Last week I wrote a post detailing Part 1 of my experience trying out Facebook Live, and I shared a few things that I learned while getting started with this tool. In this post I want to share with you some of the things I learned while doing the session itself and what I’d do differently next time.

You’ll see in my session video that at the beginning it took me quite a few seconds to figure out what I was looking at and get going. This is probably a pretty boring start for the viewer who is watching the video later! Next time I’d love to plan and implement a stronger start and be ready to go when the session turns on. Actually, next time I probably won’t schedule the session so that it opens automatically at a certain time – I’ll just click “go live” when I’m ready so that I can control the exact second it turns on and be ready to go. This includes looking right at the camera and smiling and saying a pre-planned welcome.

Other things that I’d like to do to have a stronger start include asking people to post in the comments where – geographically speaking – they are viewing the stream from, or inviting other similar participation with a relevant question or two to draw people in. Of course, I will make sure that I actually see that viewers are watching before asking for participation. No sense inviting participation from an empty room!

I’d actually like to use questioning techniques more intentionally next time all the way through the session – it will involve planning those questions ahead of time and not just asking “Does anyone have any questions?” – a throwaway question for sure!

Overall I’d like to take less time to do the session. The one that I did was an hour and later I remarked to myself, Who’s going to watch an hour-long session? I’m pretty sure the answer is, almost no one. If I use myself as a guide for this, it’s very difficult for me to find the time to fit in hour-long anythings these days, so a shorter session for watching after the fact I think is key. Perhaps 20-30 minutes at the very most would give the best of both worlds – a robust enough experience for people to attend live and get some of their questions answered, and not too long of a video for those watching after.

Of course related to the duration thing is the amount of content. The subject I chose to speak about – online facilitation skills and strategies – is one that I could talk about for a long, long time. But I shouldn’t! I had way too much possible content planned and probably went off on an unplanned tangent or two. Next time I’ll choose to chunk my session out a lot more and focus on a much smaller piece of content. I think this will allow me to advertise what the session is about more succinctly, which hopefully will draw a more engaged audience who will have made an effort to attend just for that particular topic.

Another thing I really want to remember to do is slow down and take more pauses. I’m a fast talker and since this was my first time using this tool I’m sure I was a bit nervous. And I KNOW that pauses are necessary to allow us all to catch a brain break and reduce cognitive load – I just didn’t do it this time! Even if I have to write a couple of stickies and put them on my monitor that say “Slow down” and “Take a pause” that will be worth it to help me remember to do this – both to allow myself a little break and to allow my viewers to have some white space, take in the learning, and time to think if they have a question.

Lastly, a technical thing that I’d like to try to figure out before next time is how to get the audio working a bit better, especially so I don’t have to use a headset. I’d also like trying to use my iPhone to run the session to see what’s different on that medium. I’d also like to figure out how to see comments coming in more easily – this somewhat stopped me up in this session as it wasn’t that intuitive.

So, as I said in my other post, all in all the session went pretty well and I also still do have some things to learn. Since I facilitate a lot in synchronous web conferencing systems it’s not too much of a stretch to run sessions using Facebook Live. However, getting used to new technology and new ways of doing things can often have two sides of the coin. I look forward to doing more livestreams in the future and hope that I see you at the other end of the screen!

If you’re running Facebook livestreams I’d love to check you out too to pick up even more pointers. I’d love it if you’d post your FB page in the comments below if you’d like to alert me of your next livestream event.