Tips for Troubleshooting Your Live Stream

Written by on July 25, 2017

I don’t care how long you’ve been in this industry for, or how much you’ve planned perfection in your live streams, sh*t happens. Some unforeseen circumstances arise, and problems will imminently occur. The question is then, what are you supposed to do about it? Well, we’ve certainly experienced our share of issues while live, and we have some helpful tips for troubleshooting live streams. This podcast episode covers 3 main tips for “what to do when you’re hit with problems while streaming”. I’ve outlined them for you below:

Troubleshooting LIVE

  1. Persevere– DO NOT, I repeat, do NOT, cut the stream. Well, unless the problem is the stream has been cut :). In our recent experience, that’s precisely what happened. Paul hit the cue for the intro, and the entire computer turned off. Chalk it up to a power issue, or an overly hot computer, but it happened. Totally out of our control. It also happened to be an extremely important interview with a CTO of a major company we are collaborating with, YEAH. After a few curse words left our mouths, we began the process of “persevering”. We knew we weren’t going to walk away and call it a day, so, we turned the computer back on and tried to get the stream back up. It’s important here to not give up and walk away, try your darnest to fix the issue. Try to overcome the fear of failure or embarrassment, and fix the problem. Try going to your audience and asking them for help or tips. The chat is your friend. This saves you some time and gives your audience a way to participate even in your darkest hour.  This leads us to our next tip.
  2. Be Flexible– We strive for perfection, but sometimes it’s not attainable. The scheduled stream with our marketed link and pretty thumbnail was gone. The main goal was to get back to our viewers and explain ourselves. To let them know we hadn’t left them in the dust. The whole point of live streaming is to communicate with your intended audience. So in situations where a problem like this occurs, our main goal is not to get everything working again, it’s simply to get back to our viewers. For us, it meant hopping on an old stream, labeled for a “stream now” function. We were not able to use some of our fancy overlays and what not, but we were back in front of our audience.
  3. Move On– What’s done is done. You’ve come back and persevered to the point where your stream is salvageable. Apologize to your audience and explain the truth of what happened. This is actually helping connect with your audience, in the way that you are showing them that you are human, and make mistakes just like them. If your audience is anything like mine, they will be forgiving, and actually helpful in problem-solving. The most important point in moving on is about the shelf life of your video. You are likely recording your live show so people can see it on demand, if you’re not, you should be. This means you can simply clip out the part that you had issues in, and your on demand viewers will have no idea. It’s important to consider them as well, and how their experience will be taking in your content. It also provides your live viewers a custom experience, a private moment only they get to be in on :).


That was a lot to take in, but hopefully, our failures can give you some solace in your own. Every flop and failure I’ve had in live streaming has taught me more than most my successes with streaming. It’s important to overcome the fear and stage fright of being human and making mistakes in front of your live viewers. It’s easier said than done, still working on that myself.



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