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How to Not Look Awkward Using a Teleprompter | 6 Quick Tips

17 July 2023

Stepping in front of a teleprompter can be both exciting and challenging. It’s a powerful tool that helps you minimize how many takes you need to deliver your message flawlessly while maintaining eye contact with your audience. But how can you ensure a smooth and natural performance? In this article, we will share valuable tips and insights to help you master the teleprompter, allowing your words to flow effortlessly and captivate your audience. Whether you’re a business professional, a presenter, a vlogger or a public speaker, these practical tips will elevate your teleprompter skills to new heights.

1. Familiarize Yourself with the Script

Before you step in front of the teleprompter, take the time to thoroughly review and familiarize yourself with the script. Read it multiple times, ensuring you understand the flow, pacing, and key points. This familiarity will enable you to deliver a more natural and confident performance.

For example, you can highlight important phrases or keywords in your teleprompter script to help you maintain a smooth delivery and emphasize key messages during your presentation.

2. Practice Reading Aloud

Reading from a teleprompter requires a different skill set than traditional public speaking. Practice reading the script aloud, paying attention to your pacing, enunciation, and intonation. This practice will help you find a comfortable rhythm and ensure a more conversational delivery.

Record yourself while practicing with the teleprompter. By reviewing the recordings, you can identify areas for improvement and adjust your delivery accordingly.

3. Maintain Eye Contact

If you’re using an off-camera teleprompter, one of the challenges can be striking a balance between reading the script and maintaining eye contact with your audience. To create a natural connection, glance at the teleprompter briefly to capture the next few words or sentences, then shift your gaze back to your audience. Imagine the teleprompter as a supportive companion, there to guide you. Let your eyes wander naturally, engaging with your audience, and making them feel connected to your message.

4. Control Your Pacing

Teleprompters can influence your pacing, so it’s crucial to have control over your delivery. Avoid rushing through the script or falling into a monotonous tone. Try to vary your speed naturally instead of reading everything at the same pace which can feel robotic. Take deliberate pauses, emphasizing key points and allowing your words to resonate with your audience. Use vocal inflections to add interest to your delivery.

Varying your speed and tone can help create interest and emphasize important information. So, plan beforehand what things in your script you want to stand out. Use pauses strategically to build anticipation or allow your audience to absorb a significant point.

5. Practice Gestures and Body Language

Although your eyes are focused on the teleprompter, your body language and gestures are still essential for conveying your message effectively. Practice incorporating natural gestures and movements that complement your words without distracting from the teleprompter. Avoid being stiff and standing or sitting motionless as you talk.

Use open and welcoming body language, such as confident posture and appropriate hand gestures, to engage your audience. However, be mindful that excessive movements can be visually distracting. So don’t go overboard and “ham it up” beyond what you would naturally do in conversation.

6. Glance Away for a Natural Connection

If you’re using a teleprompter that’s in front of the camera lens, remember that it’s crucial to maintain a natural connection with your audience by occasionally glancing away from the camera. Constantly staring into the lens can create an unsettling, unblinking stare. Instead, intermittently shift your gaze to create a more engaging and relatable presence. We don’t do this when we’re naturally talking to one another since it is too intense.

Find natural opportunities within the script to glance away from the teleprompter and then re-establish eye contact with the camera. Remember, the goal is to strike a balance between reading from the teleprompter and connecting with your audience. By incorporating periodic glances away from the camera, you can create a more dynamic and personable on-camera experience.

Mastering the teleprompter is an art that requires preparation, practice, and a touch of finesse. By familiarizing yourself with the script, practicing reading aloud, maintaining eye contact, controlling your pacing, and refining your gestures, you’ll unlock the full potential of this valuable tool. Embrace the teleprompter as a supportive aid, allowing your words to flow effortlessly while captivating your audience. With these tips in your arsenal, you’re ready to deliver powerful presentations that leave a lasting impact.

If you’re looking for professional videography services, and even help with using a teleprompter during the shoot, then don’t hesitate to reach out to us today. We’d love to work with you and help you create something awesome!

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