Are you ready to start doing a Periscope live stream, but not sure what tools to use to improve your video? Or perhaps you’re already scoping but you would like to improve the quality of your scopes to better engage with your followers.
I’ve put together a list of the simple tools that I am using for Periscopes and Meerkats (another live streaming app). These should make it easier for you to improve your setup or to get started if you’re still hesitating about doing a live stream. Please note that the links and photos (also links) are my affiliate links with Amazon.
One of the most important of these tools is a tripod for your smartphone. Having your phone on a tripod eliminates the camera shake and makes it much easier for people to watch you or whatever it is you’re streaming.
If you already have a selfie stick, check to see if you can screw a tripod into the bottom of the stick. Since I didn’t yet have a selfie stick, I started out with the Accmor Rhythm Pro Selfie Stick. It has a tripod attachment and a remote. If you are interested in owning a tool that serves as both a selfie stick and a tripod, then this is a great way to go.
Note: After about 30 scopes, I decided that I would like to have a heavier bracket to grip my iPhone 6 Plus on the Accmor Rhythm Pro Selfie Stick. I bought the MegaGrab2 by ChargerCity through Amazon.com. It is more of a workhorse as far as brackets are concerned. You will find that it is really easy to swivel your phone from portrait to landscape mode and back. It fit easily onto my selfie stick.
I also use a tripod with flexible legs by CamRah. I like the strong, flexible legs in this tripod, but the joint at the top does not allow you to put your smartphone in the vertical position for a scope. Those flexible legs, though, will let you position your phone in odd places such as a tree branch or another place where you would need to wrap the tripod legs around something.
Magnetic White Board
You can also find value in a small white board and an easel to hold the white board. I love this type of setup for a live stream. You can write the topic of your stream on the white board and point your camera towards that when you first start your stream. I suggest pointing back to the white board that shows your topic at the end of your stream too.
If you use a magnetic white board, then it serves dual purpose during your Meerkat or Periscope live stream. I post a one-page list of tips or topics that I plan to cover in the stream onto the white board using the magnets.
With this method, you don’t have to spend time erasing anything from the white board during your stream since you’re just temporarily covering it with your sheet of tips and topics. You have the option of pointing your camera towards the list, or you can keep the camera pointed towards yourself and use the list as a teleprompter of sorts.
This will keep you more organized. I’m seeing that it also seems to help keep my visitors more engaged in the conversation during the stream.
The other handy piece of equipment that I use during a live stream is a tabletop easel that holds my white board. It keeps things at eye level for me while I’m streaming and prevents paper shuffling when I switch the camera from front facing to rear facing.
Mics for Your Smartphone
You can improve the audio quality of your live stream if you attach a microphone to your phone. The external mic that you choose will override the internal mics on your smartphone when plugged in to your phone. Note: Keep in mind that your followers will forgive video that is poor quality for much longer than they will forgive poor audio quality, so an external mic is always a good idea for your scopes.
If you’re going to be more than a few feet from your smartphone during a scope, or if you’re going to be using the rear-facing camera to show your followers something while you continue talking, then you should use your mic on your earbuds or another external mic.
A lav mic is a good option since you don’t have to hold it while you’re speaking. I am loving my new Rode (pronounced “road”) lavalier mic that I use for scopes. It plugs in to the earphone jack on my iPhone 6 Plus. It has greatly improved the audio quality of my scopes. If it is within your budget, I recommend this mic. It’s very popular in the industry.
In one of my earliest scopes, I used my IK iRig mic which is a mic that you hold or place in a table top mic stand. The iRig is an HD mic. Instead of an XLR connection of a standard mic, it too plugs right into your iPhone or iPad like the Rode mic mentioned above. If you’d like a handheld mic rather than a lavalier, this is a great option.
Another brand I’ve seen promoted in a scope is the MXL, but I don’t own this brand of microphone, so can’t speak from any personal experience in use of this mic.
Fisheye and Wide Angle Clip-on Lens Set
Another tool in my kit for broadcasting via Periscope is a set of clip-on lenses for my smartphone. If you are interviewing another person in your broadcast, the addition of a clip-on lens to expand the field of view will make it easier to include both people in the scene while the phone is in portrait (vertical) position. The photo below is a live affiliate link to Amazon for the set of clip-on VicTsing lenses to use with your smartphone. I purchased this set and use the lenses on a regular basis in my scopes. They are really handy!
You’ll see the other tools that I’ve mentioned in this post, and that I have referred to in scopes, when you check out the images and links below. Hope you find this helpful.
What is your favorite tool or tip for Periscope or Meerkat?
Do you have a favorite tool or tip about live streaming with Meerkat or Periscope that you would like to share? Please add a comment on this post and let’s get a conversation going about ideas for improving the quality of live streams and making them easier to conduct.
Feel free to add your Twitter handle in your comment if you’d like for me and other readers of the comments to follow you in Periscope.
PS – Please follow me on Periscope (@vickiemaris) for course design tips, elearning news and the occasional llama training or music conversation.
Disclosure: The links above are my Amazon Associate affiliate links. If you click through to Amazon using one of these links, I earn a small commission for your purchase. I appreciate it when you make a purchase through these links as it helps me cover the expenses of running the podcast and the blog.