5 Useful Teleprompter Tips
Even professional actors and/or others who have delivered countless speeches and presentation ideas may have spent their entire careers never having used a teleprompter (also known as an “autocue”).
While working with American Movie Company, I noticed that some of the talent I met feel apprehensive once I turn on the teleprompter equipment.
They find it intimidating to read off the sloping glass screen on which words magically appear, scrolling up the page as they speak. It is perfectly fine to have reservations your first time using a teleprompter /autocue because professionals are trained using various methods of speech delivery.
Nevertheless, the last thing people want is to sound robotic and flat when reading off a prompter. But I assure you that this usually does not happen, and even the most nervous first-time users of the teleprompter who may, in fact, utilize RSA animate components are very pleased with the end result.
Yet, if you still can’t get the butterflies out of your stomach before using the teleprompter your first time, I have five great tips that may calm your nerves:
I got the following de-butterflying steps from my own experience working the teleprompter and from Gavin Meikle’s webpage on his presentation training website ):
1) Prepare and rehearse your scripts well in advance. Spoken English is quite different from written English so it is important that your deliverance is natural and authentic. Rehearsing and editing the script so that it flows naturally will help you when it comes to using the teleprompter live.
2) Practice! The more you practice your script the more natural and comfortable you will sound. If you happen to have an iPad there is a great autocue app called teleprompt that turns your device into a teleprompter.
3) Don’t be a slave to the teleprompter. Despite having edited and rehearsed your presentation before you go live, you may still feel the need to tweak the words you use on the fly. Changing the odd word is fine but don’t deviate big time otherwise you will lose your place and the teleprompter operator (me!) will blow a fuse!
4) Get to know the teleprompter operator in advance. They will be controlling the speed at which the text flows up the screen and building a rapport with them is vital if you want a stress free speech. If they are on your side they will pay careful attention to the speed of your speech. They will pause, speed up, or slow down your script at your speed to keep the words that you are saying in the center of the screen.
5) and finally, relax and enjoy it. If you are in front of a live audience, remember that they are your focus, not the technology. If you are in a studio, imagine your audience behind the technology. Your aim is to connect with them in your most natural and authentic way.
Good luck and I hope this helps! I’m a professional teleprompter (Autocue) operator in LA. I can rent you a great prompter.