If you've ever had to deliver a statement or script direct to camera, then you'll know that nailing the perfect presentation can be an exercise in frustration.
That's why we think the teleprompter is such a valuable piece of equipment, both in the studio and on location. By using a teleprompter, you can assure that those key messages are professionally delivered, time after time, giving your production a more polished broadcast look.
But how do you find the proper balance? Here are eight helpful tips to avoid common pitfalls and make the teleprompter a valuable tool in your video production equipment.
1. Keep It Conversational
What reads as professional and polished on the page can come off as stilted and self-conscious on screen. Use a more conversational tone in writing a script for a teleprompter. For instance, use contractions instead of more formal phrases such as "you are" and "we have."
2. Practice, Practice and More Practice
There's no substitute for practice. The more you practice and personalize the text, the more you'll put meaning to the words. It's also very important to practice aloud. See just how the words roll off your tongue, and if necessary make changes to the text that will make it easier for you to deliver.
3. Include "Planned Ad-Libs"
Any speech can benefit from real-life stories and other extemporaneous bits, and it's no different with a teleprompter. While you don't have to actually script out these breaks, you do need to have them clearly marked to avoid confusing the teleprompter operator.
4. Use Appropriate Font Size
Of course, easy readability is the primary factor in determining the optimum font size. But larger print also lets you take in chunks of text at a glance, minimizing the tendency of your eyes to ping-pong from left to right.
5. Be Animated and Passionate
With a video presentation, you don't have the benefit of a live audience to ramp up the energy. Smile, maintain "eye contact" and use non-verbal communication, such as facial expressions and hand gestures, to connect with your viewers.
6. Maintain Eye Contact
The magic of the teleprompter is that it enables you to look directly into the camera lens, creating the illusion of eye contact with your audience. Take full advantage of this by not looking away. Your continuous gaze really does engage your audience. Eye movements away from the camera can make you look a little bit 'shifty'.
7. Use NonVerbal Communication
Appropriate facial expressions and hand gestures are critical to your performance. Loosen up . . . there's nothing more distracting to an audience than someone who looks like a 'deer in the headlights'. Use gestures and expressions to amplify your words, stress important points to show that you are passionate about what you're saying.
8. Stay Cool
One of the advantages of a video presentation is that you have control over the final version. If you stumble or lose your place, remain calm and pick up where you left off. The presentation can be re-shot in part or in whole, then the magic of post-production can take over.
Like any piece of video equipment, a teleprompter can't do all the work for you. Hopefully, you'll use these 8 tips to leverage the benefits of a teleprompter when shooting your next video.
We invite you to download our latest eBook for some of most important factors to consider when developing and leveraging video as part of your integrated digital strategy. You can also speak with our one of video experts to learn how Phoenix Production Services can help with your next video project.