Have you established a live streaming set up? do you want to improve the quality? these 3 tips will help you make immediate improvements.
I am impressed with what the church has managed to achieve in LIVE (or pre-recorded) streaming since the onset of the Covid pandemic forced so many into this new arena. Of course, many churches already had streaming as part of their existing set up, but many did not. For those who didn’t I am sure this has been an incredible learning curve and I have no doubt some have struggled to keep their heads above water.
One of the lessons I have learned over the years of being in Broadcast media is the importance to continue to “strive” for better. Better quality, better engagement, better impact and better strategy. It’s vital we don’t plateau and not look to how we can improve what we are doing – even if getting “something” up and running has been a stretch. The world, technology and life in general don’t stay still (though honestly in Covid lockdown every day feels a little like Groundhog day…..).
So, here are my top three recommendations that everyone can work on to improve what they are doing, irrespective of where they are at - we can all get better.
Audio – YES, one of the most significant changes we can make to the quality of our video output is by improving our audio. For some, that might be starting to work towards a better quality “mix” for the live stream, for others that may involve improving the quality of the audio capture (microphones etc), for others it will look like adding more microphones for audience participation. For some a major enhancement is to track down the irritating “buzz” you experience from time to time and eliminate it. Whatever your situation is, I would suggest there are ALWAYS improvements (or even wholesale changes) you can make with your audio that will enhance the experience your viewers have during your broadcasts. Read more about what I want from my audio team here.
Lighting – I see many people asking questions in online forums of which camera they should buy to get better pictures, but the truth is that often we want to spend money on cameras without taking a good look at the quality of the lighting we have. Here, like with audio, there will always be improvements to make. Can you add some backlighting (if you don’t have it already you need to) in order to add separation for the people from the backdrop. OR, do you need to re-focus your lights for a better and more even stage wash? Would the addition of audience lighting help? or how about some coloured backlight for your audience that would improve the quality of your video. Would some moving lights or haze help to create an atmosphere? (I realise that this isn’t appropriate for every church). If you have the money and the right connections why not bring in an experienced Television Lighting Director to help you get a great look for your broadcasts? I would always put lighting improvements above camera upgrades – it is a great way to increase the quality of your production, you can read more on that in "Beautiful lighting makes everything look good."
Third but by no means last are your people, the team who do the work, the volunteers and the staff who “make the magic happen”. This is a recurring theme for me as your MOST valuable asset is your team. The people who run cameras, mix the audio, direct the coverage etc need regular and quality input. This is even more important if you are reliant on volunteers. One of the things that will improve the quality of your production is sowing into your people. Training, encouraging and mentoring the team will also pay long term dividends. Technology is always changing and improving and your people should be doing the same. My question is what are you doing to invest into this area? Do you have a training programme? What about bringing in skilled people to help your team grow in their gifts and callings? What about YOUR Leadership? The success of your team depends on YOU. It is an essential part of the strategy that every church and ministry need. There are great people available to help with this. We at Media Mentoring are passionate about this and would love to see how we can help you.
So, three things, in no specific order, that you should work on now to improve the quality of your streaming. I have only focused here on how you can improve the quality of your TECHNICAL production. I could add other elements in here (content, engagement etc) that you can also work on to improve your production BUT in this article, I focus on the technical side of things.
I hope this is a helpful and will get you thinking about the areas you can improve in your specific circumstances. Let me encourage you that great improvements happen by slow and steady progress so the best thing you can do at the moment is come up with a strategy for how you can move forward to see growth in all these areas and if we at Media Mentoring can help you with that, we would be more than happy to do so - book a call and see how we can help. I’d also love to hear your thoughts on the kind of incremental changes you can make to move forward in your production output.
Out of the three things I have listed here, what do you feel your priority is to see improvements in?
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