DRAFT Advice for New Streamers

December - 2020

NOTE: This is a work in progress. It started when someone on a discord asked me if I had any tips for streaming. Right now, it's mostly snippets and mini-drafts that include a lot of repetition. This is how I write.

While working to put this together I realized the most critical thing is to figure out the question of 'why' stream. I ended up writing a piece to answer to that question. You can read it here.

I've got 100 or so streams under my belt. A little experience, but I still remember the start clearly. From that perspective, here's my take on getting started:

The Number One Thing

  • Stream.

    That's what it's all about.

    Do as little as possible to get to

Quick Start (In 5 easy steps)

  1. Get OBS
  2. Sign up for a Twitch account
  3. Make a Stream Key
  4. Put the Stream Key in OBS
  5. click "Start Streaming"

This isn't a real stream. It's just getting the wires hooked up. But you want that out of the way.


  • As long as you have a camera and mic, you're good to go. The ones in laptops are perfect starters.

  • Don't tell anyone you're streaming. The first ones are just for you to test with.

  • Don't look at the viewer counter. The only things you want to watch are your follower alerts and chat. You can pop those out from the management console

Get the tech stuff out of the way

Don't think of this as streaming. This is the work before the work. Just stuff to bounce through.

  • Download and install . It's free.

  • for a Twitch account.

  • Make a stream key and put it in OBS.

  • Fire it up and see if works. Don't worry about setting up your camera. Just broadcast the screen.


  • Do this as soon as you put in your stream key. Consider it the last step of your setup.

  • Don't tell anyone your doing this. This is just making sure the wires are connected.

  • Don't turn on the camera. Just broadcast the screen with the mic on.

  • Don't worry about what to say, just do something like musicians do during sound check and say: "Check Test. One, two. One, two". Describe the room, or whatever else, just talk a little to see the meters move on OBS

talk into the mic a little. Do the thing musicians do during sound check. Just say, "Check Test, one, two. One, two.".

  • You're going to do five streams. These aren't real streams. They're tests.

  • You're going to do them all in a row. Stream for 2 minutes. Watch it. Do the next.

  • Two goals here:

    1. Get used to the process of starting and stopping

    2. Adjust your setup a little

  • I believe in the Shitty First Draft. Just do one. But don't tell anybody. It's for you to get your feet wet.

  • Test a couple times first. Like, do some streams for 45 seconds.

  • Your first ones are

Get the first one out of the way so you can get on to the second one

First thing to do is a test.

Shitty first draft.

  • Make a checklist
  • Do test streams
  • Don't look at viewers
  • Only look at followers and chat
  • Figure it out as you go
  • Don't worry about a schedule. Don't worry about anything other than getting a video to show up.
  • Don't worry about a face cam.
  • It's easy to get caught up in ideas and the quest for a better setup and not actually do any streaming.