Top Ten Teleprompter Tips
1. You are in control.
One of the most important things to remember when reading from a teleprompter is that, as the reader, you are in the driver’s seat. The Teleprompter Operator’s job is to keep pace with you. That way you never need to think about your pacing, you just need to speak naturally and the technician will keep up with you.
2. Speak up!
If there is anything that you need to be changed in order to do your job better, let the Prompter Operator know. If you need the font size changed, or something spelled phonetically or abbreviated, or if you feel like the scrolling is too fast or too slow, let the Teleprompter Technician know. We are there to help you!
3. Be natural.
Maintaining a natural conversational tone really helps you seem believable to the audience or viewer.
4. Know your material.
The more familiar you are with your script, the more naturally you’re going to come across. This will allow you to use the Teleprompter as a safety net instead of having to follow it word for word. This way the Teleprompter gives you support and allows you to feel confident about what you’re going to be saying next.
5. Have good energy!
Granted, there may be some subject matter that calls for a more subdued tone, however, in general, more energy is the best policy, especially when you are delivering the script on camera. The camera really tones down the energy level, so it’s usually best to be a little more upbeat and positive than may feel natural. Trust me, the camera loves it.
6. Read into the lens.
When you’re using a camera mounted style teleprompter, you want to maintain eye contact with the lens, which is just behind the glass. In order to help you do this, the teleprompter operator will tell you what place they are putting their cue point to keep pace with you. Generally, this will be in the center of the glass, and not at the top. That way they can keep your eye line directly in front of the lens.
If you have never worked with a Teleprompter before, ask the producer if you can have some rehearsal time with the Teleprompter before the shoot. That way you and the operator will have the time to get in synch. You can experiment with different font sizes and colors, and format the text for the reading style that suits you best.
8. Choose the right Prompter size.
If you are going to stand close to the Prompter ask the operator to either bring an appropriate sized Teleprompter or to adjust the screen size smaller so that on camera your eyes are not seen to be moving back and forth as in a tennis game; and if you are further back to adjust for that as well.
The Teleprompter will make your life easier, not harder. It takes all the burden of memorization off you so you can concentrate on communicating your thoughts in the most effective way possible.
10. In summary – be confident and take time to breathe.
If you ad-lib, the Teleprompter will be there when you come back on script. If you stop, it will wait for you. Have fun and remember that this is so much easier than trying to remember a whole script. Think of all the time you’re saving, and enjoy it!
If you would like to schedule a one-on-one training session, book a Teleprompter, or if you have additional questions, please contact us at 212-219-1075. You can find us on the web at TeleprompterRental.com and FearSpeakingPublic.org.
Thanks, Amy, Teleprompter Operator
By Amy Bursor, Professional Teleprompter Operator