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Your next live video stream is coming up so you’ve had your scripts proofread, approved, highlighted, and revised countless times by the rest of your team. After all, a live video leaves no time for editing so everything has to be perfect when the time comes. Right?

What if you throw away your scripts?

What if you don’t know exactly whats going to happen or how long it will last?

What if you don’t have a plan for how to react or what to say?

What if something goes left and you have to deal with the unexpected on screen?

What if you surprise yourself?

 

As a producer, I understand those questions strike terror in your heart, but for a viewer, this is actually the core of what draws them into a video that they can’t stop watching and call their friends over to watch. A thought out panel discussion is nice, but the videos that go viral have anticipation, surprise, and wonder. The only way to truly create these emotional reactions for the audience is to experience them for yourself on screen. There is a reason reality TV is so popular, viewers crave the authenticity of watching real people deal with the unexpected as themselves instead of a carefully crafted character.  This kind of content lets the audience empathize and root for you even when things don’t go perfectly.

Challenge yourself to create a space or activity where exciting things can happen and share the experience live with your audience instead of dictating it to them.

This Buzzfeed video is one of the most popular live videos of all time with over 11 MILLION views. Do you think they knew exactly how many rubber bands they would need or how long the video would take? The fact that it could happen at any time, or never happen at all is what makes it so exciting to watch.

Similarly, this Honest Company video wouldn’t be so charming if the babies had just eaten the cake like they were supposed to. Watching them try to organize all the tots (some of whom are in full-blown rebellion) creates a totally endearing experience that their fans can relate to.

You can create experiences like this too for your brand. Here are some quick ideas you can try:

  • Audience voting and polls to determine what happens next
  • Asking kids what they think of your new product
  • Letting animals run through a branded maze or obstacle course
  • Having a blindfolded team member describe different products based on touch or taste test new creations
  • A mini gameshow or contestants answering trivia questions
  • Interviewing people on the street
  • Live makeovers where the subject sees their final look at the end
  • A behind the scenes tour of your offices/ factory
  • Surprising loyal customers while they are out shopping for your products

Instead of looking for that next ted talk, you can create your own exciting live experience where the audience can’t wait to see what happens next.

What are some live videos you couldn’t stop watching? Let us know in the comments!