors that will play a part.

Instead I like to look at it the following way. The 110%. This isn’t you trying to be someone you’re not. For some reason people have forgotten that they’re entertainer and unless you’re a natural entertainer the mindset of “I’m being myself” isn’t good enough. Sorry to say it but it isn’t. There’s a bigger chance that you’re not entertaining then you being entertaining, engaging and funny. If you’re afraid that someone will feel you’re unauthentic then let me tell you that the word authentic is whatever value we set it at. Anything can be authentic. Do you talk the same way with your friends as you do with your parents? This is going to be the same, it’s still you but a refined version for broadcast and setting you up for usage of a camera on Twitch

The antics, express who you are

Acting! Not really but entertaining in front of the camera on Twitch.

Not really but it’s a funny .gif

Afraid you lost a bit you in the charisma part? Well this where you have to express all of those things into movements. An even bigger hurdle if you’re going to use a camera on Twitch the right way.

Every move you make, every breath you take, they’ll be watching you. This can be both the death hit and a way to greatness. How you approach the usage of the camera will change the way the stream feels, in an instance. It will be the face and first impression you give a first time viewer. Can it come of as fake to some? Maybe but does it really matter? If it feel comfortable to you, and you should always look at yourself and the YOUR antics should work on camera. Don’t look at other streamers and copy what they do, you will only be a grade B version of that and on top of that what they do works for them and might not work for you.

Why is this a big issue? Being “on” for 5-8 hours is a lot of time, even for a professional entertainer. Yes, there are those that can handle it because that’s who they are. But that’s them, if you feel you’re a natural and can put on “the show” or have the right charisma for Twitch then do that, don’t listen to me or any other streamer. But I’ll tell you right now that most people don’t. If I would stream I would only do a few hours three times a week since I know that I wouldn’t have enough in me to go for longer than that. I’m a great entertainer and can do a lot of things but keeping that up for 8 hours? No chance. I understand my limits, my strengths and my weaknesses. (the article about how to figure that out will come soooooon).

Control the camera

What does it mean? It’s how you actually interact and engage the audience. Not the template answer but the real answer. When you look into the camera, play with the camera, play at the camera, play for the camera, direct the frame, tempo and I could go on. There’s a lot of different aspect here. But it’s important that you can grasp the concept of having a camera. That’s also why I put this as the last thing. Since it frames the entire post.

Having that control will let you have more freedom. It might take a sometime to get used to a camera, even people that have used cameras or don’t use cameras can find a huge difference between turning it on and turning it off.

In conclusion

I hope you get the point. That having a camera don’t do you any good unless you use it. It’s a reason why you only get 1 hour of Big Brother, and even then it can be boring, from 24 hours. And that’s with a lot more people than just 1.

Hey if you found this article interesting, informative or upset, let me know on Twitter @visiblespeech. There you’ll also get some insider information on what I’m working on or random thoughts on Twitch from time to time. Nonetheless do follow me on Twitter is that I’m trying to say.



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