Facebook LIVE is a popular way for brands to connect and build relationships with their fans and followers. Fans want to know the human(s) behind your brand. They want to feel like they know you personally. They want a glimpse into your life, your activities, and what makes you unique.
Unfortunately, the idea of getting in front of the camera on your phone may feel daunting. Many people are nervous about public speaking, and the idea of appearing live on camera may feel downright impossible. It’s a huge step out of your comfort zone.
But it can, and should, be done.
Your followers will love seeing you, regardless of your public speaking skills. They won’t be nearly as hard on you as you are on yourself. After a few Facebook LIVE sessions, you’ll probably see increased interaction in the form of likes, shares, and comments, so it’s worth doing.
Utilize the following tips for successful and powerful Facebook LIVE videos:
Control your nerves.
Even with twenty-five years of public speaking experience, I still get nervous before I speak. I do not try to relax; instead I take control. What I’ve learned over the years is that our bodies cannot differentiate between nerves and excitement, so I tell myself “I AM SO EXCITED!” over and over before a speaking event. I literally say it out loud. I may sound goofy, but it helps me to actually become excited rather than nervous. It’s better to appear excited on camera than nervous, so I convince myself that I’m excited.
Every person is different, and every brand is different. Don’t try to be someone you’re not. Use your typical lingo. Don’t be formal if you normally are casual. Your Facebook LIVE sessions won’t be the same as anyone else’s, and that’s the point. Let your individuality shine through.
No one cares if you are a perfectly polished speaker (and if they do, then you probably don’t need them as a follower anyway!), so just talk like you would to a friend. Facebook LIVE is not meant to be a formal and overly rehearsed speech. Don’t worry about memorizing anything.
While it’s okay to be casual, you don’t want to be totally unprepared. Take a little time to create a brief and simple outline for your Facebook LIVE so you can be sure you don’t go off on tangents and so you remember to include all your important points. Decide in advance how long you wish to speak and stick to that timeline.
You may also consider posting in advance on your page that you’ll be going live and tell what time so your followers know when to return to your page. You may also want to alert those in your house or building that they’ll need to be quiet and not disturb you during the live session. I hang a stop sign on my office door before I start, and I put my phone on “do not disturb” before I begin so there aren’t distractions or interruptions.
Don’t go overboard with practice, but if you’ve never been on camera before, put your phone in video mode and record yourself. Watch it back to discover your nervous habits, lighting problems, audio issues, or anything else you’d like to adjust before you do a Facebook LIVE video. You can even send your recording to a friend (or a Communication Consultant like me) to get the feedback you need to do your best.
Wear clothes that make you feel good about yourself. Check out your background, and remove anything distracting (like your pets who may be grooming themselves during your LIVE; don’t ask me how I know!). Position your phone on a tripod (tripods only cost about $12 on Amazon) because they will hold your phone still, allow your hands to be free, and can be positioned in the most flattering way. I like to position the camera of my phone at about forehead level so that I’m looking up slightly. This eliminates the dreaded double-chin that I get if I have to look down at my camera.
Just do it.
You’ll get better and better each time you do a Facebook LIVE video. This means that you’ll need to get out of your comfort zone and just do it! Decide on a schedule that works for you and your brand, and do Facebook LIVE videos on a regular basis. They get easier over time, and the benefits they bring to your business make them worth all the nerves.
**EDITOR’S NOTE** Don’t miss Carrie’s FREE training on Facebook LIVE and public speaking in general, sign up for her upcoming Speaking of Speaking. It’s taking place via Facebook LIVE in a private group on September 1, 2016, at 2:00PM (Eastern). Sign up here.
By Carrie Sharpe
Carrie Sharpe is a Communication Consultant and Speaker at He says, She says. She has been married to her husband, Ryan, for over nineteen years. They have five children, including twin daughters. During their marriage they have experienced everything from financial strain to miscarriages to the life-threatening illness of their son, Maverick. Carrie describes that experience in her signature talk, “Trusting God With Our Maverick.”
Carrie believes that the foundation of every great relationship is great communication, so she loves to help other people strengthen their relationships by improving their communication skills. She coaches clients in pageant interview skills, public speaking, marriage communication, and inter-office communication.
Carrie earned her degree in Political Science and Psychology from Lake Superior State University. She homeschools their children full-time, and she runs her communication business from home. Carrie has over twenty-five years of pageant experience– competing in them, judging them, emceeing them, and coaching contestants in interview skills. She writes articles about a variety of communication topics and has been published on Huffington Post. Carrie has spoken across the United States and Canada about marriage, relationships, and communication skills.