If you want some teleprompter tips, you’ve come to the right place! If your video project requires delivering a piece of scripted content to camera, chances are a teleprompter might make the difference between your delivery being professional or amateurish.
Whether it’s a video blog, company announcement or just a simple video for social media, speaking down the lens on video is the next best thing to talking face to face with your audience.
What is a teleprompter?
A teleprompter (also known by the brand name Autocue) is a device that prompts presenters with a stream of text, allowing them to effortlessly read a script without having to memorise anything!
In video production, teleprompters come with a monitor (or sometimes an iPad) that’s positioned underneath the camera lens. This displays a scrolling script. Then, a reflective pane of glass is placed at a 45 degree angle in front of the camera lens, reflecting the screen underneath it.
The camera can then film the presenter straight through the pane of glass whilst the presenter reads the text whilst looking directly into the camera – as if they memorised every word!
But there’s a bit more to using a teleprompter than just reading words off a screen!
Here are a few teleprompter tips we’ve picked up over the years.
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Know what you’re saying!
Even though you’ll be reading every word from a screen, you’ll still want to find time to familiarise yourself with your teleprompter script in advance of filming.
Have a few goes at practising the script out loud, making sure to go slowly at first so the words and sentences sink in.
Then, see if you need to change anything that sounds unnatural. Think about whether punctuation, splitting paragraphs or highlighting key parts of the text will help make the delivery more natural too.
There’ll definitely be a few tweaks to make on the filming day as well, so work with the video team to make the necessary changes on the shoot.
You set the pace
Always remember that the teleprompter is there to work around your needs, not the other way round.
If you think the script is going too fast or too slow, it can be adjusted at any time to suit your pace. Teleprompters will usually have a dedicated operator to deal with this and they will adjust the speed of the words to suit your delivery.
The same goes for the text size. if you need the words to be bigger, smaller, on a different colour background, whatever it is, let the video crew know.
Remember, the teleprompter works for you!
The more natural you feel when delivering your autocue presentation, the more natural it will look too. Body language plays a big part here.
If you normally use your hands when speaking, then make sure you do the same when presenting on camera. Even the smallest gestures that add rhythm and emphasis to your words can make a huge difference to your performance. Don’t feel like you have to sit on your hands and keep still!
Think about whether you’d prefer to sit or stand, as well. This can have a huge effect on your energy so chat with the video production team to make sure the shot is set up to work best for you.
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Watch your energy levels
If you’re presenting on camera, whether you’re using autocue or not, pushing the energy level of your delivery a little bit further than you would do normally is key to coming across as engaging. It might feel a bit strange, but it works!
There’s a big difference between ‘reading’ and ‘presenting’ – so you’ll need to project a bit more than usual. Harness your personality and turn your energy up a notch!
You’ll want to fully express yourself on camera and have your passion and enthusiasm to come across effectively, so turning the energy up a bit more than you usually would is the best way to do this!
Relax and Smile!
There’s no need to rush through any video filming project – so try to make it as enjoyable as you can! in fact once you get into the flow of using a teleprompter, you forget you’re being filmed anyway!
Don’t feel pressured to get it right first time either. A decent video production team will help you relax and reassure you that no one gets it in one take.
Plus the editors only ever use the best bits, so don’t worry about making mistakes. And anyway, the more mistakes you make, the more you improve!
So try and make it as enjoyable as you can. And don’t forget to smile! It might get difficult after the 3rd or 4th take, but take a breath before you start, open with a smile and you’re good to go!