A teleprompter is a piece of technology that shows the person reading a script what he needs to say next. A teleprompter itself refers to the technology, but a teleprompter operator is the person who runs the technology. It's vital to make sure that the device works correctly, as a malfunction could ruin an entire speech.
How a Teleprompter Works
A teleprompter is a special type of monitor that sits in front of a camera that scrolls through a script at the reader's pace. It actually consists of several pieces of technology working together. The monitor is mounted on glass that lets a video camera shoot through it. A computer simultaneously runs teleprompter software that displays a mirror image of the script in front of the reader, so he can read the lines as he speaks them.
A teleprompter operator should have extensive knowledge and experience in basic computer operations, word-processing software and teleprompter programs such as Autoscript and INews. A teleprompter's job may involve late nights, early mornings or changing shifts. He should be able to work in high-pressure environments and not be easily prone to distractions.
Basic Job Duties
A teleprompter operator uses the teleprompter technology to scroll through scripted material, staying at the speaker's pace. He should be comfortable in both live and taped situations. A teleprompter needs to be flexible and able to adapt to changing speech patterns. He should be able to quickly make modifications if a speaker adlibs. He should also be able to edit and format scripts as needed.
NABET Membership Information
Some teleprompter jobs require membership in the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians - Communications Workers of America. This is a union that represents more than 7,000 broadcast workers. If you already have a job, you can organize your group to join the union and NABET-CWA will help. If you're not employed, talk to your local NABET-CWA for more information.
- Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images