5 live-streaming tips for newbies and veterans alike

With smartphones and apps, you can be a one-person camera crew and on-air talent. There are savvy steps you should follow, though, so you make the most of the event.

Once upon a time, live on-air video shoots happened only in TV studios.

Today, with the popularity of Periscope and Facebook Live, anyone can record and share live broadcasts right from their smartphone.

If you’re thinking about doing a live video shoot for your brand (and you’re as nervous about doing so as I was), here are a few things you can do to make your broadcast go smoothly:

1. Write a script.

Half the challenge of live video is knowing what you’re going to talk about. “Winging it” rarely works out the way you want it to – you end up with a lot of stalling and filler words (e.g., “um” and “uh”), and you may end up talking in circles.

Take time to write down your thoughts and major talking points in advance. I’ve actually found it helpful to create and print a formal script and tape it to the tripod we use, so I have the words right in front me.

Live news anchors read off a teleprompter during their broadcasts, so there’s no reason you can’t read off a script during your videos.

2. Promote the video

To increase your reach, post promos about the video on your social media channels before it happens so your audience knows to tune in.

Do a couple of promotional posts-the day before, a few hours before, and right before you go live. Include any relevant links or social account info so your followers know where to find the video.

3. Rehearse and test.

As with any other live performance, a run-through just prior to broadcasting will help you iron out any awkward or confusing sections of your script. You’ll also feel more confident during the livestreaming, having already read through the material.

Use this pre-broadcast time to test your internet connection and check any equipment you will be using. Also, adjust your hair, wardrobe and makeup, so you look your best on camera.

4. Have someone monitor comments.

The longer your video streams, the more likely it is that viewers will post comments and reactions as they’re watching.

It can be difficult, if not impossible, to respond in real time if you’re shooting the video by yourself. Have someone else in the room, monitoring the feed and letting you know if anything comes up that should be addressed on the air.

My company’s videos now include a short Q&A moderated by our social media manager to expand upon the topics I’ve discussed.

5. Close with a call to action

Almost every YouTube star ends his or her videos by telling people to subscribe and comment. It seems so obvious, but if you don’t leave your viewers with a clear reminder to engage when they’ve finished watching, they might not think to do so.

After we wrapped on my first live video, I realized I’d forgotten to tell viewers to leave comments, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. I’ve since included this at the bottom of every script I write.

After all, the whole point of doing live social media broadcasts is to encourage interactions and audience growth, and calls to action will help you achieve that.

I’m sure many of you have more experience than I do with live streaming, so I’d love to hear your tips. Please share your own advice in the comments.

Nicole Fallon Taylor is the managing editor of Business News Daily, a resource for small business owners, entrepreneurs and job seekers. Follow her on Twitter @nfallontaylor. A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

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