So, you’ve figured out a schedule and you know why you want to be using live video, but…
How on earth do you get content ready and be a good broadcaster?
Great questions, because most brands wonder the same things.
I have seven tips for you: three for preparing for your broadcast, and four for making you the best broadcaster out there. Note that there is a method to the madness—broadcasting is not as easy as pushing the “record” button.
Prepping for Your Broadcast
1. Take your set seriously.
This is extremely important because it will directly affect how your audience views you the minute you fire up your camera. You wouldn’t want a potential client walking into your cluttered, messy office, would you? Treat each viewer as a potential client, buyer or partner. You’ll understand why your set is so important now. In addition to being neat and orderly, be sure to record in a well-lit space with decent acoustics. If you’re in the middle of a dark warehouse, you can’t expect high-quality video production with great audio. A quick tip: Natural lighting works best if you can have it. Also, keep the light source in front of you to minimize glare or shadows, and so that it’s directed at you, the subject. If you don’t have high-end audio gear, the microphone on a pair of Apple headphones will work just fine.
2. Remember the “arms reach” rule.
Whether you’re showing off product or people, the last thing you want to do is keep an audience waiting by rummaging through clutter or excusing yourself from the camera to find your guest. I love the “arms reach” rule with live video, and it also relates to how you can be a great host. For now, keep everything you need right in front of you. You’ll look prepared and your audience will appreciate it.
3. Craft an outline.
The only thing you need to do to prep your content for presentation is build a solid outline with a clear understanding of what you want the outcome to be. During your live stream, if you need to glance down at it here and there to stay on track, that’s fine. But the last thing you want is a full script. Scripts don’t allow room for things that may come up during the broadcast, like audience questions. Trust me on this one. The more you work off an outline, the better you’ll become at live broadcasts, and eventually, you won’t need one at all.
Tips for Being a Great Broadcaster
The best content is the content that answers audience questions, but you need to be a good host in order to do that, right?
As host of the Brand Boost Podcast, powered by Zoomph, I have come to understand the power of letting my guests shine. A good host is a great facilitator and doesn’t take over the conversation, but can fill gaps if the guest isn’t as wordy.
This tip has been a tremendous help to me whenever I do live broadcasts. I’ve had the pleasure of hosting live video streams for brands, other shows, events and even digital broadcasts. My experience has led me to believe in four fundamental “truths” about hosting a live stream.
1. The eyes say it all.
William Shakespeare said, “Eyes are the windows to the soul.” The great Roman philosopher Cicero also said, “The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter.” It’s theorized that people can see through someone else by eye contact in seven seconds. You can sense this loris’s timidness just by looking at its eyes.
Look at the lens of the camera like it’s a person. This is a tip I learned from Amy Schmittauer about making better video in general, and I think it translates well to live video. When you remember that though you’re talking to a camera, you’re really talking to people, your demeanor changes and your audience senses it.
2. Welcome audience members by name.
One of the most impactful tips I’ve ever gotten was from Dale Carnegie, who said, “A person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” Using someone’s name, quite literally, supersedes any language barriers you might encounter. Acknowledge viewers as they enter your live stream, when appropriate. I always keep a pen and paper next to me to write down names, too, so that I can say hi after they’ve come in. If a name rings a bell, and you know who the person is or you remember something about them, say it! If I know where someone is watching from, I also like to make sure they know it. This goes a long way in retaining viewers by showing that you’re paying attention, revealing your human side and connecting with viewers through one-on-one interactions. The viewers feel valued, which makes you more watchable.
3. Questions, questions, questions?(!)
What am I trying to say? Ask questions to get answers and ask for questions so that you can answer. Questions, in both directions, create mutual engagement. Engagement is what creates great content. Let your audience dictate where the conversation goes to some degree. I’ve stopped using an outline in some broadcasts because I like to let the audience shape the conversation. See what I said there? Conversation. It’s not about talking to them, it’s about talking with them.
4. Call to action.
What do you want your audience to do? What do you need them to do? Even if you aren’t pitching or selling something, you still need them to do something before they go. This applies to every broadcast, no exceptions. Have a go-to CTA for those times when you don’t have a specific product to sell. I utilize the customizable CTA button on Facebook pages to drive live stream attendees to our newsletter signup. I let the audience know that if they want weekly updates beyond the show, that’s the place to find us. I also get their email address, so I can connect with them after the show and confirm that they’re interested in our content. Another couple of easy CTA’s are, “Be sure to subscribe and share our video,” or “Tag a friend you know will like this content.” In the words of Bonnie Raitt, “Let’s give ‘em something to talk about.”
I’m proud of you for coming this far. You’re already making huge strides in your broadcast experience. If you’re doing all of this, you’re crushing it, believe me. Now it’s time to identify leads and follow up with attendees, as well as analyze the numbers. Come back to the blog for the final part of our series that will answer all these questions and more.