Author Archive for Greg Stephenson

How to Hire a Prompter

How to Hire a Prompter

The answer is simple… just contact us, it’s our specialty. Call us, or fill out the contact form below!

We are a Teleprompter for Hire company. We connect you with prompter equipment and experienced operators. Let’s check both items off your list at the same time.

Whatever your project: video production, webcast, meetings or conventions… we’ve done it all. And we have a warehouse of prompter equipment and a roster of experienced people.

We’re committed to providing the best Prompter for Hire in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. When you call us you are “going direct”. No middle man, no 800 numbers, no out-of-town area-codes. D/FW is our home market, and our equipment and people are located here. And, of course, we are available to work across the nation as well.

Anyway, back to the question at hand.

How do you Hire a Prompter?

When a producer contacts us they always have two questions in mind: are you available? and what is your rate?

To answer those questions, we need some information from you. And we’ve paired it down to the bare minimum. Four easy questions. If you don’t have an answer for each question, give us as much information as you have.

  1. Are you producing a “video” or a “show”?

If it’s a video, that usually means a “through the lens” prompter or an off-camera monitor for a single camera. If you need an extra prompter, or have something special in mind (like an interrotron), let us know. For more on our video production options, see our VIDEO page.

If you’re producing a show (i.e., meeting, convention or live event) … there are two types of prompters to consider: presidential prompters or confidence monitors (and some producers opt for both). If you aren’t familiar with those prompter displays, see our LIVE EVENTS page for more detail.

If you need some guidance on prompter equipment, we can walk you through the options. We are happy to answer any questions you might have.

  1. What are the dates for your project?

It’s a good idea to put a date on the calendar, even if it changes. There’s no up-front commitment, and if that date is in demand, we’ll give you an opportunity to “firm it up” or release it.

  1. Half-day or full-day?

Our teleprompter for hire is available in blocks of time. A half-day is 5 hours, and a full-day is 10 hours. If you’re not sure, we can quote it both ways.

For a multi-day show or a project with travel, a brief schedule would help us give you a more accurate quote. It doesn’t have to be anything complex. A sentence or two for each day on the schedule would suffice.

  1. What’s the location or venue?

Sometimes project location can affect the cost. Parking expenses and mileage are factors we include as a separate line item. Sometimes we can schedule a prompter operator who lives closer to your job site.

I remember a project where our New York City based client hired us for “a video shoot in Dallas” and then gave us an address in far southwest Fort Worth. Yes, it is in our region, but it turned into a 100 mile round trip drive. It is good to know details like that in advance so we can prepare for your project.

So that’s it. The minimum we need to know to quote a project. Soon you’ll have a “Prompter for Hire” checked off your list.

Three closing thoughts to leave you with:

  1. If you don’t have answers to all four question, give us what you’ve got and we’ll go from there
  2. If your project is multiple days or requires travel, we prefer to send a written quote
  3. We usually turnaround a quote in 24 hours or less, if you need it sooner let us know

You can get started by completing our contact form below. And if you have any questions, give us a call. There is nothing like a voice conversation to help walk you through the options. We look forward to working with you.


    Why Use a Prompter for a Live Event?

    Why Use a Prompter for a Live Event?

    The teleprompter is a valuable asset not just for presenters but for meeting planners and content managers, too.

    Meeting Planners. Scripted presenters finish on time, so your session is more likely to stick to the schedule you worked so hard to establish. Use rehearsals to time presenters’ speeches and keep them aware of what follows on the agenda (i.e., what’s going to get screwed up if they run over).

    Content Managers. Teleprompter rehearsals help you preview the arc of a meeting across several speakers and to uncover overlapping information in separate presentations. These rehearsals also provide valuable milestones for monitoring everyone’s progress before the event.

    Presenters. It’s a memory device and a safety net; it keeps you on track and on time. And now, because you don’t have to worry about remembering what to say, you can put more effort into how you say it, using your tone of voice, pace and emphasis to deliver a more interesting performance.

    • It keeps your head up. You can read from a script without looking down at paper. You’ll look better on stage, on the big screen and in the video recording of your performance.
    • It keeps you accurate. Sensitive topics need to be discussed in appropriate terms; misspeak, and you may distract your audience from the rest of your message.
    • It keeps you on track. You have limited time to convey your message. Write, rehearse and deliver your speech to fit your time limit, and keep the meeting planner happy.
    • It keeps you in synch. PowerPoint and videos are cued to your script. You don’t have to advance a graphic or ask for a video roll, because your production crew can follow your script, and give you what you want, when you want it, without your asking
    • It keeps you up front. There’s no printed-out script to distract the audience. They can’t see the script, they’re never aware you’re reading from it; they’ll never notice even a Presidential Glass, unless you draw attention to it.

    Contact Dallas Prompter for your next live event.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Live Events

    Frequently Asked Questions About Live Events

    Here are a few questions we get about Live Event prompting:

    How do I control the scrolling words?
    You control the words with your pace: your prompter operator listens as you speak and adjusts the scrolling speed to match.

    Can I trust the prompter operator to stay with me?
    W e l l . . . You can trust us to stay with you. Unfortunately, some companies regard teleprompter operation as an entry-level position. If you’re working with an unfamiliar operator, we suggest a test drive:

    • Introduce yourself and ask how long they’ve been prompting.
    • Give the operator a couple of script changes and watch as they type; you can tell if they’re familiar with the system.
    • The acid test: rehearse.

    If the operator doesn’t seem competent with the software, or doesn’t match your pace, ask (respectfully but firmly) for a better operator.

    Do I need my glasses to see the prompter?
    Some people can read a prompter without glasses. It depends on your eyesight and other variables. Give it a try and see for yourself. (And bring your spectacles just in case.)

    This is my first time to give a speech with a teleprompter. What do I need to know?
    We suggest three basics for first-time prompter users:

    1. The teleprompter operator follows you, so you can set the pace.
    2. You can still ad-lib; your prompter operator will pause the text.
    3. Presidential Prompters offer you two glass panels to read from. Avoid frequent, “metronomic” head turns as you switch between panels. Push yourself to stay with each panel for longer than (at first) feels comfortable; use the start of a new sentence – or, even better, introduction of a new topic – as a reason to change the direction of your gaze.

    I want to walk around the stage. Can I still use the prompter?
    Yes. We can display the prompter copy on several large video monitors in front of the audience, facing the stage; when you look at a monitor, you appear to be looking at the audience beyond it. (Let your audiovisual producer know in advance if you want to work this way, because it might require extra equipment.)

    Can I ad-lib?
    Yes, you can ad-lib. It’s entirely natural to change the words a little as you give your speech.

    Will the audience know I’m using a prompter?
    Not if you don’t tell them. (Our pet peeve: when presenters mention the teleprompter in ad-lib comments to the audience.) Unless you sound like you’re reading, they can’t tell. So write, revise and rehearse your script until it sounds conversational.

    Can I speak to my PowerPoint slides?
    Yes. You don’t need to read your slides word-for-word (which is incredibly boring to the audience), and you won’t have to put every word you say on-screen. Having a prompter script puts the words in your mouth, so your graphic can pick up the key points.

    How much rehearsal do I need with the prompter?
    We suggest rehearsing your script at least once.

    Why Use a Video Prompter?

    Why Use a Video Prompter?

    You may be great speaking to a live audience but that doesn’t necessarily translate into a strong presence on camera. You don’t get the same sort of feedback from the glassy eye of a video camera. When you use a video prompter you’re ultimately helping the viewer focus on your message.

    A prompter also nearly eliminates the need to ad lib. Most people struggle to ad lib on camera. If they perform a good take – usually after several attempts – they don’t remember what they said, so they can’t repeat it when the director asks for a retake.

    And why do directors ask for a second good take? In the trade it’s called a “safety,” recorded just in case there’s a problem with the video clip or a verbal bobble nobody caught.

    Our video prompter services are very affordable, especially when compared to the cost of the entire video. And it can help your personal ROI, too: you’ll record more good takes while expending less time and energy.

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