I’m sure you have seen the “live reports” within your news feed on Facebook by now. You too have the power to go “live” and Facebook has made it very easy. Simply go to your new post tab and you will see an option for “live”. Title your post, click “live” and you are streaming live video (assuming you have strong wifi or cell signal). If you are just having fun and want to show your kids soccer match, or some live video from a concert, no biggie. Do it and have fun. If you are looking to promote or market yourself or business, you really want to be shown in the best light, so to speak, and that requires some planning and strategy. I know. As a TV news reporter of twenty five years and counting, I won an Emmy for “live reporting” and I can tell you firsthand, that did not happen by winging it.

Remember-when you push “live”, whatever you are showing and/or saying is instantly visible on Facebook. There are no do-overs. While you can delete the post later, lots of eyes will have already seen the live stream. With that in mind, here are three simple but necessary steps BEFORE you go LIVE on Facebook:

Have a plan

Take some notes, practice in front of a mirror or your spouse, either way, dry runs are a must. In my media training workshops, I often tell my clients to come up with their three most important points and focus on delivering just those three. That way, they won’t feel too overwhelmed and are very likely to succeed, if only able to deliver those three message points. When practicing, make sure to say the words out loud. It’s not just the words, but also how you say them, which is just as important. Practice, practice, practice. When you feel like you have it down, you are ready to go live.

Show Me Something

While it may be exciting to go “live”,  standing in front of your phone and talking is interesting to the viewer for about ten seconds. To keep and hold their attention, you have to show something and engage the viewer. I see a lot of people using Facebook Live, but few show anything but themselves. Sorry, but you are just not that interesting. Either am I. Pan the camera and show people that great view. As a business owner, maybe you invested in new equipment? Show it to us. Maybe you are proud of a new hire? Introduce us to him or her. Get creative but you need to think in visual terms if you want to do a successful and effective live stream.


Simple enough, right? But not everyone does. Some people on my feed look downright mean and angry, so I don’t bother clicking on the video. Smiling helps in two ways-it loosens you up and that generally leads to a better live performance. It also sends the right message to your audience, whether for fun or business.