How To Sound Natural When Reading a Teleprompter Script
How To Sound Natural When Reading a Teleprompter Script
25 Apr

How To Sound Natural When Reading a Teleprompter Script

A teleprompter is a powerful and versatile tool for making sleek, professional-looking videos. This technology allows you to deliver a large amount of text without memorizing it word for word, and having that script handy helps you stay on message.

However, the first time you read from a teleprompter and watch the footage afterward, you may find that you sound a bit robotic. Or perhaps you took a few minutes to get used to the scrolling text, and some of your sentences are slow while others are too fast to understand.

Reading from a teleprompter script is a skill that takes some practice. But once you learn how to sound natural while reading from a screen, you’ll feel more confident using a teleprompter in a variety of applications.

Write Your Script By Dictating

The written word is a versatile, yet sometimes fickle, art form. Some forms of writing are designed to be read to oneself, like novels and biographies. Others, like stage plays and screenplays, are written to be read aloud.

The first step in creating a script that sounds natural when read aloud is to write it that way! Pick up an inexpensive voice recorder, or use the one on your phone to dictate your script. This technique encourages you to be more fluid and off-the-cuff while avoiding words and phrases you wouldn’t normally say aloud.

Use Short, Clear Verbiage

Another key to creating a natural-sounding script is to use clear, concise words that are easy to understand. For example, when describing a product you’re reviewing, you might be tempted to lavish it with praise using words like “superb” and “magnificent.” But are those words really a part of your everyday speech?

As you choose your words, get to the point as clearly as possible. Dictate your script using words and phrases that come naturally to you, and avoid the temptation to get too flowery.

A Quick Note:

Avoid including any words that are unfamiliar or difficult for you to pronounce, as those fifty-cent words can interfere with the flow of the script.

Rehearse Your Script Regularly

Even if you’re reading a script you wrote yourself, stay familiar with those words throughout the entire process. The presence of the teleprompter may not require you to memorize the script word for word, but you want to have an idea of what’s coming next. Waiting for the teleprompter to feed you every word can lead to a robotic-sounding reading.

Go through your script in its entirety at least once a day, reading aloud in front of others when possible. Get used to the order of the sentences, and practice with the teleprompter at your earliest convenience.

Smile While Reading

You don’t have to plaster a goofy grin across your face as you read your script. However, a slight smile around the corners of your mouth while reading will make your voice sound warmer and more natural.

That faint smile can also calm any nerves you might be feeling during the rehearsal and shooting process. Imagine yourself welcoming your audience for a casual chat! Relax the muscles in your face, take a few deep breaths, and deliver your message with a gentle smile.

Adjust Your Teleprompter’s Settings

As you move through the rehearsal process and anticipate the shooting of your video, familiarize yourself with the teleprompter you’ll be using. When you buy a teleprompter, make sure you choose one with a large enough screen to see from your position on camera.

Tinker with the teleprompter’s settings, including text size and scrolling speed, as you run through your script a few times. Get a feel for your natural speaking speed and cadence, and adjust the teleprompter accordingly.

Good To Know:

You can also adjust your teleprompter screen’s brightness and contrast to make it easier to read from a distance. If the teleprompter’s default font is tricky to read from afar, change the font to a simple sans serif with adequate spacing.

Try Standing Up While Speaking

Many speakers who use teleprompters on a regular basis, like news anchors, do so from a seated position. However, that’s not the default arrangement by any means! Try delivering your script while standing up straight; speaking while standing encourages better breath support and discourages on-camera jitters.

During the rehearsal process, you may also find it beneficial to pace back and forth a little while you read your script. That extra dose of movement helps to calm your nerves as you familiarize yourself with the text and get used to speaking on camera. When it comes time to shoot your video, stand still for the camera while maintaining that sense of buoyancy and movement in your voice!

Don’t Forget Vocal Warmups

Speaking in public requires close attention to diction, pronunciation, and clarity—all of which will be difficult if you jump into your reading cold. Before you rehearse or perform your script, go through a series of vocal warmups to prepare yourself to tackle those words head-on.

Tongue twisters make great warmups for diction! Try these on for size:

  • “The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue; the tip of the tongue, the teeth, and the lips.”
  • “Sally sells seashells by the seashore.”
  • “Unique New York, unique New York; you know you need unique New York.”

You can also loosen up your voice by yawning, sighing, imitating a siren, and buzzing your lips. If you feel your face getting tight, massage your jaw, cheeks, and temples to encourage a more relaxed facial expression.

The first time you read from a teleprompter, you may feel silly or unnatural as you see that text scroll on the screen. With practice, however, you can make that script sound more spontaneous and engaging!

If your next video project requires you to read from a teleprompter script, use these tips from Glide Gear to help you sound more natural. The right teleprompter equipment is only one part of the equation. Bring your natural speaking and writing talents into the mix to create a video event that’s both informative and interesting to watch.

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