Sunday, February 14, 2010

Practice with a teleprompter--at your desk, free

If you're doing webcasts, planning a big speech for a big auditorium, practicing your delivery, rehearsing for a stint as a broadcast anchor or recording a video, TeleKast is a new open-source (read: free) tool you can use to put a professional quality teleprompter right on your computer, for use with Windows or Linux operating systems.  The software lets you create a script, break it into scenes or segments, add cues for the camera or the speaker and more.  It's in its alpha release, which means you may find some bugs in the software, which the makers would welcome hearing about so they can be fixed for future releases.  Here's a video that walks you through the possibilities:

When you're working with a teleprompter, you don't look at the camera--just at the script, which scrolls up so you can keep reading smoothly.  It's ideal for reading with a natural tone and while a teleprompter doesn't guarantee a no-stumble reading, it can help your delivery and take away the need to remember all your phrasings.

Get some more tips in this previous post about former vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro on her initial struggles with a teleprompter and this one about why teleprompters are used at political conventions and other large gatherings -- you'll get some more tips to put to use with this new tool. And please report back on your experiences with TeleKast.  (A hat tip to Lifehacker for leading me to this post.)

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