How to move on after a bad stream?
by Martocodo on Thu Apr 08 2021.
If you are reading this just after finishing your stream and you’ve been not feeling good then go take a break. Come back after and we can chat. It’s ok.
Firstly, what can feel like a bad stream can happen to anyone, regardless of how long they have been streaming, whichever game or stream activity they are doing and can happen on any day, at any time.
There are so many factors at play and you shouldn’t take it to heart or see it as a personal failing. Also take a break and give yourself some distance, if you have just finished and are already feeling a bit down or emotionally vulnerable then you need a break and do something completely different. Go play your favourite game or watch some episodes of your favourite TV show, call a friend or go for a walk for some fresh air (weather and socially distanced permitting of course).
Right, let’s break it down a little more and see if we can take some positives from the bad stream. Looking back is there anything you think may have been a distraction or something you could change for future streams?
How often were you checking statistics like viewer count? (be honest!)
Now, viewer count is something I’ve talked about before and it can definitely provide some useful statistics but that sort of analysis is for after stream. Whilst you are live, turn it off! It may only seem like a small thing, a number in the corner of your eye but it can be too tempting and all consuming to keep checking it, seeing if it goes up or down. But the problem is, as soon as that number drops (and it will vary a lot for all sorts of reasons) your brain will immediately go into panic, analysis mode and try to work out what you did wrong. Was it something you said? Were you not playing the game well enough? Have you been streaming for too long? Is this subject matter not working? These questions are distracting during stream, with all of them not being answerable and taking energy and focus away from your viewers, your chat and your positive energy on stream! Next stream, turn it off and 100% focus on the show! You’ll instantly feel better I promise!
Did the stream activity or game choice and length of stream feel right?
If you think about the game you chose to play, do you feel like it helped you stay in a positive frame of mind throughout the stream?
Were you able to keep your energy levels consistent?
Did you get frustrated at any point?
Were you happy that you were responsive enough to chat and new visitors?
Think critically about the above questions when you look back over the video of the stream and think back any particular relevant moments. These could provide some indicators for things to try next stream, for example if you felt tired towards the end of stream, or you were losing focus – maybe try a shorter stream next time. You could also look at potentially taking a short “brb” break every couple of hours to walk away, stretch and maybe get some refreshments. Maybe an opportunity to fit in some community games like Words on Stream during those breaks?
It could also influence your choice of game or activity for the next stream, if you think back over the stream and you were so focused on working out the game puzzles or the combat was so intense and you missed things in chat – this could be an indicator to play in a more relaxed style or maybe choose a different game. There’s no wasted time as you’re always learning things that work and thing’s that don’t – remember streaming and community building is a long journey.
Remember that everyone has good and bad streams and everything is a learning opportunity!
When it comes to mental health and streaming, it’s easy to be super hard on yourself and think it’s all your fault. But this could not be further from the truth – it’s impossible for anyone to guarantee a good stream! Dealing with a bad stream can be tricky, anything can happen and lots of factors our outside of your control! Mistakes are there to be learned from and you can review the bad stream and learn what worked and what didn’t so you can try new ideas next time. Building a community takes time and effort, but you need to make sure you’re looking after yourself too.
To summarise – remember these general tips to help for future streams…
- Turn off any stats that will distract you, e.g. viewer and follower counts
- Plan and prepare topics in advance for chat
- Choose a few game alternatives that you could switch to if you’re not feeling good
- Give yourself plenty of breaks to help with stream anxiety
- Take a break after every stream to rest, recharge and have fun doing something else.
- Each streamer’s journey is different so try not to compare yourself too much with others. Manage your expectations and don’t create added pressure!