power your advice

4 Practical Tips for Facing a Teleprompter

I coached a speaker from India – an executive who would be coming to the United States to speak at a convention. The specific focus of our phone coaching? Tips for using a teleprompter.

Speaking to a big audience can be overwhelming. Facing a teleprompter for the first time can make the event even more overwhelming.

Here are four practical tips:

1) Don’t let the teleprompter intimidate you

It’s just a tool. It can make your work much easier (after all, you don’t have to memorize your speech). What’s more, it can improve your delivery (thanks to all the good eye contact a teleprompter makes possible).

2) Introduce yourself to the teleprompter operator right away and ask any questions you might have

Prompter operators are highly skilled. They work largely on a referral basis (some serve the same convention each year for a decade or more), so you can be confident in their expertise. Put their experience and knowledge to work for you.

3) Don’t change your speaking pace to follow the teleprompter

The operator is trained to follow you!

4) Speeches given via teleprompter work best when they are written in a broadcasting format

For example: Don’t write 20,000. You might look at the screen and accidentally say 2,000 or 200,000. Instead, spell out the numbers: “twenty thousand.”