How to Use a Teleprompter
When you’re hosting a show, or even auditioning for one you may be presented with various ways to talk to the camera.
Teleprompters can seem a bit daunting at first, but once you get some practice, you’ll realize they can make your job easier and take the pressure off memorizing a script.
When you host a show or audition for a show you may be given your script in several ways:
1- Teleprompter – Your script is uploaded on a screen that is directly in your eye view of the camera.
2- Sides – a piece of paper with the script written on it that you can hold and refer to when you needed.
3- Boards – the script is written in large letters on oversized thicker paper and someone is positioned next to or just under the camera. You’ll “grab” a few sentences at a time and talk to the camera. Saturday Night Live has been using boards since it started.
4- Cards – which are index cards usually with the show logo on one side and notes on the other.
As a host and co-host of several shows, I’ve had the opportunity to use a teleprompter and see the benefits firsthand.
Tips on How to Use a Teleprompter
- When the cameraman sets up the teleprompter do a few practice runs before actually taping or being live on camera.
- You’ll be able to determine the font, font size and the speed of the script rolling on the screen that works best for you. I suggest you choose as small a size you feel comfortable with as this will enable you to grab more of the content and verbally express it in a more natural way. If you choose too large a font size the words will be broken up on multiple lines and your delivery of the concept may sound stilted.
- With a teleprompter, you have the opportunity to deliver the script in a conversational tone and add your personality. Don’t feel tethered to read it exactly as written and use contractions.
-Add subtle head movements as you read the teleprompter, so you avoid it looking like your eyes are moving left to right really reading the material.
If you want more practice you can download a teleprompter app on your iPad.
Best teleprompter apps:
-Teleprompter Pro Lite
-PromptSmart Lite or PromptSmart Pro
Consider buying a real teleprompter:
There are plenty of budget teleprompters out there, but I recommend the Glide Gear teleprompter. It’s a collapsible teleprompter and works with your iPad for under $200. You will need a tripod and your own camera.
Alison Deyette is a TV host, spokesperson and media training/on-camera coach. She has helped brands, executives, on-air personalities, aspiring hosts, experts and a long list of Fortune 500 companies develop and express their messaging and editorial content for television, web series, social media, corporate video and print publications. As your media trainer and on-camera coach, she’ll help to transform you into a powerful, confident and focused speaker or personality, ready to share your message with the world! She is the regular lifestyle expert for Access Live, KTLA Los Angeles, Inside Edition, Access Hollywood and regularly works with brands on HSN, QVC and other networks.