In the ever-changing landscape of the internet and social media, which we will post about later this month, staying relevant and generating traffic are increasingly complex challenges. Earlier this summer, we posted about how to go live on Facebook. Going live and using live storytelling are important strategies for you to grow your brand and to engage with your audience. Of course, many people hate the idea of going live or being on video or anything of the like. If you are one of the thousands who are feeling camera shy, let us help you rip off the Band-Aid, hit record, and tell your story like a pro.

Live storytelling is a dynamic way to engage with audiences and to increase traffic to your business and to your website; however, it can be intimidating for many. Learn to overcome your fears and embrace your natural gifts for live storytelling. Photo credit: Nycholas Benaia

Live storytelling is a dynamic way to engage with audiences and to increase traffic to your business and to your website; however, it can be intimidating for many. Learn to overcome your fears and embrace your natural gifts for live storytelling. Photo credit: Nycholas Benaia

What is Live Storytelling?

Before we delve in, let’s understand what we mean here by live storytelling. Live storytelling means pushing the button and engaging with your audience live with no filter, no retakes, nada…as if you were face-to-face. It can also mean doing actual face-to-face engagements, such as conferences and workshops and presentations.

The Rationale Behind Fear in Live Storytelling

If the above paragraph gave you the heebie-jeebies, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Even some of the most confident and competent storytellers are afraid of live storytelling. Why is this? It mostly comes down to fear of the unknown or the unfamiliar and to the awareness that the situation cannot be fully controlled. Specifically, these present in some of the following ways:

  • Performance anxiety

  • Insecurity or lack of confidence in content or information

  • Self-consciousness or discomfort at being the center of attention

Interestingly, all of these are problems stemming from the ego. The ego is our intense self-awareness as well as our consciousness about a situation. Because we cannot predict the outcome of the new experience, we are afraid of it and thus shy away from it (in this case, live storytelling).

Embrace Your Inner Child’s Ego

Overcome fear by being in the moment, the way children are. Don’t let your ego psyche you out when it comes to live storytelling. Photo credit: Sharon Mccutcheon

Overcome fear by being in the moment, the way children are. Don’t let your ego psyche you out when it comes to live storytelling. Photo credit: Sharon Mccutcheon

To overcome this, be like a child—by that we mean embrace the moment and don’t overthink things. Children embrace new experiences with impunity because their egos haven’t learned to be afraid. While in dangerous situations, such as knowing when to cross the road, this lack of awareness isn’t an ideal quality, in other areas, it’s awesome and should be emulated. Children live in the moment, the now, and don’t not worry about what may happen in the future. When it comes to live storytelling, you should strive to be mindful like a child. Specifically:

  • Stop worrying about the future. There may be things that you cannot control that happen but note that these things you cannot control. There’s no need to stress your psyche worrying about them.

  • Embrace the moment. Breathe deeply and focus on what you are doing.

  • Believe in your message. Learn your material. Be passionate about your content. If you understand you audience, then you will not bore them.

  • Make your story the center of attention. If you focus on your story, so will your audience. Think of how children tell stories. They are completely absorbed—they are blissfully unaware of themselves when they tell stories.

Rehearse Your Story

Needless to say, this is all much easier said than done. Before you engage in live storytelling, write your story down and practice telling it.

  • Rehearse in front of a mirror.

  • Make a video and watch yourself.

  • Perfect what you don’t like.

  • Memorize your content.

  • Practice being natural.

Be practiced and prepared, but don’t be so over-rehearsed that you can’t relax in the moment. Remember, live storytelling involves rolling with punches and interacting with your audience.

Visualize Yourself Having Fun and Doing a Great Job

Finally, take time visualizing how your live storytelling performance will go. Imagine yourself looking your best, feeling good, having fun, and entertaining your audience. Studies show that visualization techniques work. By visualizing your live storytelling experience, you will condition your mind into believing you have already had the experience, which should give you the confidence to overcome your fear, to hit the record button or to step out onstage, and tell your story while fully owning the moment.

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Trust us when we say that live storytelling is nothing to fear, but if you still have anxiety, click here to contact us. We have experience and expertise that can help you go live without any hesitation or reservation.

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