Doing a live event of any kind can be pretty nerve-wracking. Even with the best preparation, things can go sideways fast with technical glitches, flubbed lines, forgetting things you wanted to convey, or any number of unexpected events.
So why put ourselves through this as content creators? What are the benefits of "going live"? And if we do it, how can we give ourselves the best chance for success?
These are some of the questions I had the opportunity to delve into in this episode with my guest, Joy Pereira, a former professional stage manager with the Syndey Opera House in Australia and host of the Nerds of Joy podcast. Through her agency, Joy Pereira Creative, Joy currently works with companies and creators to help them amplify their messages via live events, podcasting, and social media.
I hope this episode might inspire you to try your first live or offer some tips you'll find helpful for your next one!
Episode music is licensed under StoryBlocks. Opening and closing track: Disco Danger, by Jon Presstone.
Thanks for listening! Have a comment or question about a topic or episode? I'd love to hear that. Feel free to connect with me via Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Also, check out the store link on my website for resources and merch for content creators.
[00:00:00] Tim: Livestream events could be one of the missing ingredients for blowing up your YouTube channel. It's a great way to create content that's highly authentic and allows you to engage with your audience in real time.
[00:00:10] As a YouTuber, this is also an excellent way to build watch time for your channel, not just as a result of the live stream itself, but also as a video posted to your library, which can be seen by viewers who were not part of the original event.
[00:00:22] There are also lots of cool content formats you can use for live streams, including tours, product reviews, Q&A sessions, hangouts, challenges, panel discussions, and other ways to keep things interesting.
[00:00:34] So, with all these benefits, why don't more creators do livestream events?
[00:00:38] Well, the truth is, putting on these events can be pretty daunting. Part of what makes livestream events highly authentic is the absence of control by the content creator. It's live, anything can happen, and there's nothing you can do about it except deal with it in the moment and carry on.
[00:00:53] But I would argue that's a very good muscle for us to exercise as content creators because it gets us into the practice of obsessing less over every little detail of our content. And, instead, it helps us focus more on the big-picture vision, the production plan, and the quality-quantity balance we need to achieve to be successful as content creators.
[00:01:16] For all of these reasons, I'm convinced that learning to do live events well will help us to create more authentic content and become better content creators in all aspects of our content production.
[00:01:27] And so, in this episode, I was very glad to have the chance to speak with Joy Pereira. Joy was a professional stage manager at the Sydney Opera House and has more than two decades of experience in helping companies and creators deliver world-class live events. She is also the host and producer of the Nerds of Joy podcast and currently works with creators to help them stage events, develop podcasts, and build an online presence.
[00:01:50] So if you're ready for this, then let's get into it.
[00:01:55] Hi Joy, welcome to the show.
[00:01:57] Joy: Thank you so much for having me Tim; lovely to be here.
[00:02:00] Tim: Yeah, I really appreciate you joining me. Today we're going to talk about the theme of authenticity as a content creator. And we hear a lot about that when we're getting into content creation, and maybe we could just start by talking about what does it mean to have authenticity as an artist or content creator.
[00:02:20] Joy: Well, I think it's it's about doing something that is uniquely you and something that, you know, serves somebody else. It's not like you're looking to serve the algorithm as such. It's about doing work that is inherently you. From you, maybe your thoughts, your ideas, your experience, things that you have collated and put together.
[00:02:39] You really need to sort of be comfortable in your skin in many ways to be authentic. And it is a case, I think, for content creators to kind of run your own race. Because there are lots of methods and techniques and hacks and things which can work for people. But I think inherently, if you are wanting to do soul works, or passion works, or sort of do things that are in more in alignment with who you really are, then that's, that's can be a difficult thing for people. But there's definitely ways you can tread, gently, or in a clearer way, where you're not giving away too much in terms of your privacy. So yeah, it's a very delicate balance, right? I think it's unique to each person's personality, too
[00:03:24] Tim: That's a great point. And I think it's something that probably changes over time, right? Like at some stages, you know, it's a hurdle just to get into posting and then other stages, you might feel more comfortable sharing more, or as they say, being more authentic. And I guess one of the things that some people see as a shortcut to getting to authenticity is doing live events because, you know, when you're going live, it's kind of an uncontrolled setting. And to some extent, you're more likely to be yourself. Would you agree with that, or what are the benefits of doing live events versus pre-recorded type of content?
[00:04:01] Joy: Live is completely on the fly. You have the ability to lose your front part of your brain if you're nervous. Being live as well has that whole component where you might be working with the tech on your computer or on any of the devices that you have as well.
[00:04:17] You're looking at across the screen, so it's kind of like a second generation rather than being in the room. If I was in a room with, say, on a real live event in person, I might have an operator where I can just flick my hand, or give it give a cue or something like that, and then off we go. Whereas you're having to press buttons and things, and that even little tiny things like that can throw you off, in the live experience.
[00:04:40] I think it's a safer process if you able to record and then do the editing, if you're not feeling especially comfortable dealing with a lot of that, a lot of left brain, right brain interacting, crossing over to create things live, one tiny error or one, two second gap, can seem like a big length of time when you're on screen.
[00:05:06] In saying that though, I think the ability to do things live is just here, it's in the palm of our hands, it's on our phones. We can do it very easily. And I think, though, the expectation of perfection, as if you were seeing a theatre performance or live show, is different, like the barrier, or the the perfection, isn't quite so necessary. So I think we have to just regroup, and be a little bit more kind to ourselves with doing live events.
[00:05:34] Tim: That's true. I think that's part of what scares people off of doing lives too, even though it's in a lot of ways, it's a good way or a good opportunity to connect with an audience or show more of your authentic personality, because you're kind of in the moment, like you say, but there is that sense that things might not go as planned, and that creates a lot of anxiety for creators. So being kind to yourself is certainly one thing we can do, you know, planning ahead. Is there anything else you'd recommend? Because I think the anxiety is probably most heightened the day of, right, or right before the event. So what can a creator do, say you're going on YouTube live for the first time, what can you do to set yourself and be ready aside from all the, you know, the usual preparatory stuff that you might undertake?
[00:06:20] Joy: Yeah. So the, I mean, obviously there is the prep, you know. You can go secretly live, or just practice and things, like to think about what you're going to say, have it all written down, not necessarily follow a script because that can throw you off as well. I think if you inherently know what you're talking about, then it becomes more easy with flow, but we obviously have to work on our ability to use what's in our brain or our experience and being able to spit it out of our mouth. So yeah, it's, it's very interesting how we, we navigate this.
[00:06:52] Tim: Yeah, it can be challenging when you're doing lives, like you say, the first few times especially, and I think what you said was really good advice about just kind of giving yourself a break and recognizing that.
[00:07:02] And somebody told me as well, with respect to teaching, the thing that you should do is, focus more on your audience and why you're there for them, and just try to use that as a way to calm some of those nerves and not, I guess, focus as much on ourselves as the creators.
[00:07:19] Joy: You can, you can have absolutely the greatest intention of wanting to go live and your body can just hijack you, and you might get a dry mouth or sweaty palms, or suddenly you've lost it, you're blank. And that's where I think, you know, the breath work, or just taking a little bit of time and understanding that this is kind of okay and normal for most people.
[00:07:40] And it's just, you know, developing that experience of getting a little bit more comfortable with even looking at yourself, seeing yourself on camera, hearing your voice. It's really good to connect with whoever's on the other side of the screen too, before you go live. I honestly, I recommend that. And that's what we did.
[00:07:58] Tim: Yeah. I think that's good to do for even a recorded session, but I could see it being even that much more important live. Like, you don't want to be just meeting the guest for the first time and then thinking about, like, how is this going to go?
[00:08:12] But when it's live, those are all, those are all just heightened, right?
[00:08:15] Joy: Oh, definitely. If you had the privilege of interviewing someone like Matthew McConaughey, where you know a lot about him. You know how he presents, how he talks, you can research and find lots of information. You can look back in his catalogue of podcasts and things to get an idea of a flight or a flavor. But when you're meeting someone for the first time and there isn't really a big catalog of all the things that they've done online, that's when the prelim interview is so interesting and good, just to connect more and find out.
[00:08:45] Tim: Yeah, absolutely. So, aside from going live, what, what else can people do to tap into their authenticity as content creators? Because it's one thing to do it in a live format, but it's another thing to do it in a scripted format where you have more time to think about things and perhaps that also makes us play it more safe.
[00:09:05] Joy: Well, I think you just have to know yourself, because my perception of what authenticity is might be different to yours. And everyone's got their own thoughts, ideas and opinions and that's a okay. And we bring all of our baggage and all of that kind of stuff to it. But when you're presenting, I think with being authentic, it's just really about being true to myself, being. I guess brave, if you will, or having the ability to say what you'd like to say, but still being kind and generous and respectful of the other person.
[00:09:38] That's kind of being authentic.
[00:09:39] Tim: Yeah, for sure. I like what you said about like, it's different for each person and deciding like how much do you want to share? What topics do you want to share on? And that's kind of another brake that stops people from being authentic, is they worry about oversharing. So it's really about thinking all of that stuff through ahead of time in terms of what do you want to share? What topics are you going to talk about? And then more or less trying to stick with that. And then yeah, just recognizing that, you know, even if you have an educational channel, there will be sometimes people that make unkind comments, or what have you, and you just kind of recognize, okay, they have their perspective and that's okay. And, you know, as you say, being generous and respectful, in return, when those kinds of things happen.
[00:10:29] Joy: I think, you know, Tim, it's really hard because there's so many people with great ideas and so many things that they could share with an audience, but they're afraid of being judged or not being perfect or, you know, there's that little thing about being seen.
[00:10:45] And so I guess we all have those fears. We all start somewhere, but it's that muscle that you develop when you start to engage with an audience, or even just talk to someone on the other side of the world across the screen, you get to know a little bit more about the person, and it's about building that synergy, you know, with me, you asking the questions, me answering the questions as best as I possibly can without agenda.
[00:11:11] That's the best way. Just getting in there, stepping in, and that's the thing about how you then can step into yourself. Because I think, you know, people's voices do matter. Sometimes you have to edit out furiously what you see on the internet. But inherently, we can all be heard. We can all say something.
[00:11:31] Tim: It's a great point because, you know, part of the challenge as a creator is differentiating yourself. And especially now there's so much AI content out there, or templatized content, and a lot of it is all the same. But the thing that is unique is how we as an individual approach things, and like you say, we all have something to add, but we have to be able to to move beyond those kind of like, I guess, crutches and actually add to the conversation and that is taking a risk. But that's, I guess, what being authentic is really about.
[00:12:04] Joy: Absolutely, it's very hard when, you know, you have this desire that you want to go on camera, or you want to speak, or you want to start a podcast, or, you want to do something where you're seen more in the public eye.
[00:12:14] And you've got all of these people that are already doing it. And so you make them a reference point, and they might be completely different to you.
[00:12:23] You might actually inherently be something like a bit of an introvert. You've got all these amazing ideas you're bursting to get out. And then you're following someone who's a complete extrovert. Completely you know, out there. Sing and dance, tap dance and do all these wild things to promote or create their brand or create an illusion. And you try and be there, but if that's not you, then you're not in alignment and then you're never really going to be authentic.
[00:12:49] Tim: Yeah. Yeah. It's I guess it's the difference between, you know, copying and, and inspiration. And that, that does, I think, relate to, to authenticity to a large degree. Because you do see those posts, like, five tools that are better than ChatGPT, or whatever, you see a lot of people do that. But I think you can still, you can still do those kind of posts and bring your own originality to it. Like, maybe you have different tools than other people use. Maybe you have a different perspective on them.
[00:13:20] And you know, myself, I tend to do like a combination of the two. Like I'll do some posts that are pretty, like, similar to others, and in that vein, but I'll also do ones that are more original, just more based on my experience, or what's going on in my attempts to create content or what have you.
[00:13:38] It's almost like the stuff you do quickly so that you can maintain some consistency and that gives you the space to do the more original stuff as well.
[00:13:47] But it is a balance. It's hard to be like, it's hard to be 100% original all the time.
[00:13:53] Joy: That's all it takes, more energy. It definitely takes more energy, but I think if like, once you start doing that, and once you start, it's like an avalanche, and then you just have this sort of creativity that comes through, you get into flow, it's a beautiful thing, and it becomes much more easy to just pull all these things from all over the different places.
[00:14:12] You're your own organic chat GPT, if you will, you're able to do that. But, in saying that, like you say we are encouraged, or we are rewarded, for doing things that are the same when there are templates or there are trending audios and different things.
[00:14:27] Also, of course, if you're doing something like someone else that you admire, or that maybe is a mentor or someone that you watch, then potentially, you know, something will be picked up where you might be categorized in a similar vein.
[00:14:41] And so their audience might see your stuff. And people like what they know, I think. Like, they're not necessarily actively seeking out completely different people to start to follow or want to have that investment of time or attention to see new people.
[00:14:57] So you know, that's the hard thing. Like, everything is Spotify playlists and things. It's all curated based on what you've already listened to before, you know.
[00:15:05] Tim: Yeah, and I think I have seen it does get easier the more that you create content, the more you get a system in place, you can create more original things at scale without maybe relying on those, you know, those templates, those ideas, those trends, but at the same time, I think you're right about the trends, the way that you're definitely rewarded through the algorithms in participating in that.
[00:15:29] And I think part of it too is it's almost part of being part of the community as you do your version of the trend, or you do your take on it. And so, so there's that too.
[00:15:40] Joy: Yeah, I think it maybe was two years ago, and I was working with someone from overseas, and they said, you know, Joy, get on this trend and, you know, dance in front of the camera. And, you know, you remember that one where you used to point and the little words popped up and things, and it felt so unnatural.
[00:15:57] It felt so staged and really dorky to me. And everyone was doing it and having high engagement and all of these things. I did one, and I was kind of mocking myself and I just felt so uncomfortable.
[00:16:14] But if I had to do it today, I'd do it, but I could laugh at myself. Two years ago, I couldn't. I was just deeply embarrassed and what would people in my industry say or think. So I think that you've got to be able to feel okay with that whether you know You feel like you're falling on your sword, putting something out there that everyone else is doing, because you don't know if it's the right thing to do So it's kind of like when in doubt, don't. But then also, if you don't, then you're never going to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone.
[00:16:45] Tim: That's right. It's that delicate balance, right? Because if you're doing something totally new, you never really feel a hundred percent comfortable with it. But if you never do anything new, then, you're not pushing yourself; you're not growing as a creator.
[00:17:02] But I guess it's like knowing yourself, like you're, you're saying. You kind of get to a point where you know, okay, I'm just uncomfortable with this because I haven't done it before versus I'm uncomfortable with it because it really doesn't feel like something I, I would do or should do and it doesn't feel like authentic to you.
[00:17:22] Joy: Yeah. And, and you've got to feel comfortable about it, but then that's also where if you never get out of the comfort zone, you can play smaller. And then we go back to the whole, I'm afraid of being seen because I'm afraid of being judged or what will people say, da, da, da, am I good enough?
[00:17:36] Am I too young or too old or blah, blah, blah. Like all of those things come in as we've all heard about before. So I think that's, you know, going back to your original question about authenticity. It's, it's really just knowing who you are, but then always sort of seeking growth. If you can just seek that growth or that little bit of change or stretching into the discomfort, then I think that there's possibility in that.
[00:18:02] And you never know, like, you know, sometimes it's, you can spend a lot of time crafting one post or one thing and it gets terrible engagement and the next minute you've picked up the phone, you're on the fly, you're at a restaurant, and you've shot something that's 15 seconds, and it's amazing, it gets huge engagement, and you think, how is this possible?
[00:18:23] Tim: I've definitely experienced that. Where, you know, I've spent like you know, a couple hours on creating like this, this clip or something and it just tanks, right? It doesn't go anywhere. And then the one where, you know, you do it in 30 seconds. Like you say, you just rattle it off on your phone and post it. And then that's the one that takes off.
[00:18:43] That's where you think, oh, there's no rhyme or reason to it. But actually, I think it does go back to that point of the authenticity, right? The other one, you know, sometimes maybe you can think it through so much it just doesn't it doesn't work. Yeah. Whereas the other feels, just not only in its in what you're saying, but probably in its presentation, people can tell it's authentic, right? Because you are rattling it off on your phone on the go. And it's hard to fake that. People kind of can know, okay, this person's actually really just talking to me.
[00:19:17] Joy: Right. And I think that, you know, When you're in it, and when people are coming at you, or kids are coming at you, and you're recording something, and not just stopping and re-going, but being able to somehow incorporate that in the moment, that does show things.
[00:19:32] I think, you know, one way we can learn is, you know, the weather people on TV, and things where they go out in the field, and then something happens, and they've got, you know, a hundred singers or dancers and different things are happening around, and then they've got to cut to the weather and then cut back in whenever the time slot is. Like, it's good to watch those kinds of people, see how they work on the fly stand up on their feet and do that.
[00:19:53] And I think that's where it's really good to develop your agility skills just to be agile in whatever's thrown at you. You know, this is part of my agility coming on this podcast with you, Tim. So it gives me the opportunity to talk and be the expert rather than the person asking the interesting questions. So yeah, it's always stretching.
[00:20:14] Tim: Is there any kind of final words you want to offer for creators that are, that are struggling to find, well, what is my authentic voice? Maybe they're just starting out as content creators and they they're not really sure what their voice is.
[00:20:30] How can they go about figuring that out?
[00:20:32] Joy: Yeah. It's that good old comparison with other people where that can be a driver for a lot of people wanting to get into it. I must create a podcast because apparently that's hot.
[00:20:42] I must do all these different things. And that's, you know, that is a difficult thing for people to muster. It's got to be something that you actually enjoy doing. I think that is primary to it.
[00:20:53] For me, I want to encourage and coach people. You can do this or do this. I'll teach you how to do it, get it done, but if you don't have that driving passion to want to continue to put it out there, then I don't know.
[00:21:06] And you can outsource it to people, but then it's other people's work. Like I know for you, Tim, for me as well, with the things that I do, you want to have a guiding hand over everything that you do, because that, in essence, is who you are. And if you want to find your way I mean, you can do the spaghetti at the wall thing and throw it and see what sticks. That's okay to do. Cause I just see that as playing. I don't see it as a time waste necessarily.
[00:21:33] You know, you see threads on Facebook where people have changed their niche six different times because they don't know exactly where they want to go. And that's natural too. Like it's, it's okay to be that way.
[00:21:47] We have this opportunity to play and come up with different thoughts and different ways of doing things. Just take that time, honor your time, be flexible, edit furiously who you follow, edit furiously the amount of time you invest in things as well, because if you're a perfectionist, like I used to be, it can take a lot of time to cut a podcast.
[00:22:08] Tim: Absolutely, yeah. Well, thank you very much, Joy. I really appreciate you coming on the show and, and maybe you could tell us a little bit in closing about your podcast, because I think you, you as you mentioned, you also have one.
[00:22:19] Joy: Yes. And, and see, this is the hard thing about actually talking about yourself.
[00:22:24] You've got to develop that skill to be able to talk about yourself and what you're doing. My podcast is called Nerds of Joy. And basically nerding to me is just being really passionate about whatever it is that you are doing. So I love the idea of nerd. I love to challenge the guests that come on because then they are associating nerding with how that they move about in this world.
[00:22:43] So it's always you know, creatives I get, I get entrepreneurs or I get just people at the top of their field. So they have all had lots of experience in what they've done. They might have a program, they might have a podcast, they might have saved the world or changed the world in some way, but they're really approachable in the human aspect of, you know, all the messy stuff to actually get there.
[00:23:05] And that's where I love the synergy that comes out. Like, that's what I'm always trying to extrapolate. What's the person behind? What was seven-year-old Tim like when he first started, and how is Tim now producing what he's doing now? Like that's kind of the sort of thing that fascinates me.
[00:23:21] So that's what I, I love to see. I love conversations like that that can inspire people. And you know, having a walls-down approach. Not, not being afraid to have a conversation and share with an audience. Not overshare, but share with an audience. I think that's a wonderful thing.
[00:23:36] And so, you know, that's where I help people to, you know, stage their live events. It's all the same kind of concepts with what I'm doing at the podcast is how you might actually put a whole big show together or a showcase like a TED or something. That feeling that you're in with an audience in real life is the kind of feeling that I want people to take away with my podcast. You know, when I help people build their own podcasts as well.
[00:24:00] So, you know, we know the nuts. Lots of bolts. You record here. You do this. You edit here. Bring in music. Intros. Outros. All of that kind of stuff. But it's all these juicy bits. All these good bits. Like how did Tim and Joy in this moment connect really well so that the audience can have a better understanding and a synergy to feel comfortable and empowered in themselves to get off this, this podcast episode and, and take some action, you know, like stretch it out.
[00:24:27] Get uncomfortable, get messy, and yeah, just get that authenticity out there.
[00:24:35] Tim: Yeah, well I think that's where the, that's where the magic of content creation really happens. Is in those parts, it's beyond those nuts and bolts, like you say. Absolutely. They're very important for delivering the content, but then at the at the end of the day, it's what's, it's what's inside the content.
[00:24:57] Joy: That's right. And I mean, you know, we can put it down to X factor, but it really is not just that. It is commitment. It is the dedication to your craft. It is how you're serving an audience.
[00:25:10] Tim: Excellent. Well, thank you very much, Joy. I've really appreciated having you on the show and hope you have a great week ahead.
[00:25:16] Joy: Thank you so much, Tim. Absolute pleasure to be here with you
[00:25:19] Tim: As Joy says, creating good live content is all about preparation, practice, having fun, and giving ourselves a break when things don't go exactly as planned.
[00:25:28] If you have someone who can support you in the technical aspects of a production while you're doing the live show, that's great. But if not, there are ways you can manage it yourself with the right tools and practice in familiarizing yourself with the process and technology.
[00:25:42] In fact, one of the suggestions Joy made that I really loved was that of going live unannounced a few times by yourself. Just set yourself up, don't announce it to anyone, and go live to talk about a subject that you know really well as a way of practicing.
[00:25:56] That video will allow you to accumulate watch time from whoever happens to join that stream, and it will also become a video in your library, which can add to your watch time there.
[00:26:06] And more importantly, it will help you prepare for doing a bigger live event that you can plan for and advertise in the future. There are a number of creators who are having success with these types of videos by offering tutorials, channel reviews, profile audits, or what have you via live events. Nick Nimmin and HeyDominic are just two of the examples here.
[00:26:24] As I said in the introduction, the more we practice creating live content, the better we'll become at creating more authentic pre-recorded content as well. That, in turn is going to make our production process more efficient, and it's also going to help build that connection with our ideal audience.
[00:26:41] So my challenge for this month is to try and do one of those short, unannounced lives, and maybe follow it up with a longer one in order to get used to the process of creating this type of content. I'm going to give it a shot, and I hope that you will too.
[00:26:54] Like anything else, this is going to take some time to get used to, but if you stick with it, I promise this does get easier.
[00:26:59] I think back to my early journey as a teacher or a presenter, I definitely found it kind of nerve-wracking to get up in front of people and talk in real time. But when I got to the point where I was doing it every single day, four or five days a week, an amazing thing happened: it got to the point where I didn't even think about it anymore. It just became, like, part of my lifestyle. And if I do get away from it for a bit, those nerves definitely return, but it only takes a little bit of practice to make them go away again.
[00:27:26] I know that you can get to this point too, so give it a try. If you found this helpful, a like or a positive review is always appreciated. Hope you have a great day, and we'll see you in the next video.