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Teleprompter Explained: What Is a Teleprompter?

Elsa Updated on Mar 9, 2023 Filed to: Screen Mirroring

Public speaking can be daunting, especially to large crowds. We often forget our words on stage, even if we had them memorized beforehand. That's why teleprompters are now a common feature of various events, from local news programs to international organizations. Let's take a closer look at what is a teleprompter and how does it work.

Let's explore what a teleprompter is and how a teleprompter work.

Part 1: What Is a Teleprompter?

A teleprompter is primarily used to help a speaker maintain eye contact with the audience while sounding spontaneous and natural. This eliminates the need to memorize a speech and allows the speaker to read from the teleprompter while giving an impromptu delivery to the audience.

What is a teleprompter used for?

The primary usage of a teleprompter is to keep a natural visual contact with the audience and make sure the speaker sounds impromptu. In this way, the speaker does not have to memorize the speech and instead speaks naturally to the audience while reading from the impromptu.

which is a teleprompter

Some of the common situations in use are:

  • Television news broadcast
  • Educational lectures
  • Video productions
  • Speeches at award shows
  • Live events
  • Political speeches

The components of a teleprompter

The following are the four major components of a teleprompter:

1. Camera Placement

In the old teleprompters, the script was shown underneath the camera. However, modern teleprompters have a much smarter camera placement in which the display is placed above the video camera lens. In this way, the reader does not have to move their eyes downwards or sideways to read the script.

2. Reflection In The Mirror

The reflecting screen is placed in front of the camera lens, and the script is displayed on the monitor installed on the screen's bottom. The screen consists of reflective glass or a beam splitter. Its purpose is to make the teleprompter operate and make sure the reader can read the words by looking straight at the camera.

3. Text Positioning

Text positioning is an integral working principle of a teleprompter. The purpose of teleprompting software is to invert the characters of the script to make sure the presenters are able to read the script accurately. This type of software is responsible for importing the script from another program, such as Microsoft Word, and delivering it to the monitor through a connection.

Modern tools and technologies have made it possible to make the working of a teleprompter much easier and smoother. Various online platforms and smartphone teleprompting apps are reliable alternatives to such traditional teleprompting software. We'll be discussing them in detail in the next section.

4. Protection Cover

The reflective screen is protected from other sources of light with the help of a black coating. It is important to ensure the script can be rolled out smoothly without getting disrupted by any external source.

Part 2: How Does a Teleprompter Work?

The working of a teleprompter is quite simple but highly impressive. It includes a monitor and a reflective screen that is placed right in front of the camera lens. The purpose of the monitor is to display a mirrored version of the script that the reader will be following.

The reflective glass, on the other hand, is meant to act as a beam-splitter glass and split the light in a way that the person reading the teleprompter can see the reflected words on the camera, but the camera cannot see these words.

This is the general working principle of all teleprompters. However, the exact working of a specific type of teleprompter can vary on the basis of its type and specification.

Types of Teleprompters

Following are the three major types of teleprompters:

① Camera-Mounted Teleprompter

A camera-mounted teleprompter has a camera behind the glass screen. The speaker looks directly into the camera while reading the script. Generally, newscasters, business executives, and instructors use camera-mounted teleprompter devices to read the scripts.

Camera-Mounted Teleprompter

② Presidential Teleprompter

As the name suggests, presidential teleprompters are typically preferred by the presidents. But generally, they work well with any live audience. A presidential teleprompter has a reflective glass attached at the end of a long and thin pole instead of the camera's lens.

Presidential Teleprompter

③ Floor or Stand Teleprompter

A floor or stand teleprompter is typically rested on a stand at a specific angle from the ground, or it hangs at the back of the room. The positioning of a floor or stand teleprompter can end up distracting the speaker's attention from the audience, so it is important to ensure it is placed accurately.

Floor or Stand Teleprompter

Part 3: Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Teleprompter


  • A teleprompter allows the speaker to read the text with maximum accuracy.
  • The quality of the speech delivery is greatly improved when the speaker is able to read and deliver the lines smoothly and confidently.
  • Making eye contact with the audience or camera increases the impact of the speech.
  • Teleprompter makes it possible for people with memory issues to deliver speeches.
  • Using a teleprompter saves a significant amount of time as the speaker doesn't have to memorize lengthy speeches.


  • Excessive dependence on a teleprompter can cause the speaker to struggle when they don't have access to a teleprompter.
  • Using a teleprompter can reduce spontaneity.
  • Teleprompters can be expensive and unaffordable for many people.
  • It is important to pay attention to what a teleprompter looks like for each specific event to make sure the audience, as well as the speaker, is not distracted by the appearance and positioning of the teleprompter itself.

Part 4: Teleprompter Apps for Android and iPhone

Teleprompter apps are the powerful tool you can use to take your video content production and speech to the next level. The primary purpose of the teleprompter apps is to help you read a script while recording video content or delivering a speech in real time. You add a script into the teleprompter app, and it will automatically scroll it to ensure you can properly deliver it.

Following are some of the popular teleprompter apps:

Teleprompter Pro Lite

Teleprompter Pro Lite is a free app available on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. It displays a real-time automatic scrolling script in a way similar to the conventional teleprompter. It also has several settings to control screen brightness, scroll speed, and text size. Overall, it is a reliable and user-friendly teleprompter app.


VEED.IO is an online teleprompter app. It means you don't have to download any specific app for it. Instead, you can access it through the web browser. It has a simple user interface. It has several pricing plans that range between $12 per month to $59 per month. A significant drawback of VEED is that it does not have much-advanced video editing features.

Parrot Teleprompter

Parrot Teleprompter is a great app available on both iOS and Android. It has several useful features, like the ability to control scroll speed, change text size, and landscape mode, edit the script from the app, and adjust background colors. However, it does not support video recording and editing.

Part 5: Useful & Auxiliary Apps for Teleprompter

A common limitation of teleprompter apps is that they are only meant for common teleprompting features. You cannot expect to get advanced video recording and editing features in these apps, especially in the free versions.

Moreover, if you use the traditional teleprompter in your podcasts or any type of video production, you'll notice that the teleprompter not only flips the image but also makes pictures and videos unviewable.

Therefore, in order to maximize the benefits of using teleprompters, you must use some other apps with them. Following are some of the major apps you can use for your teleprompter:

1Duet Display

Duet Display is a powerful tool that mainly deals with converting a device, such as an iPad tablet, into the second screen and remote desktop access. It has a wide range of features, including “Teleprompter Mode.” It's available in the Duet Air app, and you can use it to flip the screen via teleprompter to ensure a natural experience is created.

It allows you to use your iPad or iPhone as a second screen for your computer and use the teleprompter mode to use your tablet as a teleprompter that can be controlled from your computer.

In order to use the Teleprompter Mode of Duet Display, you’ll have to get the Duet Air app and install it on both of your devices – computer and iPad/iPhone. Connect the devices via USB cable or Wi-Fi and enable the teleprompter mode to start displaying the script on iPhone/iPad.

2Luna Display

Luna Display is another reliable tool to use to extend your computer screen to an iPad and use it as a teleprompter screen. Unlike Duet Display, you'll have to buy a special Luna Display device (that costs $119.99) to use it to fulfill your teleprompting requirements.

Once you have bought the device and signed into the apps, you can enable the Teleprompter Mode by accessing the Advances settings. Once enabled, the second display will appear upside-down, like a traditional teleprompter.

3AirDroid Cast

AirDroid Cast is one of the most effective and user-friendly apps you can find to fulfill your screen mirroring requirements. You can use AirDroid Cast to duplicate the screen of your computer to another device, such as a tablet.

The great thing is that you can do it wirelessly with AirDroid Cast and still maintain maximum quality. Such features are highly useful when you want to use your tablet as a second screen without worrying about the output ports, HDMI cables, and other such factors. Instead, the entire process of screen mirroring and using a tablet as a second screen becomes quick and easy.

Teleprompter Pro Lite

Note: Currently, AirDroid Cast has many different features that make it a perfect tool for screen mirroring. In the near future, you'll be able to directly extend the screen with AirDroid Cast and also use the Teleprompt Mode to turn your tablet screen into a teleprompter while controlling it from your computer.

Part 6: Conclusion

Teleprompters, both traditional and modern apps, are extremely convenient in various fields. With user-friendly apps like Teleprompter Pro Lite, VEED, and Parrot Teleprompter, teleprompting has become much simpler, smoother, and faster than ever before.

Additionally, using some useful apps with teleprompter modes such as Duet Display or AirDroid Cast can enhance the features and advantages of these apps. By utilizing them, you can significantly improve your video content creation and speeches, connecting with your audience in a more impactful way.

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