The pandemic has forced churches all over the world to rethink their Sunday services. They have moved from gathering physically in churches with Church chairs by ComforTek to gathering online. For many churches, this has been challenging.
Small improvements can make a big difference over time and churches are learning some best practices to improve their livestreaming. Here are some best practices to help you make positive tweaks to how you stream.
Start slow and grow over time
Don’t worry if your first attempts at livestreaming are not the greatest. Most churches are going through a huge learning curve when it comes to livestreaming. You need to be cautious about committing to complex, obscure hardware, software and streaming methods.
Using the Melon App as a church live streaming solution can make it easier because it’s not difficult to use and you can get started for free. You can start streaming with a smartphone and as you build momentum, you can start to add cameras, lighting and better sound.
Test your stream privately
Whatever streaming method you use, it is important to consider various technical aspects to make sure your audience has the best streaming experience. For instance, it is important to do a test run before actually going live so you can ensure all the equipment is operational.
This means you can identify problems such as an unplugged microphone. You can also start a little early so people have time to log on and chat a little before you begin.
Focus on close-up shots of the speaker
The speaker must be well-lit and close to the camera and microphone. It is important to look directly into the camera rather than at notes because making eye contact with viewers is essential. Set up a teleprompter app if necessary next to the camera or write notes on a whiteboard behind the camera.
Viewers can feel disconnected if the camera isn’t close enough to the speaker. The angle of the camera should be eye-level with the speaker as angles from below can be unflattering.
From the start, you need to think about giving a true representation of your church rather than just copying other churches. Your members may prefer a relaxed, casual approach rather than a professional, formal production.
A more relaxed approach will mean interacting more with the audience. Ask questions, encourage prayer requests and take polls to make viewers feel as though they are part of a community.
Change the format
Some speakers may feel more comfortable sticking to the traditional preaching model of starting off with a greeting, announcements and then giving a monologue but this does not always work well with a livestream.
Encourage viewers to pose questions during the livestream that you can answer in a post-sermon discussion time or break up your teaching with designated Q & A slots. You may prefer engaging with viewers throughout the livestreaming session. It can be entertaining to ask viewers where they’re watching from.
Keep improving production quality
One way to make people want to watch your livestream rather than another if it has a high production quality. This means using the right camera and microphone. These are some of the essentials you need to invest in if you want to create a better streaming experience for your community.
When watching, people can get distracted by the small details around you, so it’s best to keep the recording space clean. As long as you pay attention to the feedback and stream analytics, you can keep improving and your broadcasts will become more successful before you know it.