But while it’s now easier than ever to broadcast to a large audience, the truth of the matter is that live-streaming is hard. Sure, it’s easy enough to take out your phone and start broadcasting, but to actually create an engaging, interesting live-stream takes work, take preparation, and it’s worth considering the whole process before you press that red “go live” button.
Here are three tips to consider before sharing your first live-stream.
1. You need a plan
If you don’t have a plan, your live-stream will fall flat, and fast. When you listen to the radio or watch TV, it’s easy to assume that the casual, easy-going nature of those professional broadcasters comes easy, that it’s just them having a chat with a camera on them. But they’re professionals for a reason – for most people it takes years to get comfortable enough in the camera glare to be able to make it seem effortless.
Before you broadcast anything, plan out what you’re going to say, what you’re going to do, how long your stream will be. You need top factor in audience questions, to a degree, but at the same time you also need to factor in the lack of them also. If you don’t plan, it’ll be just you and a camera and you could find yourself going blank very fast.
If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail – never has that statement ever been more true than in live broadcasting.
2. Set the scene
Consider the lighting of your environment, the background, what’s around your scene that can enhance – or harm – your stream experience. You need to create the most engaging atmosphere possible, it needs to be easily understood, people need to be able to take in any detail you’re discussing.
If it’s a product-related stream, ensure you have everything set up beforehand and that it all works as you expect. Run through the process, double-check all the elements.
Attention to detail is the difference between good and great, and in order to keep your audience around, you need to provide a great viewer experience.
3. Do a test run beforehand
Before you run any live-stream, you need to do a test run and see how the system works and what you can expect. There’s nothing worse than some unexpected feature or element coming up mid-stream, causing you to lose focus – and likely your audience in the same breath.
On Facebook Live, you can select ‘Only Me’ as the audience for your stream, which will ensure no one else sees it – use this to go through the full process and to test out all the features available on the system (on Periscope you can create a private group to test with).
It’s important to be yourself, but that really takes time, as most people aren’t used to broadcasting themselves and will find it hard to feel comfortable. As with anything, it takes practice and testing, but the opportunities live streaming affords can be great – and given that both Facebook and Twitter are putting significant focus on live, it looks set to become more attractive outreach option in future.