English: An on a studio camera

English: An on a studio camera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

News personalities, talk show hosts, politicians, and other on-air personalities use the teleprompter.

What is it, you say?

According to Wikipedia:

“A teleprompter (refer to Autoscript or You Prompt) is a display device that prompts the person speaking with an electronic visual text of a speech or script. Using a teleprompter is similar to the practice of using cue cards. The screen is in front of and usually below the camera lens of a professional video camera, and the words on the screen are reflected to the eyes of the presenter using a sheet of clear glass or specially prepared beam splitter. Light from the performer passes through the front side of the glass into the lens, while a shroud surrounding the lens and the back side of the glass prevents unwanted light from reflecting into the lens.

As the speaker does not need to look down to consult written notes, he or she appears to have memorized the speech or be speaking spontaneously, and will look directly into the camera lens. Cue cards, on the other hand, will always be placed away from the lens axis, making the speaker look at a point beside the camera, which leaves an impression of distraction.”

So, do you want one of these in your tool kit? Well, if you go to one of the big online retailers, they will set you back $500 – $10,000 !! So, this project might just save you a few dollars.

Amazon Kindle DX Teleprompter

Amazon Kindle DX Teleprompter (Photo credit: PrimeImageMedia.com)