Are you convinced you need to be going live? If you’re not yet, give me 20 minutes and I’ll convince you to go live.
If you are already convinced, I wanted to share with you some simple notes on what I learned, to save you some of trouble and build your confidence a bit.
Going live can be scary. You’re nervous that nobody will be watching yet you’re equally nervous that people are tuning in. You hit the go live button and panic. What were you going to say again?
1. Plan Your Introduction
Tip #1 is to plan your introductory statement. I don’t think you should have a script, but having an opening line in mind keeps you from completing freezing up and opening and closing your mouth like a fish. You don’t have to memorize it, but you can if that helps. Just a line or so, peaking people’s interest, and drawing them into the video. Even if people miss that sentence live, it will be a the first thing people hear on the replay.
By focusing on your first sentence, you can set yourself up for what you’re going to be talking about, and giving yourself a moment to squash the initial nerves. You’ll appear more confident to the viewers and feel more confident yourself. You’ve got this!
2. Bring Your Bullet Points
That leads nicely into Tip #2. As mentioned above, having a script will make you feel rehearsed and robot. If you’re reading, you can’t be making “eye contact”. Looking into the lens of a camera is like looking into the eye of the person you’re talking to. If you’re looking away and reading, you’re losing your chance at building connection. And if you’re looking behind the camera and next to it, the viewer is going to wondering where on Earth you’re looking
Don’t use a script, but do jot down a list of bullet points that you can glance at. You can post it right under the camera and slightly askew. Or have them sitting on your desk in front of you. If you have your computer in front of you, you can keep them in a Google Doc too.
Don’t read off your notes, but check in to make sure you’ve covered your points, and have it as a security blanket if you panic and forget what you were going to say. If you feel like you don’t need them, you don’t have to refer to them at all!
If you’re having trouble deciding on a topic for your next live video, be sure to check out How to Go from Nothing to Say to Posting Every Day for some inspiration.
3. Have a Helper
Tip #3 is, if possible have a moderator or helper. You can definitely go it alone, but if you are trying to remain engaged with the audience, it can be hard to track the comments or click all the right buttons. If you run into streaming issues, like your sound goes out, your helper can let you know.
In my case, I was lucky a friend was on my last video. While I was going live, I got a notification that Facebook was having trouble playing my video, so I thought the stream had ended, but I was actually still live. I couldn’t tell so I said right to the camera, I didn’t know if I was still live. My friend was able to text me and let me know it was still working just fine. (Thank goodness for good friends.)
It’s also hard to keep track of comments and questions coming in real time on the screen on your own if they are coming in fast and furiously. A moderator can catch them and send them to you via message or shared Google Doc. Or they can directly reply in the comments if they already have the answers to certain topics of subjects.
If you are a team of one and don’t have someone that could be your helper, look for another team of one. Offer to trade off with them live for live. You can help each other.
4. The Show Must Go On
Which segues into the next point. Tip #4 is to just keep going. Interruptions when you’re going live are almost a guarantee these days with many of our families still home full time. When it happens, just keep going!
Whether it’s a doorbell, one of your kids, or a car alarm, just keep going. You can acknowledge it, but you don’t want your replay filled with long pauses or silence if you’re still live. So until you know the stream has ended: the show must go on!
5. Schedule and Invite
Tip #5 is to schedule your live ahead of time. Don’t just pop on when you strike up to courage or inspiration. Tap into your email list and let them know when you’re going live. Invite them with the date and time. Don’t forget to include the time zone your going live in. People on your list may be from all over the world. If you say you’re going live at 2:00, that could mean very different things.
When you email your list, you’re also adding instant accountability. Once you tell them you’re going live, you can’t back out. They’re counting on you.
To make it even easier on your list send them the direct link to your livestream and not just your Facebook page. In order to do this, you’ll need to schedule your livestream first. To do this you’ll need to go to Facebook.com/live/create. You’ll get the link that you can paste into your email.
Alternately, you can now add a Live tab on your Facebook page. You can get the link to that a direct people there, too. They may even check out some of your past videos as well.
These tips should have you get your audience showing up to your lives, and engaging, which will help boost your visibility once you’re live. (Hint: Stay live for at least 3 minutes to see more traffic.)
In the comments below, share your best lesson learned from going live.