Does the prospect of delivering a Facebook Live broadcast fill you with fear? It’s not unusual to be anxious about speaking in front of a camera, but there are plenty of steps you can take to replace fear with confidence. In this post, I’ll show you how!
Understanding Your Fear
If you’re feeling anxious about going live, you’re not alone. Fear of public speaking is very common; in fact, it’s estimated that 73% of people experience the symptoms of glossophobia — the fear of public speaking.
But you need not be trapped in fear! Often by understanding the reasons behind a phobia can start the process of becoming free from it.
Common reasons that could result in fear of delivering live broadcasts include:
- Concern about making a mistake
- Being unable to remember what you’re supposed to say
- A broader lack of self-confidence
- Poor previous experiences of public speaking
- Simply being in front of a camera
If you’re experiencing anxiety about delivering a Facebook Live, take a moment to think about – and jot down – the reasons why. You might instinctively think that you just don’t like it, but when you dive a little deeper, there’s often more to your fear.
I don’t expect you to be your own therapist, but completing this small exercise can help you to better understand why the prospect of broadcasting live makes you so nervous. From there, you can begin to tackle the problem!
Don’t allow fear to take the helm. You are in charge of your thoughts and feelings, and you are more than capable of delivering successful live broadcasts.
There are a number of strategies to help you overcome this anxiety. These are my favorites:
1. Reframe & Refocus
For some people, the fear of going live stems from concern about being the center of attention. When you go live – particularly as a solo presenter – it might feel like the entire world is watching and waiting for you to mess up.
That’s not the case. People are interested in what you have to talk about. Instead of focusing on yourself, reframe the emphasis to be on the message or goal of the broadcast. This should be front and center.
Think about your own viewing behaviors. When watching a live broadcast, you’re not anticipating that the presenter will make a mistake; you’re far more interested in what they have to say!
2. Be Prepared
Whatever the situation, it’s always beneficial to go in with good preparation. Spend some time deciding what you’ll talk about during your Live broadcast and figure out the order in which you’ll present ideas.
A script isn’t necessary – in fact, over rehearsal can be detrimental to your ability to connect with an audience, but having a list of talking points and prompts in front of you during the broadcast is very helpful. This keeps your mind focused on delivering everything you want to mention, and in the unlikely event that you do freeze, you have plenty of ideas to get started again.
Check out this post for more practical ideas to rip off the band-aid and go live for the first time!
3. Get Comfortable With The Camera
Many of us don’t particularly enjoy being in front of a camera. Overcoming this fear can be a huge confidence boost that makes going live a lot easier.
So, here’s a challenge: Take your laptop, phone, or any other video camera and switch it on. Now talk. No prompts, no script, no pressure. Tell the camera about your day or an interesting news story or an anecdote from years ago or your hopes and dreams for the future.
The subject isn’t important nor is the content. This exercise is solely focused on making you comfortable when talking to a camera.
And it works! Even a few minutes of improv at a time helps you to visualize the camera not as something to fear, but simply a tool to help you connect with your audience. Breaking down that mental barrier can make you a lot more confident when you do go live.
3. Give Yourself A Dry Run
Still not convinced? Try ‘going live’ without the live. Bring together all your prep work and have a dry run of the live broadcast. Grab your notes, switch the camera on, and deliver your presentation.
- You have your notes prepared, so you don’t have to worry about content.
- You’ve been practicing your on-screen improv, so you don’t have to worry about the camera.
- The audience is interested in what you have to say; they are not waiting for you to make a mistake.
- This is a practice run, and if you do encounter any slip-ups, it doesn’t matter.
The latter point is so important. Making a mistake on the broadcast – whether it’s a dress rehearsal or the real thing – isn’t an insurmountable problem. We’re all human. This exercise helps you to understand that you can make a mistake, move on, and successfully complete the broadcast.
A practice run also helps you to understand the flow of your presentation, find points to take a natural break – by asking questions, for example – and how to summarize and conclude.
The more you practice, the more familiar the presentation will become, and so the more confident you will be in it.
4. Embrace The Fear
Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers is a classic motivational text that encourages readers to embrace what makes them nervous and use that power to build self-confidence. If you haven’t read it yet, add it to your list!
The principal is absolutely relevant to undertaking a live broadcast. In the moments before you get started – having logged into Facebook and prepared your notes – you may still feel nervous. Embrace it. Take that energy and channel it into your broadcast.
Fear doesn’t hold you back; it empowers you. Say your fear out loud to your audience if you have to, start off by telling them how nervous you are, but that the message you are saying is too important to stop you. They’ll appreciate your honesty, and acknowledging it often helps a lot with your fear.
5. Enjoy The Experience
I always find that once I get started, the experience of delivering a live presentation is actually really enjoyable!
Be warm, friendly, and courteous to the audience. Build a dialogue by encouraging them to ask questions. Have confidence in your abilities and enjoy yourself!
6. Build The Momentum
When you finish your live broadcast, you’ll be riding a wave of euphoria. As well you should; it’s a fantastic achievement!
Now it’s time to build on that momentum. Go live again as soon as you can, to reinforce the point that you are a perfectly capable presenter. Schedule your next broadcast, run through the preparation steps again, and go into it with confidence!
I’m not saying you won’t ever feel nervous but following these steps will help you really overcome your fear of going Facebook Live!
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