1) Always bring a physical copy of the text with you. There is nothing worse than discovering that the text you had thought was loaded into the teleprompter was not loaded, or was loaded incorrectly. In addition, always remember that as with any electronic device, a teleprompter, or teleprompter software, can fail to work properly.
2) Tennis is best left on the court. It is often obvious when a speaker is using a teleprompter as the speaker’s head tends to turn from left to right as if watching a tennis match – moving from screen to screen.
3) Create your own Teleprompter “lingo.” This would be a type of shorthand – whether phonetic spelling, underlining, “stressors,” hyphenated pauses, etc. – inserted into the text. It is easy to lose connection with the audience while using a teleprompter, and speaking in a monotone, with no intonation or expression, is a quick way for that to occur.
4) Don’t Stare! If you are using a single screen teleprompter (especially if using it to record a presentation to be viewed later) remember you are talking to people, not to the machine! Eye contact is crucial, but there is a fine line between constant eye contact and staring; if you are not breaking eye contact at all, it becomes obvious you are reading. Break your visual contact, even for a second or two.
5) Practice. Practice. Practice. If you are going to use a teleprompter, practice extensively with it every time – just because you are comfortable with it for one address does not mean you will be as comfortable the next time – familiarity with the text is critical to success when using this device.