Lights, camera, USTREAM! As the term ‘social video’ permeates the technology trending space, consumers and brands alike are looking for innovative ways to benefit from live broadcasting. And when it comes to being in front of a camera, you must always have your best foot forward. So my ‘gif’ to you this holiday season, dear Ustreamers, is a blog stuffed with amusing animations on how to look lovely while live streaming.
Let There Be LIGHT
Ensure you have several light sources and that they are all indirect to avoid dark shadows or a shiny-face effect. Personally, I have found that putting the light source behind the computer works best.
Bad Lighting (literally):
The Fashion of Going Live
While you want to express your personal style, keep in mind that bold patterns can look “messy” on the viewer’s screen. Additionally, some pieces of jewelry can reflect light in a way that distracts the viewer. Less is more with jewelry. And if you wear a pattern, be sure you don’t sit in front of one. The best background is a dark, solid color that doesn’t clash with you.
Make sure your total upper body — not just your face — is visible in the camera area. To provide you with some comfort, keep in mind viewers on the other end only see you from the waist up.
This is a personal tip of my own. I have often found that looking down at the camera often makes your face seem wider. Place the camera on a surface that’s directly in line with your forehead. If you’re on a laptop with a built-in camera (like I am in this picture),don’t tilt the screen up — always place it on a higher surface and tip it down towards you.
*Tip: Do a test run of your broadcast with a close friend, family member, or mini me to check both sound and video quality before the BIG event.
Always Test Before Officially Going Live!
Set up a camera and view yourself on the set before you tape. Doing so can help you resolve problems with the backdrop, the height of your chair, how you are framed on video, the placement of lights, and other details that can be fixed before taping (but not after). Be sure to view your broadcast on a 2nd screen (I suggest a 2nd laptop, or if more convenient from your smartphone) so you have an idea of what you will look like while broadcasting. This leads directly into the next tip. Shall we?
Here’s Lookin at You, Broadcaster
When going live, you’ll quickly notice it’s easier to ustream if you can view yourself as you do it. Having a 2nd screen advising you what the camera sees, allows you to step back and take a look at what your audience is experiencing. Your ultimate goal is to connect and engage, by utilizing a 2nd laptop you can communicate with fans without becoming the serial ‘I read comments the entire ustream’ broadcaster. Don’t get me wrong, yes you should definitely respond to viewer’s comments while live, but reading the social stream is only one aspect of the live experience.
Think of it like a conversation with your best friend. Laugh, share stories, ask questions, answer questions. If you are truly engaged with your fans, the social stream serves as your communication connection tool. The social stream should never become a safety net of continuous reading when running out of things to do/say.
Too much reading = lack of eye contact = disconnected audience.
Speaking of eye contact…
Importance of Eye Contact
Look into the webcam and not at the screen. Believe me, I know how tempting it can be to watch yourself from your broadcaster preview screen (I mean, look at us), but keep in mind this can lead to unflattering postures and even worse, the dreaded lack of connection with your audience due to poor eye contact (something EVERY broadcaster should steer clear from).
If you do catch a sudden case of the Kanye’s, here’s some advice: do a swift swag check on your 2nd screen, glance at a few comments in the social stream, then get right back to chatting up your audience. In that order *in my Momma Dee voice, of course.