Can You Survive That Uncomfortable Live Streaming Moment?
Pull up a chair and hear my tale of live streaming. It’s filled with drama, agony, embarrassment, and ultimately … success.
On a hot afternoon one August, I fired up my laptop. It was almost time for a Digital Marketer webinar I wanted to see on generating blog content. But this webinar was different. It was being done via live streaming on Facebook.
After tuning in, I saw a woman looking around and giving thumbs up. After a few seconds she started waving her arms and talking. I couldn’t hear her at all. I turned up my volume just in case I didn’t have it loud enough.
Then I heard the “hum” you get when a mic is on, but no one is talking, followed by breathing and chair adjustments being made by someone else (clearly not the woman speaking). That person turned out to be the guest speaker, Russ Henneberry, who was in a separate video feed in the upper left-hand corner.
71 seconds later
I could hear the clinks of his chair as he scooted himself forward toward his mic. All the while the woman was still talking, but her mic was turned off. Then, 71 seconds after the live feed started, her voice kicked in mid-sentence.
A few seconds after that she gets distracted, apologises and says she’s getting the thumbs up and didn’t know what that meant. But she assumed it meant everything was good. Not so fast.
From the background we hear a man’s voice say “Mind if we restart? I’m sorry.”
For the next 50 seconds, this poor woman talked to her crew about the live feed. “Did we delete the other one?” she asks referring to the one when we couldn’t hear her.
She also asked if they were “keeping” this one. Clearly she didn’t understand she was already live, and had been for quite a while.
Shock and embarrassment take over though, as she finally understands and asks, “It’s live right now?”
Yes. Yes, it is and we’ve seen it all go wrong.
One nervous little laugh later, and a “Alright guys. Sorry about that” the webinar started. I still have no idea who this woman is, but I guess she’s the host for the interview of Henneberry.
The first two minutes
This webinar started off rough. As it moved forward they explained they were testing out different technologies and bringing in remote guests for live streaming events.
But a full two minutes of awkwardness is extremely hard to watch. I love Digital Marketer so I have to believe they did do some testing prior to going live in front of everyone. But Facebook live streaming is fairly new still and maybe their options were limited.
There are two lessons to learn from this story. First is to test your live stream set up before it goes live to the world whenever possible.
But the second is probably even more important: staying cool when it goes wrong.
Molly (later they mentioned her name), was mortified when she discovered they were live. But what did she do? She apologised for the issues and jumped right back in like it never happened. This led to comments like the one in the image below:
Judging by the other comments in the stream, most people were blown away by the content of the video. It was ultimately a success. But that only happened because Molly recovered so well. If you watch any reality TV, do public speaking, or even watch live public speaking you know how easy it is to get thrown off when something goes wrong.
So if the worst happens in your live streaming event and you are the one left hanging, or looking the fool, remember to stay cool about it. Keep calm and carry on as the saying goes. If you do, then everything will probably turn out ok.