You may not be aware, but in addition to coaching senior business leaders in appearing on camera we also produce live webcasts and take care of all of the requirements off-camera.
Against this backdrop, I would like to share some insights into live webcasting and video conferencing - a short FAQ based on the many requests we have received in the past two weeks.
- Do you really need to go live? - If you are not intending to interact with your audience, and/or your message is not so urgent that you need your audience to hear about it right now, consider recording it.
- How long should it be? - I am getting requests for 90-120 minute webcasts. Unless you are giving rolling commentary on developments at your company, or you are Kim Kardashian, or both - that's too long. Consider 20-30 minutes.
- Can I use Zoom to stream live? - No, Zoom is a video conferencing platform. Like Skype and Microsoft Teams they are discussion tools.
- Can I protect my YouTube stream with a user ID and password? - No, there are some ways to limit viewership on YouTube but it's certainly not secure. We offer streaming through YouTube, Facebook and others, but we also offer the same secure video streaming platform the UK Courts use when witnesses cannot be in the same room as the accused to give testimony. It's ultra secure.
- Why is the internet at hotels problematic? - The answer to this is best summed up by one of my cameramen in conversation with Rachael, my producer.
He writes: "There are lots of people asking for live stream services these days and there are also a lot of inexperienced and desperate vendors out there now. until they do one or two and fail to deliver, then all of them will learn."
Rachael replied "It’s funny how people think streaming is easy."
To which my cameraman said: "coz its as easy as a few flicks of an app icon on the smartphone. Thats why people think its easy. Until the integration, coordination, the planning, the hosting and internet connection comes into play."
And he wrapped up with a line I'm certain you can relate to from your senior communications roles and your companies: "The more we know, the more reserved we are in quotes and promises to the client, whereas the least experienced ones out there promises everything to the client."
This is particularly important if you are with a listed company and you are considering running your Annual General Meeting virtually. You may not want to bring shareholders together into an enclosed space, but you need extra security for both the streaming and voting process to succeed. YouTube will not do.