YouTube Live Setup for the National Conference


Some things to keep in mind up front:


  1. Live Streaming MUST be enabled at least 24 hours in advance
  2. Live Streaming from your phone (via the YouTube app) is only available to channels with 1,000+ subscribers. Therefore, if your channel does NOT currently have 1,000+ subscribers, you will be limited to streaming video from your computer + webcam

Reasons for choosing YouTube Live:

  1. YouTube is a massive platform and not limited by the number of participants simultaneously taking part in a (live) video. Zoom is limited to 100 maximum participants at once.
  2. YouTube also provides interactive tools like Chat and Comments that can provide a forum for Q&A either during, or at any time after the presentation.

Reasons for NOT choosing YouTube Live:

  1. Live Streaming = “Live” which means you will be limited by your own setup / ability. There are ways to create a very dynamic Live presentations with multiple video clips, transitions, video layers, and so on, but without practice (and help), it will be more difficult. If you want to create a very dynamic video presentation on your own, you might also consider pre-recording your session which would give you the ability to edit things as you like before making it “Live.”

How to Enable YouTube Live Streaming

  1. Sign into with your Google account
  2. Go to to check if you have Live Streaming enabled already
  3. If not, click “Enable”
  4. On the next page, verify your phone number by having YouTube send you a PIN number
  5. Return to to verify your Live Streaming status is “On Hold”

How to Create a Live Streaming Event

  1. After 24ish hours, your account should be ready for Live Streaming. Verify this by (signing in first and) checking to verify your Live Streaming status is “Enabled”
  2. In the upper-right corner of the YouTube website, point the mouse at the video camera icon, then click “Go Live” from the menu that pops up
  3. In the new YouTube Studio window that pops up, you will see your video and streaming options in a menu on the left

Live Streaming Event Options

1. Webcam

YouTube will automatically take you to “Webcam” where your web browser will either prompt you to access your webcam / microphone or alert you that one is not yet connected.

  • Make sure your webcam / microphone is connected and “Allow” access to your web browser.

The next screen will give you Live Stream settings that look very similar to uploading or creating a new YouTube video.

  1. Title: Your Presentation Title
  2. Listing: choose “Unlisted”
    1. Public (anyone can search for it on YouTube)
    2. Unlisted (only those with the link can view)
    3. Private (only those you invite can view)
  3. Schedule: Set the time at least 5-10 minutes BEFORE your session start time
  4. Audience: No, it’s not made for kids
  5. Age Restriction: ignore
  6. More Options:
    1. Description: Your Presentation Abstract (or Summary)
    2. Category: Education
    3. Camera: your webcam
    4. Microphone: your microphone (select your best mic if you have more than one)
    5. Advanced Settings: Allow chat (up to you “on” or “off”)

After clicking “Next,” YouTube will give you 3 seconds to pose for a webcam selfie. Say “cheese!”

  • If you don’t like your image, hover over the instant image, and select “Retake Thumbnail.”
  • You will also have the option to “Upload Custom Thumbnail” if you have a custom graphic to upload.

You can now “Go Live” or “Share” your stream.

2. Stream

Creating a new stream in the “Stream” tab is very similar. The only real difference in the setup is the order of options. But you can still follow the above guidelines.

The main advantage to a “Stream” over the “Webcam” is that using a Stream will allow you to grab the secret stream key from the bottom of the Stream Dashboard and insert that into a third-party software like OBS Studio to create far more dynamic live streams. More information on hooking up OBS Studio in this way follows in the next section.

3. Manage

The third tab in the left sidebar is “Manage” and it is here that you can manage and update any of your upcoming live streams.

How to show PPTs and screen-share in YouTube Live Events

  • Q: How can you show PPTs or do screen-sharing on YouTube Live?
  • A: Through a third-party software called OBS Studio.


  • You can create a very dynamic Live presentation on par with the kind of things you see from The Daily Show or other late night and news shows.


  • It means learning how to use and setup another piece of technology.

OBS Studio Setup

To create dynamic live streaming presentations, install OBS Studio and hook it up to record various “scenes”. For example:

  1. One with only you on the webcam
  2. One that shows only the PPT
  3. One that shows your whole Desktop
  4. One with an image overlay (like The Daily Show)
  5. One with a text overlay (like your name, or a headline)

Next, create a YouTube Live Streaming event (see above).

Then, scroll to the bottom of the YouTube Live options page and copy the secret key.

Return to OBS Studio.

  1. Open the OBS Options (Preferences)
  2. In Streaming Options, select “YouTube Live” as your streaming service, and input the secret key you copied from your YouTube Live Event
  3. Be sure that your “scenes” are setup properly
  4. Then click “Start Streaming” on the OBS Dashboard

Return to YouTube Live.

  1. Now, take your event “live” from there.
  2. You should be able to open a window with your live stream, and if everything is working properly, then whatever OBS Studio is set to record will be streaming to your YouTube Live event.
  3. Click to your different scenes in OBS Studio to be sure it’s working correctly. (Note that there will be a slight delay in what you do on the computer and what appears in the stream.)


  • Practice makes perfect. Practice, practice, practice.
  • A second monitor would be beneficial:
    • First monitor: do your presentation, show your PPT and files.
    • Second monitor: run OBS Studio and switch between scenes
  • It’s possible to pre-record your session, edit it as you want, show slides as you want, and then “take it live” via OBS Studio (in the same way as described above) by playing it on your computer in a video player.
    • Then you could also watch the comments / chat as it comes in.
  • It’s also possible that KOTESOL might be able to “take it live” on the KOTESOL channel in this same way.


By Aaron

Aaron Snowberger is the Technical Chair for the KOTESOL 2020 National Conference. As such, he's building the conference website(s), as well as providing consultation and recommendations for all technical aspects of the online format. In 2019, he was the Conference Chair for the National Conference held in Jeonju, where he also created the conference website, app, posters, and book for the event.

Aaron is a 14-year Jeonju resident, a Google Certified Educator, Trainer, and GSuite Admin, and a professional programmer, graphic designer, and online educator. He has taught ESL for 14 years, and computer-related design and programming courses for 8 years. He is currently employed by Jeonju University.

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