How to Use A Teleprompter
Tools like the iPad, teleprompters today are very affordable, and make a world of difference in your videos.
One consistent concern I hear, is that people don’t want to sound scripted, so they have intentionally avoided using a teleprompter. Well, that’s really a concern about using a script and in my experience, sounding scripted has nothing to do with whether you use a script or not. It’s true, that if you don’t use a script, you won’t sound scripted, but without a script it’s impossible be as clear, as concise, or as strategic.
Even if you are good at speaking off the cuff, you won’t remember everything that you want to say, and it will take you longer to say it. Also, off the cuff videos usually take several takes to get it right. When you use a teleprompter and make a mistake, you can just start that paragraph over, and easily edit out the mistake. For me personally, switching to a teleprompter reduced my recording time by 75%, and completely increased the quality and results.
It is very important to sound natural. The whole point of using a teleprompter, is so you can look right at the camera, and not look like you are reading a script. The problem comes when you sound like your reading, and how that is overcome, is by practice.
The more time you put in beforehand, the more natural you will look on camera. You want to be very familiar with your script, so that when you read it, you sound natural and enthusiastic. You want the wording to sound like you. If you polish the grammar to much, It may end up being a bit rigid, and therefore sound scripted, and in my opinion, it’s better to use your normal grammar, than to sound scripted.
When you practice:
- remember to include arm movements, facial expression and other good body language
- Try practicing in front of a mirror, and pay attention to what your subconsciously doing.
- You may find yourself rocking in place, or tilting your head to one side, or not looking as happy as you say you are.
- Find a good speed that allows me to sound natural. I find it actually better if the script is scrolling a little slow, because I can always pause and let it catch up. I just don’t like being rushed.
- Intentionaly pause at various points in my script. This is a good idea generally as it will add extra impact to what you’re saying, but it also gives you a good repair point in your script. If you make a mistake, you can simply pause, and then begin where you had your last pause, and it can be edited seamlessly together in your video.
If you’ve never used a teleprompter before, you may be wondering how to overcome the nervousness. I admit, it was a little scary for me too. The exciting news is, that it only takes a couple of times to get over it. It actually makes the recording of videos a lot more relaxing, because you don’t have to stress about saying the right thing, or remembering everything.
Everything I used to film this video:
- 6 Softbox Lights with Stands: Set of 3 for $160 (I use 2 of these) – http://goo.gl/qRT5aI
- Sony Vegas Studio: $98 – http://goo.gl/9WRMn2
- Photography Backdrop Stand: Only $63 – http://goo.gl/BQKUcp
- A 9.5′ wide roll paper from local photo supply store: $60
- An iPad Mini to use for your teleprompter: $329 – http://goo.gl/4trDmH
- An iPad App called “Teleprompt+”
- A teleprompter case: http://reallycheapteleprompter.com/14g/
- You can use one of the extra light stands that come with the soft boxes for the teleprompter.
- A tripod and mount for your camera My favorite Digital Recorder (for Audio): http://goo.gl/aBuZy3
- A Great Little Lapel Microphone: http://goo.gl/FdE0hf
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