4 Helpful Tips for Operating a Teleprompter

One important task when someone is reading a script directly to the camera is operating the teleprompter. Even if everything else is done correctly, poor teleprompter operating can cause your production to look bad in the end. Here are some helpful tips when it comes to operating a teleprompter. 

Be Aware of Where the Talent Is Reading the Script

You may not realize that it's not enough to have the words on the screen as the talent is reading them. The placement of those words is critical to ensure that the talent's eyes are not tracking in all directions trying to read the words in various places. You want to keep the words over the lens of the camera as they are being read and adjust the speed accordingly. If the talent is reading faster, speed up slightly to keep those words in the proper position. 

Don’t Make the Text Too Small

Every talent is going to be different when it comes to the size of the text that they are comfortable reading. Make sure to work with the talent to adjust the font size and make sure it is legible for them. Text that is too big runs the risk of scrolling too fast and causing eye tracking, and text that is too small may not be legible from a distance and cause mistakes. 

Spell Out Your Numbers

The way a word is pronounced should not be left up to interpretation, especially when being read off a teleprompter. While you may think it is helpful to list a number as its numeric value in a script, know that the talent may not say the number as intended. That is why it is worth going through the script and writing out all of the numbers out as words. For example, the number 1,200 could be pronounced as "one thousand two hundred" or "twelve hundred."

Don’t Work Without a Printed Script

Technology can stop working when you least expect it. If you have talent reading off a teleprompter in a live capacity, either on air or for a live event in front of a crowd, make sure you have a printed script ready to go. If something happens where the teleprompter stops working, you can have the talent read the printed script and avoid any awkward moments where they do not know what to say. 

If you don't feel comfortable handling this very important job, hire a teleprompter operator to do it for you.