Developing Your Stream Persona
Who are you on stream? Are you an imaginary character? An “over the top” version of yourself or straight up the one and only you? A deep question for sure, maybe one you never even thought about until now.
This is a question you might start asking yourself after you are serious about becoming a partnered streamer on Twitch. Let’s talk about discovering your own unique style.
Developing your on-stream persona involves three ideas:
1. Work backward: Choose what you do not want to be.
2. Learn as you go: Just keep streaming while your style is emerging.
3. Research: Learn from, ask for suggestions to help improve, but don’t copy others.
→ Work backward
Sometimes it is easier to start with what you know you don’t want to be, then what you do. You might hear poor audio, see low-quality overlays and sometimes people who felt not “real” because they are obviously trying to be someone they are not or copying another person’s stream.
For example, early on I decided that I did not want to play a character on stream, I am just who I am in IRL. I find joy in inspiring others, which in turn inspires me. This motivates me to get out of the bed every day to make my stream better than the day before. This inspired me to create the “Kismet Love Train.” Together with my community, we send out love and positivity during the stream. At end of the stream, we send that love around Twitch and ask to “Keep the Kismet Love Train Raid going to others.” I found that even in the smallest way other streamers felt like someone cared enough to drop by their stream to make them smile.
Looking from the viewers perspective and deciding what you enjoy is a great way to discover your stream Persona. What parts of your personality do you wish to show and will entertain your community? Can you make people laugh? Do you know a ton about the game your playing? Great team Player? The ultimate solo sniper? Figuring out what you’re best at can fast track you to a place that connects with others.
→ Keep on streaming & improve as you go
Get into the mindset of “what is my stream all about?” What makes your stream unique to you and sets you apart from others? This takes time, it doesn’t always happen right away. Make sure to check in on how your stream is doing by checking your Stream Reports after your stream! This will give you a hint as to what is and is not working.
An important lesson to learn is it doesn’t matter if you have massive knowledge if you can’t relate and communicate it with people. For example I found many streams glossed over gameplay so fast I missed what they were doing. It is very frustrating! So I invented “Kismet Tips” & the “3D red arrow” to point things out. I would take an extra moment to explain some of the things I learned as I played to help others. My community loves it and sets me apart from other streamers.
Pay attention to what you enjoy on stream. Notice what you like and dislike about other streams. Then integrate that little by little into your stream. Enlist help from others streamers and people who can help you. This also includes your community. Enlist feedback from them! Often they have been around awhile and are excited to help!
Another great source for me is the community over at StreamElements Discord. Don’t spend your time struggling to learn it all. I found it got me up and running much faster to jump over there and ask how to use their tools, get tips and ideas going.
→ Learn from others
Go out and watch three streamers that inspire you. Ignore what they are doing but pay attention to how they’re doing it! Including how they are on stream, alerts, graphics, overlays, etc. Did you laugh, cry, want to play the game or do the creative thing they where doing?
I asked Cira Corellia, a streamer that inspired me, to share her thoughts as a long time partnered streamer.
Kismet: “What helped you find your unique stream persona?”
Cira: “I try to stay as true to myself as possible. If anything has contributed to me becoming who I am on camera, it was getting to know myself and my comfort zone. It also helped to watch my old VODs and critique my streams. I know many people hate watching themselves on camera, but being able to go back and find my strengths and weaknesses has improved my stream immensely. “
Kismet: “How has your on stream persona changed since you started?”
Cira: “I think I’ve become a bit more energetic and a bit less inhibited. The camera seems to leech energy, so I try to bump mine up a little extra when streaming.”
Kismet: “If you could go back give yourself some advice on developing your brand what would it be?”
Cira: “If what you’re doing isn’t working, find another way. Don’t be afraid to change direction to reach your vision”
Kismet: “Is there anything else you would like to add?”
Cira: “If you’re thinking about streaming, start now. The longer you take to start, the more excuses you will find not to start. There are great videos on YouTube to help you setup your stream, and many streamers are willing to answer questions if you need help. Don’t let your streams be dreams! Get out there and do it!”
→ One last “Kismet Tip”: Learn from but don’t copy.
Building a persona contains many different factors, don’t just copy someone else’s stream, but develop your own genuine persona that fits you. This sets you apart and helps you find a unique place on Twitch.
I wish you a great journey!
🎨 Artist & 🕹 Gamer