Live video is a strong way of reaching out, but live performances can be tricky, especially when you don’t have a lot of experience doing them. To find out where people regularly make mistakes, we asked YEC members the following:

What is one thing you regularly see that you really wish brands would stop doing, and why?

Here’s what they said:

1. Be Prepared

Too often during live videos, I see the message get lost due to lack of preparation. Everyone is busy and has so many options on where they can dedicate their attention. Make sure that you are prepared to get your message and value across quickly and in a concise manner to keep your audience’s attention. – RJ Bates III, Titanium Investments, LLC

2. Monitor Audio Quality

The nice thing about smartphones is that they offer excellent video quality and data speeds, which has led to an increase in phone-based streaming through Facebook Live and Periscope. But audio quality has not improved at the same rate as these other features. A good audio engineer is essential for any professional brand attempting to live stream, since they literally help to make your voice heard. – Bryce Welker, Crush The LSAT

3. Engage Viewers

I’ve come across several live videos that don’t call for any viewer participation. If brands don’t have compelling reasons to go live and involve interaction with viewers, it’s best that they let live feeds alone. With a real audience watching your live videos, ignoring them is definitely not the way to go. Interactions may come through Q&A sessions, follower-driven segments and audience polls. – Derek Robinson, Top Notch Dezigns

4. Invest in Production

Video recording and streaming technology have become so commonplace and inexpensive that too often little thought is put into how the live stream looks and sounds to the audience. Lighting and audio are two vital components of any successful broadcast. A small investment of time and money in both can greatly enhance production values. This should lead to more engagement and better brand perception. – Thomas Smale, FE International

5. Be On Time

Part of the great attraction of live streaming is that “you had to be there.” It takes a lot of hard work to garner an audience for a live stream. It’s vital that your broadcast starts on time. This means being well prepared in advance. Last minute technical hitches are best ironed out before they become last minute. Otherwise, you risk losing your audience before your stream even starts. – Ismael Wrixen, FE International

6. Stop Selling

Stop talking about your product. No one cares. Collaborate with other great minds in your industry and build out those relationships. Educate your audience about the industry and the problems they’re facing, instead of selling. – Karl Kangur, MRR Media

7. Be Interesting

One two-pronged idea to avoid when doing live video is one, shooting one with nothing more than content of the animated variety or say, just a whiteboard, and no actual live video. That’s one of the main points. Two, don’t do just a video of you talking. Maybe you give a virtual tour of your company’s office or spend some live time with a key employee. People want personalized live videos. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

8. Have a Game Plan in Mind

One of the beautiful things about live video is the inherent spontaneity many brands can take advantage of when streaming. However, even when embracing spontaneity, you should always have a game plan in mind for what you want to accomplish. If there are a lot of awkward pauses or general lack of intent, viewers may drop off because they can’t tell what you’re trying to convey to them. – Michael Mogill, Crisp Video Group

9. Be Professional

In our business, we see quite a few videos where the marketer is intentionally using a shaky handheld camera to appear to be “authentic” and “unscripted.” This is a mistake. What these low-quality videos actually do is cheapen the brand. You can be authentic while also using a steady, professional camera shot: Use a tripod or a camera stabilizer such as the DJI Osmo. – Jeremy Brandt,

10. Go Behind the Scenes

Often, videos are overproduced and aren’t personal. Customers enjoy seeing how the operation runs behind the scenes. They love getting an insight into those key product meetings or having a glimpse into marketing decisions. Don’t be scared to open the doors to your company and give your customers a clear view on how you do business. – Michael Fellows, Broadway Lab, Inc.

11. Avoid Scripted Videos

Because companies are trying to use their own resources to do live videos, they may use people that aren’t familiar with being on camera, so the actors tend to sound very fake and scripted. They may not be dynamic enough to hold attention while still analyzing and replying to comments and user feedback. It’s important to work with “natural” actors! – Marcela De Vivo, Mulligan Funding

12. Don’t Overproduce

The great thing about live video is that it’s a chance to connect with your audience in a more intimate way. Overproduction kills that authenticity and can come across as fake. Keep your live videos casual and don’t spend a bunch of money on them to increase trust with your viewers. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

13. Create What Viewers Want

I’ve seen far too many brands go live to provide self-serving updates and boring, scripted speeches. Instead, engage in two-way conversations and create based on what they actually want. Giveaways, behind-the-scenes, Q&As and live access to things they care about are great uses of live video. – Brandon Harris, NuMedia

14. Get to the Point

I often turn off live videos that are too long and don’t show an endgame in mind. Live video can be an amazing platform, but brands have to keep in mind the short attention span of audiences, especially in today’s digital world. Make it clear at the beginning of your video what you are going to “give” your viewers, then be concise, entertaining and direct in giving it. – Dalia MacPhee, DALIA MACPHEE