Introduction to Teleprompters
When starting out, Teleprompters can seem a little overwhelming—what is this wacky machine? In all actuality teleprompters are your absolute best friend.
The way that you handle a teleprompter in an audition is different than you are going to handle it on set. As a host there are three different situations you're going to encounter which are:
1) Boards: where the script is written out in large letters on presentation sized paper and positioned to the side of the camera.
2) Sides: a piece of paper with the script written on it, which you hold and refer to when necessary.
3) Teleprompter: If you have a teleprompter in an audition you really have an opportunity to spice things up. You say your words in the most conversational way—like you're not reading but actually talking to the viewer. Conversation tone combined with some subtle head-movement helps so your eyes don't look like they just staring at the lens, or worse, going back and forth showing that you are reading.
Teleprompter Font Size:
When working towards becoming a TV host, you have to set yourself up for success. One way to do this is requesting control over font size for your teleprompter. Every prompter is different, so you can't just say “I want size 12 Times New Roman”. Every prompter is totally different!
I recommend you go as small as you feel comfortable with on your teleprompter.
It’s crazy, but our brain has this amazing ability to grab concepts—even beyond what we realize. So the more words you have on the screen at one time, the more your brain can understand and can start to grasp the concept of what you are going to be saying, even before it hits you on a conscious level.
If you have the font too big, the words can break into the next line, and you may have too little words on the screen for you to really know what you are saying and what might be coming up next for you to capture the concept. It’s something the brain does and we don't even realize it!
HERE is a Teleprompter I recommend if you'd like to get one to practice at home!
Shannon O’Dowd is an on-camera host, commercial spokesperson, & media training/on-camera instructor. Shannon has been working on both sides of the camera for well over a decade.
I eat, sleep, and breath on-camera training and coaching. I Literally wrote the book on how to prepare and embellish your on-camera performance. Finding talent managers and eventually agents means focusing on building out your resume, headshots, and sizzle reel. Having on-camera training can get you ready for the audition. I go above and beyond for my clients and teach up and coming professionals and established talent all over the Los Angeles area. Reach out! I want to continue to build a thriving community of entertainers.