New To Reading A Teleprompter? Follow These Helpful Tips

Posted on: 6 May 2021

Teleprompters are helpful tools that allow people to read a script while looking into a camera, rather than memorizing the entire script. This is done with mirrors and glass that project the image over the camera lens so that it looks like you're looking at the camera, but the camera doesn't see the text in front of the lens. Reading a teleprompter can be a bit different if you've never used one before, which is why it helps to have these tips as the reader.

Avoid Eye Tracking

A big problem with teleprompter reading is that the viewer can tell that the talent on screen is using one, which is mainly identifiable due to their eyes tracking between the left and right side of the screen. This can be fixed by making adjustments to how you read the text off the teleprompter. As the talent, you can request that changes are made so that the text falls more in the center and is still legible to you. This includes making narrow margins so that you're not looking slightly off camera or making the text smaller so that you're not quickly reading the text on screen from the very top to the bottom. All the text should fall in the center so that it's right in front of the camera lens.

Adjust Reading Speeds 

The key to having a natural script delivery when reading off a teleprompter is the reading speed, which is how fast the text scrolls on the screen. If the text is moving too fast, you'll end up with those eye tracking problems as you look up and down the screen. If the text is moving too slow, you'll have long pauses as you wait for the script to catch up with where you are.

There are two ways to deal with this problem. The easiest is to hire a professional teleprompter operator that has experience with this skill. It's the best way to ensure that you are not wasting time on set. The other option is to let the talent use a foot pedal or remote to control the speed of the teleprompter themselves. Of course, multitasking like this can be difficult, and it can also be difficult to hide the remote, which is why an experienced teleprompter operator is often used.

Contact a teleprompter operator in your area to learn more about how to use a teleprompter.