I’ve learned a lot about live streaming over the past few months. What often started out as something simple with a phone eventually became quite professional with switchers and large cameras. In this video I would like to give you 7 practical tips. Whether you’re just starting out or are a few steps further along: these tips will help you with software/programs, cameras, sound and preparing a live stream.
1. Prepare well: script, cue cards and dry runs
Everyone always starts with tips for the type of camera. But trust me, with a livestream, good preparation should really be your first step. A substantive plan, a back-up plan, and practice, practice, practice. It’s live, so what happens happens. So I work with an extensive script, cue cards (notes) for the presenters or hosts, and several dry-runs before we really go live met video.
2. Choose the right platform and/or software
For live streaming, use the right software and platform. With the right interaction, for your viewers. Who do you want to reach? Where can you find your target audience? For example, you can only go live on YouTube, hold your webinar exclusively via Zoom, or go live simultaneously on all kinds of different platforms with handy tools such as StreamYard.
This is a very important choice. Depending on your platform, you can have more or less freedom with camera connections, use of graphics, duration of the live stream, and most importantly, reaching the right viewers.
3. Choose your camera: from phone to multiple cameras
This is often the first question I get: what should I buy, what kind of camera do you recommend? My advice is to start with the above two points first. Only then can you see what you really need in terms of equipment. If you’ve never livestreamed before, start by simply using your phone or webcam. For an upgrade, you can opt for a good quality webcam that you connect, such as the Logitech. I eventually switched to the Sony A6100 because of the super-fast autofocus (handy when live streaming).
4. When live streaming, think about switchers for cameras and graphics
With most social platforms you can only really connect 1 camera. Do you still want to stream with multiple cameras, and therefore switch between cameras? Or visualize graphics (such as names or photos) during your livestream? Then you can do that with something like the ATEM mini or StreamDeck.
Do you now think: that is all a heavy investment? You can also keep it simple with a number of phones (for example, you can connect different phones and webcams via Zoom and StreamYard). Another tip is to switch and do the graphics via the commonly used open source-software OBS (free).
5. Get good sound
Audio can have a huge impact on how good the presenter/host comes across, how pleasant it is to listen to and therefore how professional the live stream comes across. My biggest tip: start with the sound in the room itself. How does it sound here? Choose a room with little reverberation and background noise. Is there reverberation, can you hang panels or use fabric?
You can also invest in a microphone. When I first started, I always simply wore a headset. It removes a lot of background noise. Nowadays I work with different microphones and pop filters.
6. Control good light
With good light you can make your livestream look a lot more professional in one fell swoop. You want the person or people to be properly highlighted. Don’t have studio lights? Make use of daylight as much as possible. So stand in front of a window, or use a construction lamp and reflect the light off your ceiling or wall. I myself have several studio lamps that partly hang from the ceiling (so I don’t stumble over tripods).
7. Don’t just send, make sure you interact
Why are you going live? Probably a big reason to interact with the viewers as well. So make sure that you are not only broadcasting, but that the viewers can really be part of your live stream. And I don’t mean just through chat.
Come up with a fun challenge that everyone can participate in at home, work with fun tools like Mentimeter on Kahoot or invite viewers to your livestream. This is possible with, for example, Instagram, Zoom and via StreamYard also on Facebook and LinkedIn.
And my last…bonus tip: make sure you have good internet – preferably with a backup. Measure the speed of the internet in advance on location. Because: without internet no livestream!
Live streaming, do you have any tips?
What are your favorite tools to stream or host webinars? Do you have any tips for cameras or software? I like to hear it. Leave a comment!
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