Are you looking to create flawless scripts and speed up your productions? In our complete guide to teleprompting, we take you inside our studio and reveal insider tips no one else is covering. The following techniques include hundreds of teleprompter tips you can put into action right away.
25 WORST Teleprompter Mistakes | Pro Level Tips (2019)
What are the biggest mistakes people make when purchasing a teleprompter?
- Buying one that’s not portable. You can have a large, pro level setup such as this one and it will still be extremely portable and fast to setup.
- Buying one that’s too portable. As in: itty bitty and impossible to read from. It’s tempting to purchase a cheap gadget, and many of them are really cute! But I just want something that works. I don’t want to be squinting to see a tiny little cell phone when I record my lines.
- Buying a teleprompter that tips over. A lot of the bigger ones have this problem. Which is why I have a separate laptop stand for my 32″ display (purchased inexpensively on Amazon), and a separate tripod for my heavy Canon EOS-1DX.
- Buying one that only works with iPad. The biggest problem with iPad is the ability to easily import your scripts into it. I don’t like to mess with that–too much work when I just want to get setup with my recording quickly.
- Buying a teleprompter with cheap glass. Not all beamsplitter glass is created equal. Some will tint your recording or reflect your text with a double image.
- Not having a dedicated studio space. Recording with a bad background will make your videos look cheap. Setup of a space usually takes a lot longer than simply setting up a teleprompter.
- Using a device that’s too small. Big glass means you can use a big display, allowing a big font you can read effortlessly across the room. When your camera sits further away you can capture more of your body on camera, and your eyes can read the text without noticeably moving.
- Reading off your teleprompter word-for-word. It’s pretty obvious, and you just want to sound natural. Use your teleprompter more as you would cue cards, I often just have bullet points to remind me of everything I want to talk about.
- Not recording in 4k. Youtube seems to reward 4k videos with better rankings, and it looks a lot better on bigger displays such as monitors and TVs. You run the risk of your videos looking like crap when your competitors post similar videos to yours in a higher resolution.
- Not recording in 60fps. If you’re not using slow motion, no big deal. Personally, I love using slow motion in my videos.
- Bad sound quality. Background sound can kill a video. I setup my studio in a quiet space to avoid the noise pollution I have at work. I also mute my devices to ensure I’m not interrupted halfway through a scene by beeps and bloops.
- Eyes darting back and forth. Stand far enough away that you can read without being “detected”
- Wasting time over rehearsing. Don’t waste time rehearsing your lines. Unless you’re giving a political speech or news broadcast, your teleprompter should be there to remind you of what to say. You don’t need to rehearse too much.
- Bad voice. Use your voice as you would an instrument. Using a monotone is like hitting the same note on a piano over and over. Speak with emotion, using highs and lows, and…pauses.
- Don’t be boring. Use action words, different camera angles, make eye contact. Use big body language and active facial expressions. Do whatever it takes to be both informative and entertaining to your audience.
- Changing your look too much. An advantage to keeping your overall look similar to the past is that you can keep reusing your past footage, mixing it with your new footage. You’re establishing a brand identity.
- Boring sets. Use props to keep your audience entertained. I spend a lot of time surfing Amazon for awesome outfits and sweet ass things no one has seen before. Some of my favorites are LED clothes, crazy wigs, and a trampoline.
- Bad grooming and style. It took a lot of experimentation to find my best look, and it’s still evolving. Working on your personal style with hair and clothing will ensure you look your best.
- Low batteries. Not having all devices charged or insufficient memory available on your recording device can stop you dead in your tracks. A lot of frustration has been caused in the past when I wasn’t ready with my recording devices and they stopped working halfway through a shot. I make sure my gimbal, drones, phones, and DSLR are all ready to go the night before a big shoot. My cameraman double checks all the devices just to be sure, an hour or more before we shoot.
- Bad device settings. Make sure your devices are set properly. I double check that everything is set to 4k resolution and my light balance settings are set correctly for a black background to avoid editing nightmares.
- Bad lighting. When filming outside, a bright day can ruin your videos. My best shots are during twilight, where the lighting is indirect and vibrant colors and lights stand out. When filming inside, having an equal light balance from both sides so that half my face isn’t shrouded in shadow, and there won’t be distracting shadows being cast by every device in the video. Some shadows can be a good thing, but an overpowering light source such as daylight from a window can throw your whole shot off.
- Listening to paid reviews about teleprompter products. I see so many videos on YouTube which have been obviously sponsored by manufacturers. So many of the videos I’ve seen about teleprompter products are completely contrary to my actual real-life experience using a teleprompter. I wonder if any of them actually use a teleprompter in their everyday recordings, or if they just used one in that one single video to review it.
- Bad editing skills. Put the purpose of your video first, then your introduction, then the meat of your video–the content. Don’t let scenes drag on and on with no purpose. Keep it tight, entertaining, light, and informative. Don’t use cheesy transitions and effects unless you’re trying to be cheesy and funny.
- Loud background music. When you’re talking in a video, keep the music minimal to maximize the voice clarity. You can bring the volume back up between spoken scenes.
- Hire talent. A video can be a lot more engaging by adding additional talent. Find talent who supports your vision and supplements your style.
Advanced Teleprompter Mastery: 13 Best Tips To Streamline Your Videos
Today, I’m going to tell you exactly how to avoid painful mistakes when teleprompting and deliver your lines flawlessly.
Here are some of the best questions I’ve been asked by my subscribers and clients:
How can I master a teleprompter?
Teleprompters have two different uses: giving speeches and recording videos. When recording videos, the camera will go behind glass, as seen here, and there will be a black shroud blacking off the mirror side to prevent reflections into the camera lens.
A teleprompter allows you to write a detailed script ahead of time and then execute it on location. Planning ahead will give you time to thoroughly think through all the very best ideas and props you have put into your video.
In addition, because you’ll be nailing your lines, there will be a lot less useless footage to waste your time later when you go to edit it.
When delivering speeches, lectures, or advertisements, the talent will often expect their script to already be written for them, for example in an advertisement with celebrity you don’t want to waste precious time, which you’re paying a pretty penny for. It insures that the masterminds funding the advertisement or event will get their money’s worth: in other words, their information will be quickly and accurately presented.
Other speech applications include news broadcasts and politics, where a teleprompter gives them something to fall back on (like a security blanket) if they’re forgetting their lines or information.
A teleprompter can be extremely helpful when going live, and you don’t want to make mistakes or forget crucial information.
Do I really need a shroud to black off the camera side?
Yes, but if you’re a professional you can paint your ceiling black, or even just stretch and staple a black cloth to the ceiling.
How does teleprompter glass compare with a standard two way mirror?
A teleprompter mirror, also known as beamsplitter glass, is 7x more transparent and has an anti-reflective backside to prevent a double image.
What is the purpose of the antireflective backside of the glass?
To prevent a double image off the backside of the glass, also known as “ghosting”
Advantages of using a black backdrop vs a green backdrop?
The most popular backdrops are white, which is all the rage right now, grey, black, and chromakey (green). White is ideal for an informational video especially if you’re embedding them into a website with white background.
Why do you use crazy humor in your videos?
It’s known as a pattern interrupt. The attention span of a typical person is only a few seconds, which is why you’ll want to throw in a lot of humor to keep people watching. It’s also known as entertainment, which is why a ton of people watch videos in general instead of getting their content from articles. Through humor, I have increased retention time from about 1 minute, which is typical, to 18 minutes and beyond, depending on the length of the video.
What are some other things you can use in your speeches or videos?
Some of my favorite “b roll footage” are: dance, stories, workout, martial arts, & musical instruments. I spend many hours brainstorming and planning with my cameraman, who takes our ideas and turns them into my scripts.
How can I flip display to a mirror image?
Use a flipped teleprompter TV, HDMI MirrorBox, Chrome Plugins (Flip This, Dark Reader to make websites show white text on black background, UltraMon software, or CSS code to flip a website. Teleprompter software is also an option. More details in my next sequel (hit subscribe now!)
What are the best ways to control a teleprompter?
There are a ton of different input devices on the market–just look on amazon. A couple of my favorites are the Logitech Presenter Remote and a foot pedal
Can I use a teleprompter for music, guitar tabs, or lyrics?
We’ve had a lot of famous musicians order teleprompters so that they don’t forget their lyrics or music. We’ve also had a lot of up-and-coming musicians with home studios use them so they can maintain eye contact with their fans in their videos. It gives them that one extra camera angle–eye contact–which is so much more powerful than sliders, gimbals, or drones.
I’m going to show you an example using a popular website called Ultimate Guitar.
What would you recommend if I want to use it outside? Recording through it?
It depends on what you’re using it for. If you’re recording through it, use our indoor glass and black off the backside with a shroud. If you’re delivering a speech with no shroud you’ll definitely want a product called outdoor teleprompter glass, which is twice as reflective as a standard beamsplitter mirror.
What does your studio space look like? Advantages of your setup?
I have two walls–a black backdrop for vibrant colors to stand out, and green screen, which allows me to edit in any background. Gaffer tape allows me to hang the paper without damaging the walls. I recently added a black backdrop to my ceiling so I don’t need a shroud on the backside of the glass.
What gear do you use?
Two 32″ Samsung TVs, tv stands, presidential teleprompters with custom sized 18″ glass with rounded corners. I have them plugged into my laptop using a HDMI splitter.
How do you write fast scripts?
I don’t use teleprompter software because it always seems to goof up my tempo and ends up costing me a lot of time. I simply use Microsoft Word, because I can easily add all the formatting such as different colors and bullet points. Sometimes I will copy and paste my Word file into a HTML editor, if I want to flip it using my web browser. The rest of the time, I simply display it on my pre-flipped 32″ screens.
Between scenes, I audibly speak the subject matter or scene number so I can go back later and quickly organize and label my video files before editing.
Make Awesome Videos FAST! Top Secret Tips
*CONTENT CREATORS* TOP SECRET INFORMATION ALERT: What I am about to show you will be shocking. You will laugh. You might even cry. I know I did when I saw my own video for the first time post production.
Table of Contents:
00:59 Photo Booth
1:35 Studio Setup
2:49k Video Lighting
4:14 Outdoor Teleprompting
5:29 Hiring Extra Talent
6:12 Using A Cameraman
8:02 Let’s talk about YOU, the STAR of the video.
9:16 Slow Down Your Voice
11:25 Body Language and Eye Contact
12:52 Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
14:22 It’s a competition, use your awesome energy!
15:07 Video Props
16:16 Study Humor
18:12 Clothing Tips
18:54 Art Of The Innuendo
19:08 Juvenile Comedy
19:47 Biting Humor
20:45 Stand Up Comedy – Straight Up Jokes
21:14 Master The Unexpected
21:35 Music & SFX
22:10 Workout Scenes
Photo booths are gorilla marketing to get more content for your videos.
Pick a spicy background! Don’t conform and use a simple white one, unless you have to. Pick out something that really makes you pop.
I like black because it makes me look super vibrant.
Use the Halo Teleprompter to enhance the lighting in your space and add an extra camera angle in to the mix.
By the way, mute your devices before recording! Save yourself a ton of time.
► Never used a ring light before?
It beautifies your face and makes your video less grainy by putting more light in the shot!
👀 Check this one out 👀
Make sure your camera man/woman has your best interests. This is the number 1 most critical for me aside from the gear itself. It’s amazing to have someone at the front line with you, battling til the end!
You are the super star and don’t forget it! Make a study of acting, which clothing looks good, body language, humor, vocal tones, and more. There is always a next level.
Go out of your comfort zone so you can level up. Otherwise you will always be making the same BORING videos.
Every successful video that I enjoy has comedy in it. There are so many types of humor – study this and you will have a gold mine of content to create in a whole new way.
When you go in and edit your videos, don’t forget to use music and sound effects to make it a more dynamic shot.
Outdoor Teleprompter: Which Glass to Use Outside
That moment when you have a speech to give outside. & You need a teleprompter. You definitely need to check this out before you use the wrong glass at the wrong time. 😳
Imagine taking your typical teleprompter setup outside. Then, when you get to the event and pull out your equipment, you realize you made a huge mistake. The 30R/70T teleprompter glass is too transparent!
This could be you:
😱 “OH NO!…. I cannot read the text!”
*Looks at audience…awkwardly…squinting…*
I hope this isn’t you!
If you are in a bind, I recommend covering up the back of the teleprompter glass with a black felt, or anything black. At least this way, you can avoid being super embarrassed! This will allow you to read the text. 👏 Crisis averted. For now.
👎 The only pitfall with this is that you will not be able to see your audience through the mirror.
If you are reading this before the day of your event, you are in luck! We have the Outdoor Teleprompter Mirror in stock, ready to cut and ship immediately. We also have overnight shipping available.
Pretty much every day we have a new client with a huge emergency. That is why we are here! 😏 Ready to provide the ultimate teleprompter glass, super fast, for your convenience.
The Outdoor Teleprompter Mirror is 70R/30T. On a sunny day, or in outdoor conditions, the text is way easier to read. Bonus points for being able to see the audience and connect with them! Some people even use a standard mirror. The only issue with that is that you cannot see the audience as you read the teleprompter.
Learn more about the Outdoor Teleprompter Mirror
Do NOT get caught with your pants down! I want you to smile, project your confidence and work on delivering that speech like a pro.