How to Make a Cheap Teleprompter

So, you want a cheap teleprompter? Here’s my story how I came up with a cheap teleprompter alternative that works for me and, it might just work for you, too.

The good news is that it’s simple to do and you just need a pen, printer and a pair of scissors. It does take a bit of planning; that’s what we’re all about here at Tubefix: Plan, Create, Promote. However, the big win for me was that it made the filming process more structured, much simpler and enjoyable.

The teleprompter I came up with works so well for me I may not need to buy a real teleprompter. It did however take a few failed attempts to get there, though.

First, I wrote a script and tapped it to the camera – probably sounds familiar to some and it might even work for some – for me it didn’t. It completely broke the flow of what I was trying to say.

Second, I found a video online about making a teleprompter out of a shoe box. Well, I did that and it sort of worked but I soon found out that reading a teleprompter is not as easy as I thought it would be.

Then, I remembered the start of my telesales days when I was having trouble coherently describing the proposition over the phone. I know the product inside out but I just couldn’t make it flow over the phone. In the end, I tapped topic keywords in the order that I wanted to talk about them on the side of the computer monitor – perfect! I just worked my way round the topics/keywords and told a great story and I made my bonuses.

Transferring this proven method to making videos I stuck bits of tape all-round the camera and prepared myself for the get go. Alas, it didn’t work as expected and back to the drawing board it was. 

In all the above, it was obvious that I was reading a script. Now I’m not trying to hide that fact, I am reading a script, I just didn’t want it to be so obvious.

Then in a moment of pure inspiration: why not use a postcard size piece of paper, cut a hole in the middle (the size of the lens) and write the text round the outside for each clip? 

How to Make a Cheap Teleprompter

  • Get a postcard size piece of card or fold an A4 of Letter size into 4
  • Place the lens you will use in the centre of the card
  • Draw round the lens
  • Cut up from the bottom of the card to the lens circle
  • Cut round the lens circle just a little larger than the actual circle
  • Write the topics, keywords or text clockwise from the top right all the way round
  • Slide the cheap teleprompter card over the lens
  • Record

So, this solution isn’t technologically advanced, you don’t need to download an app and you can print some out (perhaps laminate them and take them on the road with you. 

FREE template

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