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Going Pro With Facebook Live: Producing The Bob Doyle Show

Facebook Live personality Bob Doyle presents a behind-the-scenes look at how he produces his weekly live broadcast on Facebook Live using Telestream Wirecast.

In this excerpt from his presentation at Live Streaming Summit 2016, Bob Doyle, producer and star of The Bob Doyle Show, a weekly live broadcast on Facebook Live, discusses how he progressed from streaming from his smartphone to doing full-on professional live streams to Facebook using Telestream Wirecast, and how to be real and effective and responsive on Facebook Live and leverage the new platform's strengths.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Bob Doyle: I push Wirecast to the limits technically because I started Facebook Live like everybody else with their phones and I did a little test. "Hey, it’s me. It’s my first time. I don’t know anything about this.” That’s what everybody does, right? That was cool, but as soon as I saw somebody broadcasting on Facebook in full 16:9, I contacted him and said, “How are you doing this?” He said, “Wirecast.”

I immediately got in touch with Telestream and said, “Set me up.” For me, being from radio and wanting to produce and just be creative, this wasn't enough. Yes, engaging personality, that’s great, but to be able to do some of the stuff that you saw in the demo, integrating apps like with the monkey, I’m bringing in screenshots from my phone. I’m doing all kinds of crazy stuff to push the limits of what it will do, and I’m running it myself, which is not for everyone. It’s not for the weak-hearted. Because I’m from radio and I’m used to pushing a lot of buttons, it’s great.

Here’s why I love doing it this way as opposed to a webinar or a formal video. First of all is obviously the engagement. You want to be talking to your people. When I was in the old world, it was all email or I would do a webinar, but you’re always doing something at them. What’s wonderful about Facebook Live is it’s a two-way conversation if you're doing it right. I'm not really a proponent of using live video just to do a regular old webinar. The whole idea of this is that you’re interfacing.

Why Facebook? Because that’s where everybody is. I also stream to YouTube and all of that, because I don’t know where it’s all going. Nobody knows where it’s going.

I know that for my show, though, my goal is viewers. This isn’t my living. I earn my money doing voiceover work and my personal development stuff. However, I’m doing this because I love it, it’s fun, and it’s an expression of who I am creatively and all of that. I see live streaming as a way, no matter what you do in life, whether you're a public figure or whether you just have something to sell, to engage with your customers. Doing so in this format is huge because you become a real person.

Even if you’re a vendor of the technology, you should still be live streaming to demonstrate what you can do and how it works and all of that. If you don’t feel like you’re good on camera, get somebody who is, but the point is that when you start calling your viewers out by name, every time they show up ... "Hey, it’s Sue!" In my case, I'll grab a ukulele and I’ll write a song for them on the spot. They’ll never forget that. They always come back and they want a new song or they want whatever.

My #1 purpose in The Bob Doyle Show is that it’s a creative exploration for me. It’s a career change. I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing [radio and development work] for 12 years. I want to do something else. I’ve got every toy I need to play and I can just create and create.

What’s great about live streaming for me is for somebody who is traditionally a perfectionist and super-anal and wants everything to go perfectly, and with delay and delay doing something because, "What if it breaks? What if it breaks? They'll hate me and they’ll never buy anything I sell." I learned that that’s just not the case with live streaming. The more honest you are about something breaking, and just say, “Sorry, hold on. Let me fix this.” When it’s happening, it’s a freaking nightmare. It’s “Oh, my God. Everyone’s going to go away and everyone’s going to tell everybody they know ‘Never do anything related to Bob Doyle.’” That’s the way the brain works if you make a mistake.

Then I watch the replay and I go, “Wow, that lasted three seconds and nobody cared,” because you're real. However, if you come on and you’re more formal--“Hello, welcome to my live stream. Today we will be discussing...”--if something screws up, then you have to break character and all that. My overriding thing is be real, be open, be authentic. If you're trying something the first time, tell them, “I’m doing this for the first time. It’s exciting. It may screw up,” especially when you’re working with something with so many things that could break. Just being honest, I think that is the key to engagement, which is what you want.

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