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Even though a teleprompter is supposed to help people confidently deliver professional, impactful, and inspiring speeches, even experienced speakers can sometimes get jittery when using one. Through years of interacting with public speakers and people who often have to go on stage in front of an audience, we’ve discovered certain hacks for using a teleprompter effectively. Today, we’re sharing our years of knowledge with you and sharing tips for overcoming teleprompter fear for better presentations.

Overcoming Teleprompter Fear for Better Presentations

While using a teleprompter is supposed to help presenters deliver better speeches, it often makes them come off as robotic and unnatural. This comes as no surprise, as reading from a screen while trying to look into a camera or maintaining eye contact with an audience is not easy. Woman checking the teleprompter machine

If you have a teleprompter fear, don’t worry; you are not alone. This anxiety could be due to various reasons (that we unpack below). The good news is we’re here to help!

What Are the Causes of Teleprompter Fear?

Teleprompter fear is a common challenge faced by many speakers and presenters. This fear can stem from various underlying causes, each of which contributes to the nervousness some people experience when using teleprompters. If you want to overcome your teleprompter fear and deliver confident presentations, you need first to understand its possible causes. 


Lack of Familiarity With the Technology

It’s difficult to rely on or feel comfortable with a device you’re not familiar with, and this anxiety only gets worse if you have to use it to make a public presentation. Teleprompters rely on technology, and for individuals who are not technologically savvy or accustomed to using such equipment, the mere prospect of using one to address the public can be understandably daunting. 

Fear of Sounding Robotic 

Many speakers worry that reading from a teleprompter will reduce their authenticity by making them sound unnatural or monotonous. They fear that relying on scripted content displayed on a screen will limit their ability to convey genuine emotion and connect with their listeners organically.

Pressure to Present Well 

There is often an expectation for speakers to deliver flawless presentations when using teleprompters. This pressure to stick to a script without making any mistakes can create a significant amount of stress and anxiety, which ultimately leads to self-doubt and performance anxiety.

How to Overcome Teleprompter Fear 

Overcoming the fear of using a teleprompter is a prerequisite to grow into a successful public speaker. Here are some practical ways to face and overcome your teleprompter anxieties:

Familiarize Yourself with the Technology

If you are not familiar with the way teleprompters work, then consider learning about the ins and outs of the machine. While you could enlist a teleprompter operator to help you out, we recommend spending some time navigating the teleprompter interface and experimenting with the hardware, settings, and features, including:

  • Speed control
  • Font size adjustment
  • Scrolling options

As you become more comfortable with the teleprompter, you’ll start to feel more confident and you’ll find yourself saying to it, “Never let me go. You have made my life complete.”

Prepare Your Script 

Preparing your speech and organizing it to convey your point effectively is very important in public speaking. Make sure you write a clear and concise script that effectively communicates your message. Instead of using complex or technical verbiage, break down your sentences into smaller chunks so your audience can follow along.Producer giving the presenters their copy of the teleprompter script

Rehearse Your Speech 

Consider rehearsing your speech and, if possible, use a teleprompter as you practice. Focus on maintaining a conversational tone, which you can do by incorporating natural pauses as you speak. Also, do not try to follow the teleprompter. Instead, set a speaking pace that you are comfortable with, and let the teleprompter match that speed.


 

Additionally, you can record your practice sessions and review the footage to identify areas for improvement, especially in the following areas:

  • Pace
  • Intonation
  • Body language
  • Delivery

Connect With Your Audience 

We understand that reading from the teleprompter and maintaining eye contact with the camera or a live audience can be challenging. Yet, it is an important part of any effective communication. Make a conscious effort to glance away from the teleprompter once in a while to look at your audience

Shifting your focus like this can create a sense of connection and allow you to gauge their response to your message. Seeing your audience respond in a positive manner can help you remain calm, which can help reduce anxiety while reading from a teleprompter.  

You should also incorporate gestures, facial expressions, and body language to improve your delivery. You want to avoid standing rigidly behind the teleprompter and, instead, move naturally to maintain the attention of your audience.

Let Go Of Perfectionism

To overcome your fear of the teleprompter, you must also understand that minor mistakes or deviations from the script are inevitable and perfectly normal – for even the most experienced speakers. Instead of focusing on perfection, focus on delivering your message with as much authenticity and passion as you can muster. 

Woman with both of her hands on her faceRelated Questions 

How can I Sound Natural While Using a Teleprompter?

To sound natural while using a teleprompter, rehearse your script out loud as many times as you can. Avoid reading too quickly or too slowly, and use gestures and body language to communicate your message and connect with your audience. It is also important to glance away from the teleprompter occasionally so you can maintain eye contact with your audience.

What Should I do if I Make a Mistake While Using the Teleprompter?

If you make a mistake while using the teleprompter, remain calm and composed. Take a deep breath to regain your focus, pause briefly to collect your thoughts, and then continue speaking. If necessary, you can backtrack slightly to correct the error while still maintaining the natural flow of your presentation. 

Why do I Feel Anxious About Using a Teleprompter?

Anxiety about using a teleprompter can be caused by several reasons, including the pressure to deliver a perfect presentation, an unfamiliarity with the technology, and concerns about sounding robotic. However, you can overcome this anxiety with preparation and practice and start successfully using teleprompters to deliver excellent presentations.

Conclusion 

Overcoming your fear of the teleprompter is not something that can be done in a day. It requires lots of patience, practice, and, of course, an undying belief in yourself. We’ve seen many public speakers use a combination of the above teleprompter techniques to develop a healthy relationship with the teleprompter and become masters of their craft. So start practicing, and soon enough, you, too, will rise above your teleprompter fears!