I’m sure we’ve all seen examples of a teleprompt read badly… but the truth is that for many video creators a teleprompt can be your best friend when it comes to producing content consistently, quickly and confidently.
Teleprompters or Autocues – whatever you like to call them. They can take a bit of practice to use confidently – and the ultimate goal really is for your audience to have no idea that you’re even using one.
Some people don’t like them, but I love them (not for every video) and for videos that require a bit more detail and thought or that contain specific words using a teleprompt can make your filming session a whole lot easier, and faster – as well as make the process of editing your videos simpler too.
So how can you set up and use your teleprompt so it becomes an asset to your production workflow, not a liability?
1 – Set it up properly.
Sounds simple, I know – but so often I see people getting this simple step wrong. Your teleprompt should be set up as close to eye level as possible, so you’re not looking down, or up at it. And it should also be far enough away so that you can still read the text, but there is less obvious eye movement.
The fact is that the closer you get to your teleprompt, the more obvious it will be that you’re reading your script.
2 – Speed of your scroll.
All teleprompt apps allow you to control the scroll speed on one way or another. I always recommend using a combination of line spacing in your script, and experimenting with the scroll speed to find a good balance that ensures you’re delivering your content with suitable speed and energy, whilst not losing the script, or feeling rushed.
3 – Write in the way you speak.
If you want to ensure your script sounds authentic, and natural then you really must write in the way that you speak. That usually means you’ll want to be a bit loose on the sentence structure, use conjunctions like we’re instead of ‘we are’ ‘I’d’ instead of ‘I would’ – and consider writing in a way where the pauses in your script are planned for naturally — I tend to use lots of dashes or dot dot dots when scripting instead of full stops, because that tends to be more naturally how I speak.
4 – Practice, practice practice…
Make sure to read through your script out loud a number of times before hitting record. By reading out loud you’ll be able to identify those word combinations or phrases that have trouble rolling off the tongue. You’ll notice places in your script where you probably need to switch things up a bit so it sounds more natural to you, and you’ll be more confident with the content so you can better anticipate what’s coming next on the autocue.
I’m interested to hear from you – do you use a teleprompt for your videos?