The amazing growth in Facebook Live is – without question – the biggest thing that’s happened to live streaming.
It has revolutionised how many people watch and take part in live video – exponentially increasing the amount of ‘live’ content on the web. But it’s also meant that a lot of bad live streaming is happening. All the time. And that kind of gets to professionals, like us. Not that we don’t like live streaming apps. We love them.
It’s just that with almost no budget and only a little planning there are things you can do right away to massively improve the quality of your stream. What’s more they’re either free or very cheap. They just take a little thought…
Take care of lighting – just think where you are
The number-one mistake almost everyone makes with live streaming is that they don’t think through how they’ll be lit. That means you get half . You don’t need fancy equipment. Just first of all work out where your best source of light is coming from then if necessary add in other sources of light to help. If you’re by a window, don’t have your back to it. If you have a standing lamp, trying finding a second one. Experiment for a little while to find a good spot, moving lights around to check where shadows fall. Before long you’ll find a good balance, without any need for expensive equipment.
Get the sound right – by checking
It’s not rocket science, but every webcast – or live stream – is really about communication. You’re only standing in front of a camera to talk to people, after all. So being able to hear what people are saying is absolutely key. If you’re using a phone you can buy a simple attachment microphone to improve the recording. Make sure it will reach to the phone. There are even cheap boom/shotgun mics that you can use, which are handy if you’re trying to pick up more than one voice. If you can’t use an external mic, make sure you stand close and pick a quiet place to stream.
Also remember that you need to work out how your mic is going to stand – you can’t just lie it on a desk. There are cheap gorilla stands – for £20 or so that you can buy.
Steady that camera
The absolute worst thing you’ll see on streams is a wobbly stream. You have to work out how you can keep that camera straight and steady.
If you’re going to hold the camera, make sure you’re supporting it in a sustainable way. Your arms will quickly ache, after all. You can do this by sitting rather than standing, and holding the camera with comfort and support in mind. It’s far better, though, to use a tripod. Again, you can buy a cheap gorilla tripod very easily. Rest it on a firm surface that won’t move. Think a steady table or a bookshelf, not a flimsy desk or cabinet.
P.S. One more thing: Wipe the lens
It’s a small thing but if you’re using your phone or an iPad to stream, you’ll be handling it. And if you’re handling any device, the lens is likely to get a greasy finger print over it at some point. So always remember to wipe that lens.
Want more help with your Facebook Live event. Ask us a question below or contact us if you’re thinking about using Facebook live – we run a professional service for Facebook Live and other live streaming. Get in touch.