How to Use a Teleprompter Effectively?

Using a teleprompter can be an effective way to communicate a specific speech in a controlled way so that you do not forget what to say. In this way, you can focus on really delivering the message and connecting with your audience. It is beneficial in situations like a speech on national tv or in a live political convention when the whole world is watching. If you are a world leader, president, or chairman of any organization, people analyze every word of your speech. So, a teleprompter can help you deliver the entire thing perfectly.

Some people may want to use a teleprompter because they are scared, nervous, or afraid that they will forget something, or they may be at a place where everyone is using a teleprompter. They think, ‘since everyone is using one, why shouldn’t I?’.

You must be good at the teleprompter so that people don’t notice you are reading. Don’t focus too intently so that it seems you’re reading from a glass screen. If you read naturally, the audience will focus on your message and words because that’s the real goal. It is a simple communication tool to get your ideas from your head out into the audience’s ears so that they can focus on what you are saying. Here are some practical tips for using a teleprompter.

Video recording with a teleprompter

Learning how to use a teleprompter effectively is something you can learn by doing. You can’t simply read a book or watch a video on how to use it. You have to record yourself. Firstly, find a teleprompter and then record yourself. There are iPhone apps and apps from websites you can use for this purpose. There are many types of teleprompters, i.e., big fancy ones, newscaster teleprompters, the executive style ones used by most presidents. Find any kind of teleprompter available easily and create some speech to practice on it. It may be a short speech of up to 60 secs, but give the speech using the teleprompter and record yourself. Then watch the video and make a list of what you liked and didn’t like about your delivery in the recording. At this moment, don’t worry much about the substance of the speech, although you must have a suitable substance in the end. This is a task you will have to do for perfection with this tool. By speaking and recording, numerous times will lead you to the perfect presentation.

The right goal of a teleprompter

It is common to not like looking at yourself in the video and listening to your own voice using a teleprompter for the first time. After differentiating the things you liked and didn’t like, do the things you liked more and improve the things you don’t like, but one at a time. By doing self-correction, you can point out any mistakes by looking at the video without any coach or trainer.

Some people may think of using the teleprompter because of their laziness. They think they will not have to remember anything or get familiar with their speech and just read it out. This is the worst approach for using a teleprompter. If you want to be a great communicator, you will get to know that using a teleprompter will take you more time than delivering a speech without it. If your goal for the teleprompter is to save time, you are going in the wrong direction. So, if you want to be effective, you have to rehearse and practice on video for any critical speech. Grade yourself every time and see what improvement you make.

Start by making minor improvements. You can’t move from awful to perfect in a single attempt. If you made any minor improvement, you now have a system for getting your speech better and better to the point where it is excellent.

Key points for using a teleprompter

Please avoid the following traps that mess people up when they are using a teleprompter. When people are fixated with words and go through them, they take the conversational tone out of it. Following are the four significant mistakes people make while using a teleprompter.

  • You are talking too consistently at the same speed.
  • Your volume is too consistent.
  • You are not pausing naturally.
  • Your head and body are not moving.

If you want to become naturally and relaxed with your teleprompter presentations, you will have to actively solve all these problems. Meaning you will have to speak faster or slower at some times. You will have to speak louder to make the point clear or sometimes whisper to contrast, because people do that in everyday conversation. A still head and moving mouth give a feeling that you are held by terrorists and are forced to say something against your will.

If you are fixated on the words, the easiest way to read is to have your head stiff. You will have to consciously move your head left to right, up-down and also your hands and body not to look scared or stiff as if you were a prisoner. It must feel like you are talking, not reading something.

Using a teleprompter is not like learning any skill or technology. It is just about talking naturally like you talk to your friends and family members. It’s about sounding like a real person and natural rather than a robot.

Improve one thing at a time

Focus on improving one key point at a time, like first work on the speed and consciously break the uniformity of the speech with slowing down and speeding up like in natural human conversations. Then record again, then work on the second point and then complete the four key points. Improving these four points will drastically improve your performance with the teleprompter.

Final thought

Using a teleprompter can be helpful for those who are afraid to forget something during a speech or people who want complete control of their speech. Do a video recording while doing a short speech with the teleprompter? Don’t use the teleprompter to save time; instead, use it as an assistant to make a more impressive and specific speech in which you are very careful about every word. Rehearse to break the consistent speed and volume to attain a natural conversation style. Pause in the way you do in your regular talk and make sure that your head and body are not frozen. Work on one point at a time and eliminate these mistakes one by one from your teleprompter presentation.

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