If you’ve had a YouTube channel for a while, then you’ve heard about live streaming. Live streaming is when you host a live YouTube session instead of recording a video ahead of time and editing the content down to size. Viewers love live streaming sessions because they feel more true to life, and they can be great for YouTubers as well. For example, live streaming is awesome if you want to encourage audience participation, such as for a Q&A video. However, it can be stressful to have live streaming sessions, especially if you’ve never done it before. Here are some tips and tricks to have a successful live streaming session.
Have a Plan for the Livestream
The thing that makes live streaming nerve-wracking is that you can’t go back and edit your video if you make a mistake. You can’t even do a reshoot: Your audience is right there to see and hear every mistake you make. That’s why when you’re live streaming it’s more important than ever to have a plan going into the session of what you’re going to be talking about. You may not want to write yourself a definite script, but having some notes nearby on key points to hit can be helpful. If you’re doing a session that involves audience participation, do some practice runs ahead of time with friends so that you can get used to answering questions while under pressure. Just as you’d practice before a major job interview, practicing before a live streaming session can help you maintain your cool when the camera starts rolling. Also have a designated amount of time that your live streaming session will last so that you have a specific time to say, “Thanks, we’re out of time, we’ll do this again later.” This will keep your video from being too long for other viewers to watch later and will keep your audience wanting more.
Have a Distraction-Free Environment
You’ll want to plan your live streaming session for a time when you can have a distraction-free environment. If you have kids, you’ll want to get a sitter while you’re live streaming or have your partner take care of them for that chunk of time. You’ll also want to turn off the ringer on your cell phone. Also clean up your environment ahead of time so that it’s distraction-free not only for you but also for your audience.
Invest in Good Equipment
An otherwise great live streaming session can be ruined by poor lighting, shoddy camerawork, or low-quality audio. If your YouTube channel has risen to a notoriety where live streaming makes sense, then it also makes sense to invest in some good equipment. A Rode USB mic, for example, can enhance your audio quality significantly and ensure that your viewers hear every word you have to say.
Have a Backup Plan
If your live streaming session does involve audience participation, you need to have a backup plan in case your audience chooses not to participate. For a live Q&A session, for example, root through any comments you’ve received on your YouTube channel, Instagram, or Blog so that if no one writes in while you’re recording with a question, you can still make a compelling video that people want to watch. You can also ask a friend to write in or call in while you’re recording, which can help your audience members overcome their shyness and also allow you to answer a question that you’ve prepared for ahead of time.
Live streaming doesn’t have to fill you with anxiety. With the proper equipment and some thoughtful preparation, you can live stream like a boss the very first time you do it. Just remember to keep a sense of humor on the day you go to do your live stream. Technological glitches can always occur, but your attitude if that happens will go a long way towards whether your audience remembers that issue or just remembers your great live streaming session.