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There are a number of podcasting tools and resources that can help you to produce a great show. When I think of podcasting tools I immediately think of audio cart programs, id3 tag software, skype or google hangouts, Auphonic or The Levelator. There are many other podcasting tools but I didn’t give a teleprompter much thought until recently.
If you reference blog posts, newspaper articles or excerpts from books in your podcast then you may be interested in using a Teleprompter for your podcast. Of course, a teleprompter isn’t for everyone. Some podcasters have a natural ability to speak off the cuff. Others need to be more organized and follow detailed show notes.
What is a teleprompter?
A teleprompter (also known as autocue) is a device that displays text to a speaker in a non-distracting way. Using a teleprompter replaces the need for cue cards. Because the screen is placed in front of the speaker next to (or attached to) the camera, there is no need to look down or away from the audience. A teleprompter helps to make the speaker appear to have memorized the content. Commonly used in broadcast news and live television events but is increasingly being used by YouTubers and podcasters as well.
7 uses for a teleprompter
- Audio Podcasting – make it easier to quote sources and read text on your audio show.
- Video Podcasting / YouTube – keep your eyes on the camera as you read your script.
- Screen Casting – improve your screencasts using a teleprompter.
- Online Courses – your online course will be more professional if you use a prompter.
- Webinars – Do you need to read text during a webinar? This will help you keep it nice and smooth.
- Google Hangouts on Air (Another great use of a teleprompter).
- Speeches or live presentations
A teleprompter makes it easier to read the text you are quoting in your show.
When your recording and reading from a book, webpage or show notes you may lose your place and have to re-record or edit that portion of the show. This doesn’t make your post-production job any easier. A teleprompter is especially useful when you are recording live.
Keep your eyes on the camera
A teleprompter can help with your audio production workflow but if you’re doing video podcasting or YouTube shows then a prompter is even more useful. You don’t want to be looking down while reading because you will be looking away from the camera. With a teleprompter, you will be able to keep your eyes on the camera while you are recording.
By using a teleprompter the text will scroll at the appropriate speed with nice big letters making it easy to follow and to fluidly read.
TV Studios have been using teleprompters for ages and a professional grade Teleprompter is expensive. But in the digital age, we now have a ton of options available that will do the job.
[Updated] Little Prompter
A cool little teleprompter that can fit on your laptop built-in camera, over a webcam or with a professional DSLR / Video Camera. The Little Prompter is a great portable solution for creating professional talking head instructional and sales videos.
Teleprompter Apps for your smartphone or tablet:
If you have an iPad, Android Tablet or a Computer (of course you do) then your good to go.
Teleprompter Pro is an app for iPad that gives you the functionality of a teleprompter. It can be controlled using a Bluetooth keyboard which is a great feature if you need to pause or slow down the scrolling text on the fly.
Teleprompter Pro is great for presentations, lectures, broadcasters, filmmakers, musicians & singers, business professionals, or any public speaking!
The Best Prompter App is designed for both iPad and iPhone.
Professional teleprompter for iPad allows you to create and smoothly scroll scripts during a speech. It becomes your best friend while practicing and delivering public speeches.
Useful for business presenters, teachers, lecturers, students, video and podcast makers, musicians and any other person who needs to use
scripts, notes or cue cards while speaking in front of an audience.
Besides general “must have” features such as text size, colors, smooth scrolling, mirror mode and so on, Best Prompter also has an audio recorder
and fully functional RTF editor. The audio recorder allows recording speeches multiple times and listening to them.
• Allows recording multiple audio files for one script
• Use it during the training sessions to check your speech and hear it the way others do
• Listen to audio records to analyse and improve your speech
• Record speeches during a presentation to evaluate how good you were
• Share audio records via iTunes file sharing to your iMac or PC
• In-app script editing
• Smooth text scrolling
• Full screen mode
• Supported document formats RTF, RTFD, HTML, Plaint text in UTF-8
• Change scrolling speed, text size, mirror mode, all caps mode on the fly
• Scroll text with gestures and scroll bar
• Easy navigation via the table of contents
• Elapsed time of the speech
•Estimated time to the end of the script basing on the current scroll speed
• Copy-Paste text from Web, Email, Pages or any other app supporting text copy operations
• Custom text font type and size, text and background colors for each document
• Optional on-screen markers that help keeping your eyes in a certain part of the text
• Import and export text scripts via iTunes file sharing
• Send text scripts via email
Markers help focusing attention on the recent parts of the scrolled script.
Markers positions can be rearranged.
To start moving markers, tap and hold the marker line. When a big picture with up and down arrows appears, the markers can be moved.
To finish moving markers, tap the ‘X’ button or tap on any part of the screen except the marker lines.”
Remote Prompter is a teleprompter app for Android
Open and scroll any .txt file with HTML tags including paragraphs, bold, italic, underline, font size and color. Attach your android phone or tablet on camera, plug in wireless or bluetooth keyboard and control everything remotely! Speed up or speed down text, scale fonts and edit on-the-fly with touch or with keyboard inputs. With a help of built-in smart countdown (ETA) timer you always know how much time remains to finish reading.Mirror mode is available for all mirror based configurations!
We built this app without any adds, no permissions required and completely free for you to use in your production environment.
★ Touch functions (icons from left to right):
1: Play (to pause press upper corner)
2: Reset text to begining.
3: Increase font
4: Decrease font
5: Speed up
6: Speed down
7: Browse and load file
8: Mirror mode
Swipe screen while playing to drag or lift scroll.
★ Keyboard shortcut keys
Increase font: Right
Decrease font: Left
Speed up: Up
Speed down: Down
Speed lift: 1
Speed drag: 2
Mirror mode: M
Exit edit mode: Tab
A Prompter for Android is another basic teleprompter app for Android.
The first and most downloaded free prompter for Android, ideal for tablet sized devices!
Now much more than a prompter: video recording enabled: you can train without an expensive camera, and watch immediately the result using any video player!
Intuitive, mirror mode, Ads-free, full screen mode, etc.
Is able to read plain text files (.txt), but you can also edit your text directly in the prompter (Manage text / Edit text), or copy/paste text from applications able to read other text formats.
Remote control through Bluetooth available.
If you have a stand or swivel arm for your tablet then these teleprompter apps will work well for you.
By placing your tablet in front of you while you do your video podcast or record your YouTube video you will be able to keep your eyes on the camera and stay on cue.
There are a ton of options for these tablet stands and swivel arms that allow you to be hands-free while using your tablet.
Turn your computer screen into a teleprompter.
Free Online Teleprompters:
Cueprompter is a free web based teleprompter service. There is no need to sign up as a member or log in to the site. Just go to www.cueprompter.com and type or copy/paste your text into the text field. You cannot save your work on this site so you should use a word processor or a tool like OneNote (my favourite) or Evernote. Then set the font size and scroll speed and when you’re ready to record press the “start prompter” button and away you go.
AutoCue is very similar to Cueprompter. The layout is a little different but they are essentially the same. You can paste your script into the text field and your good to go. Just like Cueprompter, AutoCue allows you to adjust the font size, scroll speed and alternate between black text with a white background or black text on a white background.
You can adjust the scroll speed at the top of the screen or use keyboard hotkeys. The maximum text length is 2000 characters but you can have multiple tabs/windows open if you need more.
Are these apps the same as using a real teleprompter?
Professional teleprompters use one-way mirrors. The mirrors reflect a computer screen which is below it, and behind that mirror is the camera.
So when the host reads off the screen, they are actually looking right into the camera.
The problem with using an iPad or a computer screen is that the speaker will be looking slightly off axis as he or she reads the script.
Not a big deal when you consider the price of a broadcast quality teleprompter. These apps and websites are great an option for podcasters, YouTubers, and online educators but they aren’t for everyone.
Should I be using a teleprompter for my audio podcast?
A teleprompter may be a good idea if you are not a natural speaker. Some people are able to speak off the cuff about their topic in a natural and professional way. If you are one of those people you may not feel the need to use a teleprompter in your podcast workflow.
Do you rely on organized and detailed show notes when recording your podcast episodes? If so a teleprompter may help you to stay focused and on topic while you record your show. If you tend to drift off topic and ramble on about things in your show then a teleprompter could help.
Do you quote a lot of sources during your podcast episodes? If so the teleprompter may be easier to read than a blog post and you won’t stumble and lose your place in the article as you record your show.
A teleprompter will also keep your show within a limited time frame by keeping you tightly focused.
Should I use a teleprompter for a video show?
If your recording a video show, a teleprompter is even more important. With video (if you are in the frame) your audience can see you and if you’re looking down while your reading a quote or reference material it doesn’t look good. You should be looking at the camera and speaking as if you are talking directly to a person watching the show. Unless you have your script memorized or you are winging it or just following a loose outline without any structure. If not then a teleprompter could be very useful when recording video shows.
Another downside to using a teleprompter is it may make your show feel canned and people may be able to tell that your reading. Even with an expensive professional teleprompter, your eyes will tend to move left to right as you read which doesn’t look good. It takes a lot of practice to develop the ability to read a teleprompter without appearing like your reading a teleprompter.
Podcasters are generally tech savvy people and most of the podcasters I know love trying out podcasting gear and software. So give these apps and websites a try and see if a teleprompter works for you and your show.
If you have experience using a teleprompter as a podcaster let us know in the comments.