Live streaming video has really caught on. Thanks to technology, everyone from parents live streaming their children’s ballet recital to companies live streaming meetings and corporate events is getting in on the action.
Anyone with a smart phone can do it. The problem is that many are simply not doing it well. Fear not! There are a number of steps you can take to make your next live streaming event a success.
First, decide what platform you want to use. The field of options seems to be growing daily.
There’s Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook Live, with rumors that Google has quietly been building a new live streaming app called YouTube Connect.
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Take some time and do a little research to determine which one works best for you.
Make sure you have a good signal, there’s nothing worse than starting to live stream, getting your viewers engaged and then … dead air.
Make sure the camera you are using is of good quality. That’s not too hard today given that even smartphones have high definition cameras.
Flip your camera horizontally, not vertically and employ the rule of thirds. This simple rule can help with the composition of your shot. For more on that click here.
Keep that camera still! I see so many videos where the camera is moving around so much you need to pop a Dramamine to watch. If possible, use a tripod. If you must move, don’t zip around, let the action taking place be the movement.
Make sure your subject is lit so that it can be seen. While it may look like it’s light enough to the naked eye, the camera doesn’t always capture such clarity. Do a tests video and look at it before starting to shoot. On the same note, make sure there’s not so much light that your subject gets washed out.
The same goes for audio. While it’s not always possible in a live situation, try to make sure there’s not so much background noise that the subject of the video can not be heard. Again, test this ahead of time.
If possible, block out your video ahead of time and script the messaging.
Beware the scene stealer. We have all seen them during live shots for television, the guy who stands behind the reporter smiling, mouthing “hi mom” or worse! If you are at a live event, there’s always the chance someone will try to get into the shot. If possible, have someone else on hand to keep these folks at bay.
In general, pay attention to your background, is there something behind your subject (either moving or static) that might be distracting to the point that people will be paying more attention to that than to your message?
Most of the aforementioned can also apply to shooting video for projects that will run at a later date.
By following the few simple rules, you can help to ensure that your live streaming event is a success.
Susan R. Miller is founder of Garton-Miller Media, a full-service, South Florida based public relations firm. Susan is a former journalist with more than 30 years of experience. She has two daughters, three golden retrievers and two cats, but just one guinea pig who is happy not to have to share his cage or his daily stash of veggies with anyone.
Garton-Miller Media is a full-service, South Florida-based public relations firm. Founder Susan R. Miller has 30 years of experience as a writer, journalist and PR professional.