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Efficient Business Video Creation: The Pre-Stream Checklist

In the wake of the global pandemic, a profound shift has occurred in how we communicate and conduct business. With more of us equipped with video gear both in the office and at home, the prevalence of video communication and content creation has skyrocketed.

As a result, a growing community of professionals finds themselves stepping into the realm of video content creation for business. Whether it's recording presentations, hosting webinars, producing training materials, or even live streaming, the demand for high-quality video content in the workplace has never been greater.

Recognizing this surge in business video users, here are some tips that will empower you in your content creation journey and help you solve the biggest challenges of business video production.


The Challenge of Starting a Stream

The stressful moment just before you hit that "start streaming/recording” button is a sensation known to every content creator. The heart races, palms may get a bit sweaty, and the mind spins with thoughts of potential mishaps. It's a universal experience, a mixture of excitement and anxiety, and it's completely normal.

Many of us wrestle with the same concerns. What if the lighting isn't quite right? Did I remember to adjust the camera angle? Is the audio set up for optimal quality? And the biggest one of all. Did I forget anything? These questions can be paralyzing, especially for those new to content creation.

The truth is, the hardest part of creating content isn't the actual recording or streaming, it's the few moments leading up to pressing that “start streaming/recording” button. It’s the countdown before the rocket launch. Once those boosters ignite there’s no going back! But fear not, for there's a simple yet incredibly powerful solution, the pre-stream checklist.


The Power of Pre-Stream Checklists

Imagine starting your stream worrying about absolutely nothing other than your content and your audience. That's the power of a clear roadmap before you embark on your content creation journey, leaving no room for oversights or last-minute panics.

A pre-stream checklist serves as your trusty companion, a comprehensive guide that covers every essential task before you go live. Whether it's adjusting your camera for the perfect frame, fine-tuning the lighting, starting up all necessary software, or even ensuring your audio isn’t muted, a good checklist leaves no stone unturned.

By following a pre-stream checklist, you not only streamline your preparation process but also instill a sense of confidence and professionalism in your content creation. It transforms pre-stream anxiety into a focused and purposeful routine. With each item checked off, you'll step into your content creation session with the assurance that everything is set up for success.

At the end of the day, a pre-stream checklist improves and protects your content in two major ways. First, it eliminates the most common technical problems by forcing you to check them before each stream. More importantly, it helps get you in the right state of mind to go live. The astronaut needs to hear the countdown. This is your content creation countdown.


The Low-Tech Checklist

Pen and paper does the trick! All that matters is that you have some way to feel assured that all is right with your setup when you start the stream. The key is constructing a list that actually does the job for you.

You should have about a dozen items on the list. You don’t want to completely overwhelm yourself before creating content with a 30-item pre-stream to do list. It should feel manageable. This is a tool to make your life less stressful, you don’t want to make things worse!

Items on the list should be carefully selected. You don’t need to put things on the list that you never forget to do without the list. We don’t want to add easy items just so we feel good by checking them off, like “sit down at my desk”. Every checklist item should be something that you could potentially forget. In other words, every checklist item is a potential stream-saver and should give you peace of mind as you check it off.

Here is my pre-stream checklist for my business stream. Every item is something that I’d forgotten at some point, to my regret, before having the checklist. But now I never have to worry about repeating any of those mistakes again.

  1. Reboot: (Always a good idea before streaming/recording)
  2. Turn off Work Apps: (Less overhead on my PC)
  3. Load Streaming Apps: (I have a list of every essential app, so I feel sure everything is up and running)
  4. Water: (Full glass on my desk before I start)
  5. Arrange Apps: (Get every app in the right spot on my dual monitors)
  6. Lights: (Not just turning on the right ones, turning off the wrong ones)
  7. Webcam: (I like to check settings before each stream)
  8. Headset: (Put it on, and make sure I am hearing through it)
  9. Green Screen: (Make sure it’s covering everything it needs to)
  10. Starting Soon Screen: (Set my streaming software to start)

For every single item on this list, I have a story about a stream or recording that was ruined before I had the list. For example, I have videos where I failed to double check my lighting, and as a result my face has an orange hue. They are up on YouTube because they had to go live, and they will always bother me! Now that it is an item on my checklist it is much less likely to happen in the future.


The High-Tech Checklist

There are several USB “Deck” peripherals on the market being used as PC control devices. Buttons can be set to start programs in Windows, or control various apps. I’ve used my deck to create a high-tech checklist. As I press each button it “flips” over, so I can easily see when all my items are done and I’m ready to start the stream. You can even program the buttons to perform some of the tasks for you.

Author’s Pre-Stream Checklist
Before and After Completing the Tasks


Conclusion: Empowering Your Content Creation Journey

With your pre-stream checklist in hand, the once-daunting task of hitting "start streaming" transforms into a seamless, automated process. Your pre-stream routine stops being a stress filled nightmare and becomes, well, just a routine.

Gone are the days of pre-stream jitters and anxiety. Instead, you'll step into each content creation session with confidence and professionalism, knowing that every aspect is perfectly aligned for a stellar performance.


Here’s a Video Tutorial of the Checklist in Action

Now that you've seen how a pre-stream checklist can revolutionize your content creation routine, it's time to witness it in action. Please watch the video where I walk you through the process of how I set up my deck device for pre-stream tasks:


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This post is written on behalf of BCStrategies, an industry resource for enterprises, vendors, system integrators, and anyone interested in the growing business communications arena. A supplier of objective information on business communications, BCStrategies is supported by an alliance of leading communication industry advisors, analysts, and consultants who have worked in the various segments of the dynamic business communications market.