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.

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