25 years as a para-professional dancer taught me several things:
- Know your stuff BEFORE you get on stage;
- Expect the Director to realize the day of the show he/she wants to CHANGE some aspect of the performance because suddenly they don’t like it;
- Inevitably a performer gets sick or injured resulting in FURTHER changes where YOU having to step in for them at the last minute;
- Some little kid drops gum on stage even after you have told them no chewing gum while performing. Now you have to subtly sweep it up so a pointe shoe dancer doesn’t fall to her death.
- Oh yeah… the show must go on.
Facebook Live feels as normal to me as performing on stage. Sure I’ve had multiple years as a television reporter and pitching Public Television and Radio. Yet, you don’t need experience to begin to feel comfortable with doing things “off the cuff”. The reality is a good amount of preparation goes into these Facebook Live feeds. And the more you can prepare, the more you will be able to handle the unexpected stuff that will inevitably happen during the broadcast.
- Know your topic: Even if you are the host, know enough about the event (or issues related to the event) to ask the right questions. If you are flying solo or the one being interviewed, brush up on the latest info before going live.
- Discuss with the host (if there is one) what to cover: Are you offering demos for a specific brand of shoes or discussing and upcoming event? Figure out ahead of time what needs to be relayed to make sure nothing is missed.
- Remember the public can ask questions: Warn the person holding the phone in case they suddenly see them rolling on the screen. Decide ahead of time if you will field questions during the Facebook Live feed or if you will do them after the broadcast.
- Be passionate: My goodness you’ve dedicated all this time and effort to your business, cause, or event. Let the world know it!
- Let the show go on: Believe me the audience understands if there is a hiccup, someone dances in the background, or suddenly you can’t communicate as eloquently as you had hoped.
Do enough of these and you will face the camera with the same ease as you face you friends in a pub. It takes courage to put yourself on the virtual stage. People will admire your bravery.