In part 1 of this 6-part series, professional freelance presenter Suzi Lindner shares seven actionable tips that anyone can use to instantly improve their performance when using a teleprompter.
I'm sure you'll agree Suzi's advice is a great way to kick-start your journey. Here’s a quick summary of what’s coming up in the rest of this series:
There's a lot to look forward to. Every lesson is packed with practical tips guaranteed to improve your video projects immediately . . . even if you don’t use PromptDog.
Want to review the content of Suzi’s video? Here’s the transcript:
“If you would rather run into a burning building than get in front of the camera to shoot a video for your business, then this video is for you. I'm going to give you 7 tips on how to use a teleprompter to eliminate camera fear and make your marketing videos more effective.
Hi, I'm Suzi Lindner. These days I’m a successful freelance presenter, but that wasn’t always the case.
My first love was acting so when I landed the lead role in an off-Broadway production it was like a dream come true.
But like most actors, I still struggled financially. Sometimes I would go weeks, even months without hearing from my agent. And when I did have work, the hours were brutal and the pay wasn’t even enough to cover my rent.
So I started making online marketing videos instead. It definitely wasn’t all smooth sailing though. Unlike the theatre, there was never enough time to memorize the lines for every shoot and no repeat performances to perfect my role.
Then I discovered the teleprompter and that made all the difference. It was like the missing piece in a puzzle that finally let me migrate from the stage to the studio.
Now I’m the face and voice for many successful businesses online, earning more than most Broadway actors.
But you don't have to be a Broadway star to be compelling on-camera. You just have to use the same simple techniques that took me years to figure out through trial and error.
Here’s my 7 quick tips for getting started with a teleprompter . . .
Tip number 1 is to keep your script short and easy to read.
If you're making product explainer videos, cold audiences are much more likely to watch a video that's only 1 to 2 minutes long. If you’re making how-to style videos like this one, make each segment no more than about 5 minutes.
Be ruthless about removing words, phrases and whole sentences that are not absolutely necessary to convey your message.
And write your script to be spoken, not read. Read it out loud several times before you go near the camera. If it sounds awkward, try again.
Tip number 2 is stand at least 10 feet away from the camera.
By standing further away, your eyes will take in more of each line with less movement side-to-side. Any closer and it becomes obvious you’re reading from a script.
Tip number 3 is to have someone else operate the teleprompter for you.
That way, you can concentrate on your role as the presenter. What’s critical here is that you set the scroll speed, not the operator. Just read the script at your own pace and let the operator follow you.
And that leads nicely into tip number 4, which is to vary the speed and tone of your delivery.
A script delivered at the same pace throughout, with no variance in tone and pitch, will lose your audience faster than a taco store with no guacamole. So mix things up by adding a pause or extra emphasis wherever it makes sense.
And try to avoid large blocks of text in your script. Paragraph breaks will help you develop a more natural rhythm.
Tip number 5 is to amp up the energy.
Video tends to suck the life out of your appearance and screen presence, so be more animated than usual. Use facial expressions to help make your point and speak with your hands. And stand rather than sit if you can . . . it'll help you relax and generate more energy.
Tip number 6 is ‘don't be a windmill’
You can always tell when a newbie has been told to speak with their hands . . . they immediately start waving their arms around all over the place, as if they have a new take on sign language.
And it gets really painful to watch when they repeat the same robotic movement over and over again. So don’t be that person.
My final tip is . . . don’t forget to smile.
Smiling is one of the easiest ways to keep your audience engaged, but it’s often the first thing to go when a newcomer steps in front of the camera.
If you look for it, you'll notice how TV news anchors will often wear a subtle smile the whole time they’re on-camera. And you should too - except of course when it’s not appropriate.
Okay, that’s it, those are my seven tips for getting started with a teleprompter. Work on these and you’ll be on your way from zero-to-hero in no time.
The next instalment in this series will be hitting your inbox soon, so look out for that.
You can find details of what’s coming up below this video. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.”
I hope that helps. In the next lesson, we show you how professionals minimize their mistakes and make it all look so easy.
There’s no magic involved, but there is a secret sauce.
It's a quick read, so go there now and learn the professional secret that almost nobody talks about.
Chao for now!
Author: Gary Elley