Updated: Jul 23, 2021
How to be real and relaxed in your online content
By Kathryn Taylor Musseau
Third in a four-part series
Welcome to a series created to help you discover your virtual diva and stand out online. This issue explores the content!
Do Your Homework
Familiarize yourself with your host, the show, and its style. Watch other episodes and interviews, and take note of what you like or would improve. Whether you’re a host or a guest, emulate things that work well.
Pre-Interview Tech Check
It is completely within reason to request a pre-interview video call to make sure you have all the applications downloaded and links ready to go. Technical glitches at the last moment, such as software or camera conflicts, are unnerving and stressful. Ask for a dry run. You won’t regret it and it’s one less thing to worry about.
Use a tech check as an opportunity to meet. You can pick up cues to plan for success (e.g., is the host or guest highly energetic or meticulously slow?). Asking for questions in advance is perfectly fine, and if the host does not comply, at least you’ll know their style. There are differing points of view on question-sharing.
Never Trust Your Memory
People can easily become nervous or flustered when going live, which is why preparation is so important. It’s possible to lose your train of thought if you are out of your element, so bullet points are a great way to minimize that risk. It is perfectly natural to drop your gaze for a second or two to check a note. Always write down the name of your guest/host and their show or business.
Think of someone who is very composed on live video. However, let this be an exercise for confidence, not comparison. It may help to envision yourself as this person when you practise your points, but don’t take them on air with you! It’s important to be you!
Look Here, Not There
We are more accustomed to speaking to people than to an inanimate object such as a camera, but do keep your eyes on the lens and avoid the tendency to look at yourself. It’s a skill that takes time, but eventually you’ll be comfortable with it.
Sit up, breathe, plant your feet, warm up your voice, hydrate and re-check your screen position, posture, and body language. Like what you see in advance and see what you like when you’re done!
Rephrase and Speak in Complete Statements
When asking or responding to a question, speak in complete statements. When you need time to think, rephrase the question before you answer. Why? This gives you a chance to compose your thoughts and make great clips and sound bites. Much online content is repurposed for social media sharing. Sentence fragments are never as powerful as complete statements.
It’s a Wrap!
I’ve covered a lot and you must be wondering how you can do all this and still come across as natural and relaxed. The answer is practice. Take your commitment to going live seriously. Show up at least three times a week, even for a minute or two, on your own social media.
Just like a muscle, your online presence needs exercise, and repetition makes it stronger. All these steps, which seem anything but relaxed, are the very things that will enable you to speak extemporaneously!
I share many tips on www.youtube.com/kathryntaylortv, if you’d like to check them out or subscribe.
Kathryn Taylor Musseau
Kathryn Taylor Musseau is the owner of Kathryn Taylor Media. Her show Let’s Get Writing runs live on Facebook.com/kathryntaylormedia each week and features writers in all genres as well as publishers. Her first novel, Misty’s Misadventures, is a romantic comedy that has been e-published (available on Amazon) and is coming out in print this fall. The movie script was recently pitched to Netflix in its Canada Virtual Pitch Challenge.
You can learn more about Kathryn at her website, www.kathryntaylor.ca or reach out to her at email@example.com.