They think people come across as too rigid, unnatural, or they don’t showcase their personality when delivering their lines because they’re too focused reading the words on the autocue instead of their presentation. Using a teleprompter though can be a lifesaver and reduce some of the stress that comes with presenting. When approached prepared anyone can give a good performance when using an autocue, here are some tips that you should remember when using a teleprompter.
Review Your Script
No one is a master at using a teleprompter immediately, you can’t expect to show up and give a flawless performance without a little preparation and practice. You should go over your script, read it aloud and practice it, you don’t have to memorise it because of course that is the whole point of the autocue. Reading it aloud allows you to spot any words or phrases that might prove difficult or disrupt the flow of your presentation, identifying these early gives you the time to rework the script a little bit. Reading over the script also allows you to know in advance the rough order of topics and what is going to come next so you can select the right tone for what you are delivering as a teleprompter doesn’t show you much of the script in advance.
Set the Speed
There is an operator who manually controls the speed of the teleprompter for you but you have to be careful to not let them take control. If the operator is moving the autocue too fast don’t try to beat them, it isn’t a race, if you try to keep up with them they will think that you are comfortable with that speed, they even speed up a little and then you will struggle even more. Be the boss and only speak the speed that you are comfortable, the operator will match your speed and if you pause they will too, they are there to help not hinder you.
Don’t strain your eyes trying to read the words off of the teleprompter, make sure that the font size is right for you, you should ask the operator to help set this for you. If the font is too small you will find it hard to focus and read the script accurately, if the font is too big there will be less words on the screen and you won’t know enough of what is coming up in advance which will make it harder to present well.
Don’t Forget the Audience
Remember that there is an audience on the other side of the camera that will be watching the content that you are creating, you shouldn’t just simply read the words off the autocue. You should look directly at the camera lens as if you were talking to an actual person, you should act accordingly also, relax your shoulders and neck, if your head is stiff and just your eyes are moving it will be obvious that you are just reading from an autocue. As well as being relaxed don’t forget to smile, acting natural is the key to fooling people into thinking that you are presenting without a script or a teleprompter.