How to Read a Teleprompter

Okay, so you’ve got a teleprompter and you’ve got your script, but, for some reason, the way you read the text just sounds odd. Maybe it sounds too stiff or too enthusiastic—either way, it just doesn’t sound natural. How can you improve your presentation? A teleprompter certainly helps, but what you need are some tips on presenting the text rolling up the screen.

Writing

Writing a script may seem easy enough, but sometimes the way a person talks and the way a person writes are two different things. Remember that you’re going to be saying what you’re writing down. Make sure your language is suitable for verbal presentation. For example, people have the tendency to cut out unnecessary syllables and sounds when speaking, like saying “haven’t” instead of “have not”. If you focus on keeping your writing similar to your speaking, it will help eliminate some of those awkward, stiff bits of your speech.

Practice

Once you have a script written and ready, then it’s time to practice. Iron out some of the kinks in your speech and smooth over odd bumps in your tone. The more you practice, the better you’ll sound. Repeating your speech out loud will help put a stop to stuttering and awkward pauses.

Be Energetic

The next step is to ensure you’re full of entertaining energy. If you’re using a teleprompter, odds areyou have an entire audience focusing on you. People don’t want to see dull and bored. They want to watch someone that’s entertaining and interesting. Pack your performance with emotion, but be sure to keep it natural and less forced.

Be Comfortable, Smile, and Stare

Body language is also an important part of presenting your piece. Remember to look relaxed and comfortable in your skin instead of hunching up in stiff discomfort. Also, be sure to give a bright smile to show confidence and connect with your audience. Eye contact can also help engage your audience, as the use of a teleprompter helps you speak directly to the camera. Unless you’re in a situation where you need to look away from the camera, make sure you maintain a steady stare with the camera. If you’re constantly glancing away, your spectators may think you’ve got something awful up your sleeve.

Read at Your Own Pace

One problem with reading from a teleprompter is that you often feel like the teleprompter is pushing you to the finish. This is wrong. You should be able to read the text at a comfortable speed for you without having to worry about being too slow. The script is often scrolled through manually, so whoever may be in charge of rolling through the text should be following you and your speed. So, don’t worry. Just read, take your time and don’t let the little things rush you.

Relax

Now, this is the most important tip of all: just relax. It’s easy to get panicky when the spotlight’s shining right over your head, but you need to relax; be comfortable. Relaxing will help your performance roll through a bit easier, but it will also encourage a little fun. If you stop worrying and fretting, you might just enjoy the experience.

Teleprompters are helpful and all, but putting on a good show still requires a little focus and skill. Teleprompters will make it easier for you to remember and read off your lines, but it won’t magically smooth out your speech. Just remember to relax, get comfortable and read with confidence and gusto.