How to use a web teleprompter

Estimated read time: 3 minutes



You might consider using a web teleprompter if you want to use a script on your live stream or podcast. So in this article, I want to share your options as it relates to that strategy. But, of course, first, please consider whether you need a script and a teleprompter

So, let’s say you have decided that you do want to use a teleprompter and are considering your options. In this article, I discuss the following:

What is a teleprompter, and how do they work?

TV news people and specifically anchors in the studio have used teleprompters for years. However, with the emergence of live streamers and podcasters, some people now also use them on virtual broadcasts from their home studio or official studio. Some virtual speakers use them, too.

tv studio teleprompter

In my early days of video production, somebody did run the teleprompter, just like in this picture. Today many teleprompters are just run by the person reading from it through a mouse or a foot pedal. Sometimes a remote is used.

Read next: Cameras that help you make better eye contact on livestreams

How do you operate a teleprompter?



It depends on the setup. Some have a foot pedal that you can use. Others have a remote, and some, like the web-based Cue Prompter, can be operated through the mouse and the space bar.

 

What are the best practices for using a teleprompter on a live stream?

Make sure the copy is well written – conversational. And do try to read it ahead of time.

With some of the best teleprompter readers, you can’t even tell that they are reading. Look straight ahead and try not to move your eyes word by word, especially on close-up shots that can be jarring for viewers.

Even though you are reading copy, try to include the right tone and inflection on words. Don’t go too fast, and don’t go too slow, either. Try to talk as close to your typical speaking speed as possible.

Read next: How to secure my webcam so the video doesn’t shake

What options are there for web teleprompter?

There are several options available.

Browser based

There are free online teleprompters, like the Cue Prompter, that run directly in your browser. So you could copy and paste your copy and then have that window in front of you while looking at the camera.

Laptop teleprompters

Some prompters can be attached to your laptop camera.

web cam teleprompter

App-based prompters

You can download various apps for your iPad or even iPhone in the App Store.

Read next: How to set up two or three monitors with your laptop

Using a Word/Drive doc

You can even keep it simpler, and not use a Teleprompter at all. Just have a Word or Drive document in front of you on the screen and read that. Just like you would on a Teleprompter use your mouse to scroll down as the text advances.

Standalone prompters

Standalone prompters are another option. For example, you can put them on your standalone web camera. I use a 4K camera on a boom arm, for example. That can easily be reconfigured to be used with one of these prompters.


What type works for you certainly is a personal decision and can be about preference and functionality. Also, remember that if you end up using a prompter for a live stream or podcast, somebody still has to write the copy, and you’ll have to do a decent job reading it.



Listen to my podcast