Reaching an audience online

A guide to live-streaming and webinars

About the book

In August 2018, 'Reaching an audience' was published, providing an introductory guide to digital live-streaming events and presentations.

As many organisations give talks, presentations and lectures in the traditional fashion, this book is aimed at those who have yet to discover or expand upon their skill in live-streaming or who complete webinars.

As the technical era moves at a tremendous pace, the authors of this book believe that the skills and knowledge shared are a vital modern life-skill that provides great value in helping busy and modern communities connect better than ever before.

The value

After a lent lecture series was trialled to be streamed live online, reaching a further audience who weren't present was such a rewarding experience for both the audience and presenters, the knowledge and skills had to be shared.

In demonstrating some technical skill and understanding, a main aim of this book is to help others achieve those results, in reaching an audience who cannot be present and to bring an experience personal to them, making these events so easily accessible in the modern era.

The inspiration

This book was inspired by the authors' experience of successfully providing live-streaming of an illustrated talk from a village hall in rural Herefordshire.

During this live stream, the authors used 'GoToWebinar' software to complete this stream which worked well for them. A total of 50 virtual guests attended, but as this was a trial there was no subscription taken. The presentation was streamed through a 4G connection, and this is one very important consideration to make before selecting a venue and the live-streaming service. As this was a trial that was appropriate, but if this were to be adopted as a lengthy series, this would not have been the most cost effective way to have done things.

The book outlines everything you need to know to prepare for a live stream, but in completing your own live-stream it is important to research what software is available to work best for you, your venue and your audience.

If you would like to hear more from the people who experienced the trial that inspired this book, please get in touch at: enquiry@mathonchurch.org.uk

About the authors

   Jack Versiani Holt

Jack Versiani Holt

Jack currently works as a Communications Officer and is also self-employed with his personal brand 'Holtography'. In learning essential storytelling skills during his masters degree in Wildlife Documentary Production, he has applied these skills in effective digital communication within his current role, external consultation and on many creative projects.

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He has also been commissioned for an architectural photography project and has a great passion for landscape, long-exposure and wildlife photography. Jack created the cover, design and writing style for this book.

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   Kevin Brewer

Kevin Brewer

Kevin has worked extensively as a specialist in data connectivity, managing the delivery of complex I.T. projects in both the commercial and non-profit sectors both in the UK and beyond.

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He sees the power of live-streaming technology as a positive force for good, bringing together communities and enabling participation in events by those who would not otherwise be able to take part.

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Where to buy

Currently the book is only available printed in English and German. If you would like to discuss production of a translation please do get in touch at: enquiry@reachinganaudience.com.

English Edition ISBN: 978-1-5272-2521-3
German Edition ISBN: 978-1-5272-3107-8

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Review by: Hamish McNab, 17 February 2019 via Waterstones

This book was one of the best Christmas presents I was given this year. The creative writing group I run in a small village in the Highlands has long had fewer people at our meetings during the winter, this book provided a solution. I am not a 'computer person' but I still found the information in the book clear, concise and easy to follow. Live streaming has now become a successful feature of our meetings and it is already popular among those joining online. I recommend this book to anyone in similar circumstances, even if I'd had the idea to try live streaming earlier I would not have known where to start, this book guided me through everything needed. As a bonus it is very nicely written which made it a joy to read.

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Review by: George Douglas, 22 November 2018 via Waterstones

This book just made our wedding day even more special! I saw it on social in October and it sparked an idea “what if we could live stream our wedding reception speeches?”. I bought the book. It was so worth it! It is very well written, it demystifies what I though would be really complicated into short simple sections on everything we needed to think about. It turned out to be really easy to let family and friends that could not travel to Scotland for our big day still share some special moments with us and to give us their special messages. It didn’t even cost very much and the guide in the second half of the book on how to present in a live stream really helped everyone look super professional on screen. This is an amazing book and a “must read” for anyone thinking of doing a live stream for the first time. A big thank you and thumbs up to the authors!

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Review by: Tom Moir, 18 October 2018 via Waterstones

I ordered this book after seeing information about it on Instagram because I liked the idea of being able to broaden the audience for our community club monthly speakers, the club chairman agreed we give it a try. It is a remote community on the west coast of Scotland and there is not much here for people to do in the community, so involving more people could be a big plus. Reading the book I became more and more convinced that by following the simple guidance in this book I could put this idea into practice, it covers everything logically from planning to what to do when the live stream is actually on air. It does not say exactly what software or equipment to use, but does give good guidance on how to choose. If live streaming becomes popular when we try it out I plan to buy a copy of this book to give to each speaker we have in advance, as the final section of the book that gives tips for people preparing and presenting a talk for an online audience is particularly valuable, yet clear and simple advice. The book is nicely laid out with a good clear font and room to make notes in each section. I have now found that there is a website dedicated to the book, but was disappointed that it did not have a forum feature to share experiences and questions with other clubs trying live streaming for the first time.

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Review by: Cameron Christie, 24 September 2018 via Wordery

When I saw this book on the shelf in a local bookshop I knew within a moment of dipping into it that it was exactly what I needed to help me achieve an aim I have had at the back of my mind for a while, but not known how to get started. Back home I read it straight through from cover to cover and I was not disappointed. Every section gives practical advice in every day English without confusing technical language, but it still provides comprehensive information. Because this book makes what could be a difficult subject so easy to follow we have now actually live streamed a talk from our local farming support group in Scotland. The internet audience was small, but the good feedback means we will certainly be doing it again. When it came to it, the thought of broadcasting live was a bit scary, but a section of the book helped with that with a chapter “Tips For A Live Presentation” that gives very good advice written by an author who very clearly knows his subject well, it was the last step in turning the idea I have had for a while into a reality. Every group that has people giving talks at their meetings should buy this book. It needs better publicity because I only found it by luck, so I am posting this review and hope it will help.

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Review by: James Phelps, 23 August 2018 via Waterstones

I brought this book in a regular bookshop, having come across it by chance, and was so impressed I want to leave a review on here to recommend it to anyone thinking of streaming a meeting or presentation online. It provides straightforward clear guidance on the requirements and things to bear in mind for organising the equipment needed, followed by an excellent section full of great practical tips and advice for people presenting to an online audience from a ‘real’ meeting. This is not a technical, line by line, guide of how to wire up or configure equipment, but it is ideal for event organisers and co-ordinators who want to bring together a small team of people, who want to include people online in their group. The book does not recommend, in fact it does not even mention, any specific software or online service, so the reader must be prepared to do some further research, but it does clearly list and explain the things to consider when choosing the right package for what the read aspired to do. It is concise, but packed with valuable information, not a single word is wasted! The style of this book left me feeling I’d just got some really good advice from a very knowledgeable friend, but as I don’t have any friends with experience in this area this book gave me all I was looking for (and it has been invaluable in the success of my first “online enabled” village gardening club talk last night).

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Review by: Alex MacKie, 7 September 2018 via Waterstones

A great little book containing down to earth advice that is clearly communicated for “non-techies”. I only have basic computer skills (coming from a generation that did not grow up with them) and it has really helped me run my first live stream for our history group in rural Scotland. It was a huge success and something I had not considered before seeing this book. The book provides lots of information about the equipment and software that will be needed, but it does not recommend any particular product and I found that this gave me confidence that this was really impartial and independent advice, I enjoyed researching the options and found the pointers on each area within the book very helpful. Following all the steps made sure we did not over-look anything, and the section at the end with tips for speakers was a real bonus. A good value read, very well written!

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Review by: Nick W, 7 August 2018 via Bokus, Sweden

This book will help someone who wants to run an online event, but who does not know where to start. It offers good clear advice on how to prepare for the event. It also have lots of advice for someone presenting a talk online. I found it very helpful

Den här boken hjälper någon som vill köra en online-händelse, men vem vet inte vart man ska börja. Det ger bra tydliga råd om hur man förbereder sig för evenemanget. Det har också massor av råd för någon som pratar på nätet. Jag tyckte att det var mycket till hjälp.

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