More than once you might have wondered how the newscasters can narrate news in such a perfect way, or how politicians give their speeches so fluidly. While it is true that we are talking about professionals, still all of them require the help of a teleprompter!
The teleprompter or autocue (also known as "cue”, or “prompter”) is a mechanism consisting of a screen or mirror that allows the person to read a script at the same time as he utters. It is a reading tool, which aims to provide support and confidence to the speakers.
Normally the teleprompter is operated with a foot pedal similar to the gas pedal of the car, and it's the speaker itself who determines the reading speed of the text. Sometimes, there is a professional in charge of the mechanism, a cue operator, who is able to edit and control the reading speed manually with a remote control, when the pedal is not being used.
There are two types of Teleprompters: Podium Teleprompter, (also called Presidential Teleprompters or Speech Teleprompters), and Camera Teleprompters:
Presidential, conference or podium Teleprompter
It is used in situations where the speaker faces live audiences, such as lectures, speeches, and exhibitions. The mechanism has a glass set to the height of the user's eyes, is held by a pole or a monopod similar to a microphone stand. This glass is transparent from the point of view of the audience but has reflective capabilities from the point of view of the speaker. Traditionally, a computer monitor is placed on the bottom of the device, displaying the script that reflects on the glass and allows the speaker to ready while still looking at his audience. Last generation Teleprompters can use an iPad or Android tablet as a source of text.
In some cases, two Teleprompters are placed, one at each side of the user, both synchronized with the same text allowing the speaker to look at both sides, giving him a more spontaneous and casual look. Podium Teleprompters are located 1.5 or 2 meters (3-5 ft) from the speaker to allow for agile and comfortable reading.
Camera mounted teleprompters for studio
This type of teleprompter is used in all types of TV recordings: live news, magazine programs, contests, pre-recorded programs, advertising, etc. The autocue is placed directly on the opposite side of the camera lens, in which the text is projected, and is updated as the presenter reads. Like the podium teleprompter, this system also uses the same kind of mirror, transparent on the side of the camera and reflective on the side of the caster.
Light camera Teleprompters for iPad or Android tablets
Parallel to the rise of Internet video content (thanks to platforms like YouTube) and its integration in the daily life of Smartphones or tablets such as iPad or Android, a new generation of teleprompters has emerged, replacing heavy computer screens with these versatile and portable devices.
These new iPad/Tabelt teleprompters have similar functions as conventional studio teleprompters but are much lighter and easier to use and transport (because they do not require to be connected to a power supply). Another advantage is the more affordable price they have, costing about one-fifth of what their bulky brothers cost.
These features are becoming very popular both in home users (youtubers) and among companies that want to communicate with their audiences via video without making major investments in sophisticated equipment. Because of its excellent performance and practicality, an iPad/Tablet teleprompter can be a great tool for video marketing, Youtube shorts, personal branding videos, brand storytelling and vlogging in general. Youtubers can also benefit from this kind of devices and make their videos appear more natural.
APPs for teleprompter
Currently, the market offers a variety of apps for iOS and Android, many of them being free. Here are some of the top-rated by users:
- TeleprompterPAD® FREE Oficial App (iOS & Android)
- Prompster (iOS)
- SpeechPrompter (iOS)
- ProPrompter (iOS)
- Teleprompter Pro (Android)
- Apuntador para Android (Android)
If you need a teleprompter app and do not know which one to choose, see our ranking iOS / Android teleprompter apps.