Last Updated on 02/04/2022 by Dean
This is a comprehensive guide on how to talk and keep talking while you are streaming.
This guide will help you find talking points for Twitch, YouTube, and other streaming platforms.
Let’s avoid those silent, dead air moments and get into it!
How to talk on stream when you have 0 viewers
It can be very discouraging to talk on stream when you know nobody is watching.
Tips like: ‘Talk to chat’ or ‘Tell a story’ don’t really apply to you because nobody would be there to hear it. So what do you do?
You should narrate what you are doing.
You might think: ‘I’ll start talking once somebody shows up’ but this is a completely wrong mindset because you are missing about 90% of the people that do show up to your stream.
The viewer count on Twitch is inaccurate and not instant. That 1 viewer that shows up was likely already there when your count still displayed 0 viewers and in most cases will have already moved on because you weren’t talking.
Many viewers are hopping from stream to stream and when they see someone sitting in silence, they leave. Instantly. Wouldn’t you?
If you were to narrate what you were doing, those people that pop in and out are far more likely to stick around what else you got and THEN you can start chatting with those viewers, share stories, and so forth.
You are much better off doing a 1-hour stream where you are actively talking, than live streaming for 5 hours where you are only focused on the game.
🤓 How to narrate while streaming
Narrating your game to keep yourself talking on stream is something you will have to get used to.
And this is pretty difficult at first. After all, how do people just blurt out words for every step they take?
I suggest you try the What, How, Why strategy.
👉 What, How, Why
This example is based on Valorant but can be applied to any game.
- What: “Okay guys, I’m gonna go defend C side.”
- How: “I’m going to stand upon this box and keep an off-angle”
- Why: “If the enemy team rushes into C, they won’t expect me to be here and I can likely pick up a kill or two, securing us the round.”
This technique can make you feel a little silly using it, but it does force you to keep talking.
This is essentially what you are doing in your head while you play these types of games, but instead, you say it out loud.
Odds are, your viewers won’t be as knowledgeable in the game as you are, so this works as a bonus as they are learning from your stream!
📝 Topics you can talk about on stream
👉 Discuss your game and its updates
While you are playing a game, and narrating on your playstyle, why not talk about the game as well?
Games are constantly being updated by their developers and this gives you and your stream a lot to talk about.
Talk about the upcoming map changes, a newly introduced character, go in-depth when speaking your thoughts, and ask open-ended questions.
This can lead to you talking about updates you wished were added to the game. You can talk about an update you hated or even tell a story about your favorite addition to a video game.
👉 Talk about your passions
When popping in and out of streams, viewers are looking for a streamer that they can connect to.
And what’s a better way to feel connected to a streamer, than sharing the same passions?
You can share your passions through cosplaying, your stream background, but that’s not what this article is about. You should talk about your passions.
Are you into Star Wars? Throw jokes and references into conversations. Maybe you spend a little too much time watching anime? Talk about your favorite anime and why you loved it so much.
You are on Twitch (or YouTube) where everyone is on the nerdier side. Don’t be afraid to highlight your passions and let them establish a connection between you and your viewer.
👉 Ask Open-ended Questions
Like Gael Level says in his video regarding how to talk on stream, asking your chat ‘How are you guys doing’ never works. You can say it, but it’s not going to bait viewers into talking.
Questions should be fun and open-ended like ‘What’s your favorite game storyline?‘ Not boring and general like ‘How you doing?‘
Don’t wait for your viewers to reply to your question. This can lead to awkward, dead moments and lurkers will see the disappointment in your eyes.
Instead, you should go on about your own favorite game storyline and your thoughts might entice others to shine in.
👉 Share unpopular opinions to bait your lurkers into chatting
While bringing up passions, why not throw in some unpopular opinions to bait the lurkers into talking?
Saying something like ‘I enjoy watching Naruto filler because…’ or ‘the new Star Wars movies beat the original trilogy’ could spark someone to contest your opinion and start a conversation.
Keep it light, of course, you don’t want to go into politics, religion, or anything like that.
👉 Compare things
Just like unpopular opinions baits people into talking, comparing things has a similar effect.
Do you like Naruto more than One Piece? Compare the two and soon enough some lurker will want to defend their favorite anime.
👉 Tell personal stories
Your stream is about you. Personal experiences and stories are things that make you who you are.
These are the types of stories that you tell at parties to get a laugh out of your friends, so why should you keep them from your viewers?
Write down funny, embarrassing, or creepy stories that happened to you and use them as a fallback. Try to insert them when you feel like you are running out of topics to talk about.
👉 Talk about recent events
Recent events are perfect talking points for your Twitch stream.
Did Netflix just release a new show that beats Squid Game or Arcane? Share your thoughts as to why you think so!
This new game just came out and you’re interested, why not talk about it and ask if your viewers would be interested in you streaming it to them?
Again, try to steer clear from politics as that is almost never a good idea.
💁🏽 Tips to keep you talking on stream
✏️ Never give out one word-replies
When someone asks you a question, don’t just give them a one-word reply.
For example, when a viewer asks: ‘What’s your favorite food?’, don’t just reply ‘pizza’ and move on.
Instead, explain what makes pizza your favorite food. Tell them your favorite pizza story. Where did you have your best pizza? There are so many directions you can take just a simple and easy question.
As a pizza lover myself, I could tell at least 3 stories from my childhood and my travels that include eating pizza that would keep me talking for a while.
And usually, while I’m bringing up one of these stories, whoever I’m talking to will likely have more questions or have their own pizza story.
Imagine a chatter tells you their pizza story and you can react to them.
Questions are key to keep talking on stream because they lead to conversations.
✏️ Plan out your stream
In order to avoid dead air on your Twitch stream, you should plan out talking points before going live.
It can be difficult to come up with things on the spot, especially when you are new to streaming. That’s why a stream plan is immensely helpful.
Whenever you run out of stuff to talk about, just look at your plan!
Below is an outline that we recommend to our readers.
- Figure out an interesting objective for the stream
- Think of a personal story you can tell your viewers
- Bring up recent news/stories
- Prepare some questions for your viewers
✏️ Play games with friends
One of the easiest ways to prevent dead air on stream is to play games with your friends over discord.
This way, you won’t have to do as much narrating, because you are constantly talking to and poking fun with your friends.
Don’t forget to engage with your viewers as well. Even if you are having fun with friends, you should still ask open-ended questions, tell your viewers stories, etc. Don’t tunnel vision on your friends as this can make your viewers feel left out.
✏️ Network with other streamers
What’s even better than streaming with friends, is streaming with other streamers.
Why not kill two birds with one stone? This has a similar effect to streaming with friends (it gives you a conversation partner) but it also allows you to collaborate.
It’s a WIN-WIN situation for both of you. You are exposed to their audience and they are exposed to yours.
✏️ Invite friends to hang out in chat
If your friends are busy with other things, you can also invite them to hang out in chat with you.
This requires minimal effort on their part but will help you out immensely.
Inviting friends to your chat is an easy way to increase chat engagement and keep you talking.
Your friends will talk to you using the chat function and this could entice other chatters to join in as well.
As a bonus, your friends can also help keep you accountable. For example, you can have a code word for when you are being ‘too quiet’ on stream.
Having your friends amongst your chatters also boosts your viewer count which will bump you up in the Twitch directory.
✏️ Learn from other streamers who actively talk on stream
If you want more talking points, and understand how to keep talking, you should pay attention to how other streamers are tackling this issue.
Stop relying on just yourself to come up with ideas. Even the best artists look for inspiration!
Dedicate some time every day (10 – 20 minutes) towards watching other streamers and actively taking notes. Write down their talking points and pay attention to how they engage with chat.
✏️ Turn off your viewercount
If you find yourself glancing at your viewer count too often, turn it off.
In most cases, your viewer count is more of a distraction than anything else.
If you glance at your viewer count and see 0, 1, or 2 viewers, how is that going to get you talking?
By turning it off, you will never know if anyone is watching you. It could be nobody, but it also could be 5, 10 people or even more.
This is a great way to trick yourself into talking. Force yourself to think someone could always be watching you.
🙋 Is it okay to not talk on your Twitch Stream?
To wrap up this article, I want to touch a little more on streamers who don’t talk at all.
Your stream is yours and if you choose not to talk, that is entirely up to you. But you have to understand that such a stream is very unappealing and is unlikely to see any real growth.
If you go live on Twitch simply because you enjoy it, by all means, continue doing that!
But if you want to entertain viewers, you’re going to need to talk, continuously.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and could take home a few tips from it.
If you want to learn more, I suggest you check out some of our other articles as well!
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Our guides cater to all levels of streamers. You can start off from 0 or pick up on your way to make Partner! 🏆