How to Use a Teleprompter & Look Natural
Teleprompters are a great way to make sure you look your best on camera. They give you the chance to practice your script before recording, so you'll save time and money by not having to reshoot scenes that don't go as planned.
With a teleprompter, you can also avoid making mistakes like forgetting your lines or accidentally stumbling over them. They're also great for getting your message across clearly and effectively while maintaining eye contact. Using one will help you avoid awkward pauses or filler words that can disrupt the flow of what you're saying. This will make your content more engaging and easy for viewers to follow along with.
BUT if you're worried you might sound like you're reading while using your teleprompter- you're not alone. As a video pre-production tool, we have studied all the ways you can use your teleprompter.
What is a teleprompter app?
A teleprompter app is a tool that helps you keep direct eye contact on the camera while reading off of a smartphone, tablet, or laptop screen. Teleprompting software uses a video camera to capture your face and display it on your device's screen in real-time, so you can see what the audience will see when they watch you. The text is displayed in front of your eyes and scrolls as you read it, so you don't have to worry about remembering what comes next. Most apps will stop scrolling once the text is complete.
In the past, only professional broadcasters would use a teleprompter because they were expensive and difficult to set up. Nowadays, you can use an app on your smartphone or tablet to create your own teleprompter system. The app will display your script on its screen while you read it aloud into your phone's microphone.
What is a teleprompter used for?
When we think of teleprompters, most of us think of them being used in the context of a news broadcast. But have you ever thought about how using a teleprompter can help your business? Well, we have! Here are some common use cases for how businesses use a teleprompter to record videos:
- Recording a video for your website or social media
- Creating an explainer video for your product or service
- Promoting an event with a speech or presentation
- Recording a testimonial from one of your customers
- Creating a live stream on Instagram Live or Facebook Live
- Recording an investor presentation
The use cases are endless, especially in this day and age where videos recorded on mobile devices have become the norm.
Why you should use teleprompter software
There are many benefits of using a teleprompter, but let’s divide them into 3 big buckets:
- Create videos faster:
With a teleprompter you can dramatically reduce the time you spend recording as you don’t need to memorise your script or do as many retakes. This will also help you reduce the time it takes to edit as the amount of footage is reduced and there will be less “slip ups” to remove from the footage. With Maekersuite you can record in a modular fashion which makes it faster to edit and record videos than any other teleprompter out there.
- Improve your performance in front of the camera:
If you're new to being on camera, it can be nerve-wracking to remember what you're supposed to say. With a teleprompter app or teleprompter, however, you can rest assured that you'll always know what's coming up next. This will allow you to focus on connecting with your audience, rather than worrying about what's coming next. It will also help you make sure you're looking directly at the camera or at the audience you're talking to (this helps people feel like they're being heard).
- Enhance the content you deliver:
When using a teleprompter, you'll need to write a script before you begin. This will ensure you keep to the point and deliver your message in a concise manner. Especially when you have a limited amount of time to grab the attention of your audience. We recommend using one of our many script templates that include word counts and clear guidance so you can make sure you get the best out of any script you create.
How to use a teleprompter
Using a teleprompter has never been easier. In the past you needed hardware and a proper set up, but now you use one on any mobile or desktop device. Simply sign up to the software, add your script and press record.
Typically presenters use the front facing camera as teleprompters are great for talking head videos, that said you can also use the back facing camera and read your script while you capture footage. The quality of phone cameras has dramatically improved over the last few years. With Maekersuite you can even attach a mobile device as a webcam and use our webapp to record yourself.
Script your ideas in text blocks
We recommend scripting and recording in a modular fashion or in “blocks”. This will help you structure your scripts for optimal engagement and also help you record faster. Recording your script block by block simplifies the creation process and reduces the amount of long one takes you need to do.
You know how you can record perfectly for 60 seconds and then right at the end- just when you’re about to reach the finish line you screw it up? You see- that won’t happen using modular scripting and recording.
What is your total running time (TRT)?
Your total running time (TRT) is the length of time it will take for your video to play from start to finish. This includes all of the elements from the beginning to the end, including graphics, text, and any other visual elements that might appear on screen.
If you have a script created you can actually work out a rough estimate by calculating the number of words and dividing it by the average words per minute you normally record at. This is important for 2 reasons. One, you need to tailor your length to the audience, platform and type of video you’re creating. For example, the length of a google ad would be less than 30 seconds, but if you wanted to explain a complex topic requested by your audience that could be anything from 2 minutes to… well there are some longggg explainer videos on YouTube. The second reason is it will also help you plan how much time you need to actually record your videos.
How to read a script when presenting
If you've ever seen a TV news anchor use a teleprompter, you've probably noticed how smooth and natural their deliveries are. Reading a script and looking natural is possible! Here are our top tips:
- Use the teleprompter to practice reading from it in front of a mirror, or record yourself and watch the video to see how you look and sound.
- Set up the teleprompter so that the camera will shoot your face directly into the lens of your eye (not at an angle). The lens should be about one foot away from your face and about six inches off of the center line of your face.
- Observe presenters you love, watch their body language, expressions and tone.
- Practice! To be confident you need no fear- for some this comes naturally, for others you may need a few trial runs.
- Record yourself saying each sentence in turn, pausing after each sentence so that you can read what will appear next on-screen before continuing on with the rest of your script
- Don’t be scared to deviate from the text- it’s there as an aid you don’t need to be rigid about getting every word perfect.
- Leverage the settings of teleprompter so you're most comfortable (font size, scroll speed, font colour)
Record your videos with a click
Recording with a teleprompter is very easy once you have your script. Position your camera or device so that it’s at eye level and press record. Teleprompters usually have a countdown so you can get in place and take a deep breath before you record.
There will be a playback and the Maekersuite teleprompter has a redo button so practice a few times, but don’t get frustrated with your performance… watch any YouTubers first videos they recorded vs their current ones and see how they transformed and adapted their own style.
Send your videos for editorial
We know you have a lot of options when it comes to video creation. We also know that finding the perfect editor can be daunting—especially if you're on a tight budget. That's why we've got you covered! With Maekersuite you get professional editing at a fraction of the cost—and without all the hassle.
No more cumbersome sharing of video files and back-and-forth threads of communication. All your projects will sit in one place. You can select your video clips created on the platform, add any custom media or notes, and press send to editor. We'll take care of the rest!
Using a teleprompter is a great way to make sure you look your best on camera and keep eye contact with your audience. Using one will help you avoid awkward pauses or filler words that can disrupt the flow of what you're saying. With Maekersuite you can use autocue while recording in a modular fashion which makes it faster to edit and record videos than any other teleprompter app out there.
Writing your content before will ensure you keep to the point and deliver your message in a concise manner. Recording block by block simplifies the creation process and reduces the amount of long one takes you need to do.
We recommend you practice reading a script in front of a mirror, or record yourself and watch the video afterwards. Set up your teleprompter so that the camera lens it at eye level.