Keeping your cool on stream is one of the most underrated skills to have as a streamer. While some people are able to pull off the angry reaction streamer persona, a lot of people aren’t. I’ve seen countless streamers who get into the habit of getting angry on their stream about something that happened in the game, or reacted in a way towards a viewer in a really harsh way. As a viewer it’s really awkward. I have countless amounts of streams to choose from, if you’re making the stream awkward, I’ll just go somewhere else. While it may feel great to blow off steam while playing a game, there’s a right and wrong way to do it.
As a streamer you have to realize that at the end of the day, you are playing a video game for an audience of people. There are certain boundaries that you need to establish for your stream. As your stream grows and you get more comfortable with your viewers, those boundaries can change. What those boundaries are will ultimately be up to you, but do have them.
One mistake that I see streamers make all the time is they get this idea that they need to comment on every questionable thing that someone brings up in their chat. If you see something that might cause controversy simply ignore the comment, or ban the user if it’s bad enough. You don’t need to harp on every troll. Just take care of it and move on. You could be 100% right about what you’re saying, but still be in the wrong with how you say it. There are certain streamers that just tend to get upset over the smallest of topics in the chat, or feel the need to go on a 10 minute rant on why one person was banned. Just stop it. Say something once and move on. All you are doing is making it extremely awkward for your viewers, which is going to encourage them to not come back.
If something happens on your stream that makes you want to get super upset, and you don’t want it to show on stream, just take a break. Get up from you chair, go to another room, chill for five minutes and then come back. Blowing up on stream will almost never be worth it.
Over the three years I’ve been streaming, I’ve been able to keep my calm for about 99% of my streams. While keeping calm is definitely an area I feel I’ve improved on over the years, I’ve still had my slip-ups. There’s one particular stream experience that I still think about to this day where I know I handled the situation the wrong way. I always go back to the experience whenever a situation like it comes up in my stream, and it keeps me from making the same mistake twice.
About a year ago, I was doing a speedrun of Paper Mario and the chat was pretty active and everything was going perfectly fine. At some point during the stream, the chat got into the topic of which football teams had the best chance of making a run for the Super Bowl. Being the huge Green Bay Packers fan I am, I was quick to defend my team and exclaim the reasons why I thought my team was the best. There was a viewer who had been watching my stream for a very long time who disagreed. He started to give his reasons why I was wrong, and why he was right.
(Now before I go on with this story, I just want to say that up to this point in the story nothing wrong has happened here. We talked about it in our last blog post, but discussing things like this is all fine and dandy. You are free to have opinions, especially on the internet. What happens next is where mistakes were made on my part.)
Now back to the story. As an avid Packer Fan, I can be a little biased with my team. I tend to overlook their weaknesses, overestimate their strengths, and basically believe they are the greatest team on the face of the planet. So when someone tells me that my team is bad, I might get a little defensive. Instead of just shrugging it off and saying that’s your opinion and I have mine, I started to get really angry with the viewer. I started to go off on them and tell them how wrong they were and kept dragging the topic on and on and on. I didn't do it a nice way either, it was very obvious that I was upset that this person would take the time to say how wrong I was with my opinions.
I was angry and a complete jerk about how this viewer felt about my team, and it made the whole chat very uncomfortable. This was all over something as stupid as my feelings on how amazing the Green Bay Packers were. (They went on to suck in the playoffs that year by the way, so I was very wrong.) Instead of just moving on with something else, I kept the conversation going and going until it got to the point where I was yelling on stream. Many viewers left the chat that day in a really awkward position. The viewer that I ended up overreacting to hasn't come back to my stream since that moment other than once or twice. This was a viewer that had been around for a while, that I blew off because of the stubbornness of my opinion. I won’t get that moment back, but I can take that moment where I made a mistake and learn from it.
That's one of the biggest keys with streaming. You're going to make mistakes when you get into streaming. You're not expected to be perfect from the get-go. The key is to learn from those mistakes and not make them over and over again.
Twitch is a gaming site, not a “solve the entire world’s problems” website. Choose your battles wisely and then once you choose them, learn how to fight them without coming across as a jerk. As stated before, you only get one first impression. When you stream, you have no idea how many first impressions you’re ruining by going off on a viewer that you disagree with.
Now I’m not saying that you can’t ever get mad on stream. Video games bring out the best of us. Whether they make you laugh, cry, angry, happy, or sad, they are meant to produce reactions. Getting upset because a game screwed you over is completely understandable, and a lot of viewers want to see how a streamer deals with adversity. But there’s a difference between cussing after a brutal mistake, and throwing your controller at the wall. Learn to find the balance.
Follow us on Twitter so you get all the latest updates! @StreamBigNET