Livestream on YouTube

1. At least 24 hours before your livestream, verify your YouTube account with a phone number and enable the live feature.

YouTube will not allow you to begin streaming until your account has been verified.

2. Prepare your camera, lighting equipment, and streaming location ahead of time.

Determine what kind of device is ideal for the stream, and gather any additional equipment you will need. Consider: A mobile device: If you need the flexibility of moving around during the stream. A desktop computer with a webcam: If you need to appear on camera and share your screen to provide a demonstration. External video and audio hardware with an encoder: If your production is more advanced, such as using multiple microphones or camera angles. An external microphone, such as a studio or lavalier mic, for improved audio quality. A ring light or soft box lighting, if there isn’t adequate natural lighting in your streaming location. Make sure that your streaming location’s background looks professional and is free of distractions for your viewers.

3. Define the purpose for the live stream, organize the topics to be covered, and determine the format for the stream.

The format of your stream will depend on your chosen topics. Here are a few examples of different live stream structures: Webinar: Offer a lecture or training session, possibly with a guest or panel, for how to best use a software or service, and answer questions from your audience in real-time. Product tutorial: Show viewers how to use a product in real-time during a roadmap presentation to explain its features. Host a panel: Invite guests to join your stream to provide multiple perspectives on a topic. Q&A session: Answer frequently asked questions or take questions from the live chat.

4. Start an unlisted live stream to check that all your equipment is working properly.

Check the lighting, audio quality, camera framing, and internet connection. Testing your equipment will reveal any unforeseen technical issues so that your livestream will run smoothly. Make sure any rechargeable equipment is fully charged.

5. Familiarize yourself with YouTube's live chat features and bring on chat moderators if you need them.

Live chat will be turned on by default. You can respond to specific messages either directly in the chat box, or by replying to them live for your whole audience to hear. To pause the chat feed to read a message, you can hold down ALT or Option on your keyboard. Turn chat on or off by clicking on Live Control Room > Stream and Webcam > Edit > Live Chat > Enable Live Chat. Enable slow mode for the chat by clicking on Live Control Room > Streaming > Settings > Live Chat and turn Slow Mode on. Assigning moderators is recommended especially for high traffic streams. They can help you interact with the live chat messages, remove any inappropriate comments, and flag or hide users for inappropriate behavior in the chat feed.

6. Create an upcoming event on your channel for the live stream, giving your stream a topic-specific title and a relevant thumbnail image to help attract viewers.

Post the upcoming stream in advance so that your audience can opt to set a reminder for the actual date and time of the stream.

7. Promote your upcoming stream by posting about it on your social media accounts or sending an email to your subscribers.

Consider showing a short sneak peek of the product or service that will be the focus of the live stream, or asking for questions ahead of time that viewers want answered during the stream.

8. Come to your stream prepared with any notes or on-screen materials you will be sharing to help stay on topic and cover talking points.

If your stream will be a workshop, lecture, or tutorial, you may want to prepare a slide presentation to present visual aids or help your viewers follow along with the material.

9. Once live, respond to viewers and engage with their questions and comments in the live chat.

One of the most powerful features of a live stream is the real-time interaction it offers. Use it to actively engage your audience and keep the chat focused on your topic.

10. Publish the completed stream to your YouTube channel for on-demand viewing.