5 Teleprompter Tips to Increase Credibility and Authenticity
A teleprompter is an obvious “must-have” production tool for filming a spokesperson, news anchor, show host, emcee, or anyone needing to read a script while looking directly into the camera lens.
Used correctly, it can help talent deliver the script with natural ease, which speeds the filming process, keeping your shoot on schedule and budget!
Used incorrectly, the opposite can happen. Or worse, your finished video appears contrived and not at all “authentic”. This is the social media “kiss of death” and will sink your video’s content marketing effectiveness.
After years of experience, the pros make reading prompter look easy. The top pros don’t look like they’re reading at all!
But don’t get intimidated, with a few helpful tips and a little practice you can go a long way to develop a more natural style and avoid the most common prompter reading pitfalls.
Those tips are:
Make the words your own. This is easy if you’ve written the script. If this is not the case, at least be as familiar with the script as you can be without memorizing each and every word. If possible, make minor edits to vocabulary and sentence structure to more closely match your speaking style.
Setting the prompter display at least 6 feet away from you will minimize the appearance of any “shifty” eye movement as you read through the script.
Practice before the cameras start rolling. The camera crew will appreciate the extra time to make adjustments to lighting and sound as you get comfortable with the environment.
Set the pace and pause when appropriate. The teleprompter operator will follow your lead. Pause when appropriate for emphasis and allow the key points to resonate with the viewer.
Go with bullets only – working from bulleted message points rather than a verbatim script can yield a very conversational performance.
As you become more comfortable with a prompter you may consider it for other shots too - shots that don’t require you to maintain constant eye contact with the audience. Some examples would be 1-on-1 fireside chats, talk show interviews, town hall meetings and panel discussions or team-based presentations.
For additional insight on using teleprompters check out: