Facebook Live: Screen Sharing and Scene Switching with OBS Studio

Facebook Live is a very powerful tool for democratizing access to online video broadcasting, but until recently I thought of it as something you could only do from your phone. I knew some professional broadcasters had put on more elaborate productions, but I didn’t realize those techniques were within easy reach thanks to free open source software.

I first used screen sharing used by a mere mortal in a Facebook Live session while attending one of John Haydon’s weekly broadcasts and studying his technique. (See Replay: Workshop on Facebook Live with John Haydon, author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies).

He pointed me to a Social Media Examiner tutorial on connecting the OBS Studio software to the Facebook Live service. That article does a great job of explaining all the detailed settings you need to get right for OBS and Facebook Live to work together. What I’m sharing below are the things I needed to figure out for myself as I considered how I would put these tools to work. In particular, the Social Media Examiner tutorial gives a passing mention to the ability to define different combinations of auto, video, and images as “scenes” in the OBS software and switch between them during the program.

That is what I explore in detail in this first video clip.

Going Live

To stream from OBS Studio to Facebook Live, you first obtain an API key code from Facebook and enter it into OBS.

Connecting Facebook Live to Streaming Software

Here is what that process looks like:

Important: If you will be looking at the audience view of your broadcast (as shown here) on another tab of your laptop, or on another device such as an iPad, be sure to mute the speakers (otherwise you’ll get a really horrible echo).

Another way of getting the link to your program is to schedule it in advance. Here’s how.

See also this tutorial document from Facebook.

Welcome to the Show

Finally, here is an example of the output that would result from the tutorial shown above.

 

Replay: Workshop on Facebook Live with John Haydon, author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies

John Haydon’s online audience likes him

John Haydon visited Online Presenters to show how he and his clients have used Facebook Live successfully to engage with customers, prospects, supporters, and donors. Haydon is the author of Facebook Marketing for Dummies and an authority on social media marketing strategies for nonprofits.

He does a weekly Hump Day Coffee Break broadcast every Wednesday at 11 am U.S. Eastern Time from his Facebook business page www.facebook.com/JohnHaydon.Marketing/

Ironically, given that most of his Hump Day shows are just him talking to the camera (his iPhone mounted on a tripod), you won’t see his face in this recording because he was unable to get his laptop webcam working with our online meetings software. I’ve also shared an example of one of his programs, where the topic was also Facebook Live, below.

Follow up items from the workshop:

Here is a great example of a typical Hump Day show, one in which Haydon is discussing Facebook Live ideas for nonprofits participating in the November 28 #GivingTuesday online event.

In addition to the selfie video style of presentation, I have also seen him do a Facebook Live show from his laptop, including screen sharing. That is possible to do with Facebook Live, although it requires additional software. He uses OBS Studio, a free open source product (see this how-to article). If you need to demo software, that can make sense. However, if you really want to make an emotional connection with your audience, talking directly to the camera may be best.

I’ve done some experiments of my own using OBS Studio and Facebook Live, in search of ways to blend the best of both modes by switching between screen sharing and face-on-camera modes. See my tutorial.

In our workshop, Haydon shared a number of other styles of Facebook Live use, including real estate walkthroughs and broadcasting feeding time for puppies from the animal shelter, that he has seen used effectively.

I believe this is a powerful tool for doing online presentations that Toastmasters ought to learn to use effectively.

Preview: Facebook Live Workshop with John Haydon, author, Facebook Marketing for Dummies

John Haydon hosts a weekly “Hump Day Coffee” break on Facebook Live as a way of engaging with the audience for his social media marketing consulting practice. He says it is the single best tool for growing his audience and building his consulting business, which focuses on the marketing and fundraising needs of nonprofits.

Monday October 9, 2017 7:30 PM EDT to 9:00 PM EDT
Event date is past

Webinar: My Year as Region Advisor by Carol Prahinski

OVERVIEW

Confused about the Toastmasters’ organization structure?  What exactly is a Region Advisor?  How does this person help the district and our members?  This webinar provides an overview of the role, the structure, and key lessons from Carol’s experience.  The audience asked great questions, too.

OUR SPEAKER

Our speaker is a nine-year member of Toastmasters and the immediate past Region Advisor for Region 6.  Region 6 includes 20,000 members located in Michigan, Ontario, Quebec, northern Ohio and a tiny bit of New York state.

She is a member of four Toastmasters clubs, including this club, Online Presenters, as well as a full-time business professor at Michigan State.

Video: Webcam Magic with Arlene Jayme

This was a presentation at Online Presenters Toastmasters, May 29, 2017

Arlene’s notes (originally shared in the chat during the meeting):

LIGHTS:
3 SOURCES
Two: 12Watt LED Lamps
Amazon.com $15.00 each
(they have gone up to $40.00 each)
Shop around for less expensive options

One: 42Watt LED 4 foot Shop Light
Costco $30.
Amazon $40.

CAMERA:
Logitech Camera C910
In 2011 we paid 60.
Today on Amazon $190.
Similar option is C920: today $62.

Many options for External Cameras

SOFTWARE:
Sparkocam Software
https://sparkosoft.com/sparkocam

Free Trial (with watermark) does not expire
Purchase Price Starts at:
$40. for single user, $100 for 5 users

Google search for coupons before purchase. (10-15-20% off)

BACKGROUND:

Green/Blue reversible screen 5×7
was $20. at Amazon a year ago,
I see it sells today for $40.

There are less expensive options.
Shop around.
OR
You can use a solid colour piece of fabric, paper or painted wall

Video Replay: Guest Speaker from Zoom at Online Presenters Toastmasters

One of the most valuable things we learn in Toastmasters is how to recover when things go wrong in a presentation or meeting, and Online Presenters in particular will teach you how to recover from tech problems that crop up from time to time — as happened in our most recent meeting.

After our guest speaker, Joshua Jones from Zoom, had problems signing into our meeting, we wound up having to adjourn and reconvene in a meeting he hosted for us. That reconvened meeting is what I’m sharing below.

I know we lost a few participants along the way, and others couldn’t stay for the Q&A (which stretched beyond our normal end time). So let’s be thankful for the replay! Feel free to share this with others who might be interested. Lots of great info here, particularly on how to avoid having audio problems undermine your video presentation.