Digital Educator, Jenny Arnold shares her tips, tools, and technology for livestreaming your site with the BCMA. Here are her easy, affordable ideas for creating successful live streams.

 

Questions to Ask…

 

Why do you want to bring livestreams to your site?

  • Maybe your goal is to make your site more accessible to people that cannot physically be there or for those who have difficulty in public places. This could also be a way for visitors to view your site in a new way and perhaps get them excited to see it in person when they can.

Who is your audience?

  • Knowing your audience can help you determine the level of content, vocabulary, and timing your program has. You could have a program geared toward families, seniors, teachers, children, or the general public.

What are you providing?

  • People will watch what they are interested in and what they value. Programs can be educational, where there is a specific point or knowledge wanting to be learned. People also look for escapism, something to take their mind off of daily struggles to just view something engaging, funny, and light. This will help with setting a tone for the program.

What type of program?

  • Decide what type of program works for your site and topic. Basic tours are a great way to show audiences your site. Use it as a backdrop for more activity-focused programs and behind the scenes programs. When exploring public places, it is best to do this outside of opening hours to limit noises and distractions for the audience. With limited space and more direct information, talks or webinars may work best.

 

Stationary Programs

 

Stationary programs are a great way to share a variety of media during your program. You can share your screen with ease; show videos, PowerPoint, and other media on your computer.

Pros:

  • Everything you need is in one location
  • Easier to share your screen
  • Wired internet connection

Cons:

  • Limited to one location

Equipment:

  • Computer (desktop or a laptop).Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Connecting through ethernet will usually give you a better connection.
  • A camera and a microphone. Most computers already have these built-in.
  • Speakers or headphones. Depending on your setup, wireless headphones are always easier to move around with.

Tips:

  • Have your PowerPoint and videos already opened and loaded so there is no delay during the program.
  • Make sure the correct microphone, speaker, and camera is selected on your chosen platform.
  • If you want to update to a better camera or microphone, USB connected equipment is easiest to use.

 

Mobile Programs

 

Mobile programs are only limited to your imagination and Wi-Fi connection. They allow you to share public spaces and places that are more restricted.

Pros:

  • Multiple location options
  • More dynamic
  • Personal

Cons:

  • Internet connection
  • Video quality

Equipment:

  • Smart phone; Make sure the phone is compatible with your chosen livestreaming platform
  • Wi-Fi
  • Headphones, preferably wireless earbuds

Tips:

  • If your program only allows participants to communicate through chat, have someone else monitor it on a separate device.
  • Check Wi-Fi connections in each location in advance.
  • Move slower than you think so viewers don’t get dizzy. Make sure the phone is not locked.

 

Extra Equipment

 

If you have the budget to get extra equipment, here are some tools that will make your livestreams sharper.

  • A phone gimbal that will stabilize mobile programs and makes it easier to move
  • A tripod to easily place the camera on between locations
  • Light

 

Extra Tips

 

Keep it Simple:

  • You do not have to create a complicated digital experience right away. Start with programs you already have that can be adapted, using one focused point only.

Checklist:

  • Create a checklist of what you need to do before, during, and after a program. It may seem like there are a lot of steps to remember, so a list is always helpful.

Safety:

  • Create a safety plan for programs, especially ones where you move around. Make sure the places you are going are safe and if there is anything you should be aware of when moving around.

Recordings:

  • If you record and post your livestreams, you will most likely get more views on the recording then when it was live. Go back and answer questions and monitor the comments of the recording.

Program Length:

  • Keep the length of programs between 20-40 minutes. This will vary depending on your audience and type of program. Leave plenty of time for questions.

Pacing:

  • Embrace the silence and pauses. It may feel awkward, but wait a minimum of 10 seconds when asking questions. It takes time for people to figure out what they would like to say and then type it into the chat. Don’t miss out on a great moment by going too fast.

Permissions:

  • Check the permissions and intellectual property of the things you are streaming, especially if they are being recorded. This is very important to remember with Indigenous

Stay Calm:

  • Things may go wrong the first few times and that is okay. Technology sometimes doesn’t work for any specific Trying something new will take time; practice as much as possible so you are confident with your new skills.

 

Example Platforms

 

Zoom       

  • Free Basic Account.
  • Great for 1:1 programs.
  • Upgrades for webinar, link to Facebook, and extra time/participates.
  • Participates need free software, not an account.

Facebook Live  

  • Easy for people to access.
  • Good for wide viewing livestreams.
  • Ability to easily rebroadcast streams.

Instagram Live

  • Better for shorter programs.
  • Good if you already have an Instagram following.
  • Lasts 24 hours.