In addition to the video recording hardware that you'll need for self filming a video lecture, you might also want to consider software options that make this process easier. Something that can possibly make your lecture flow better is having a typed script or some key points up in a teleprompter which you can read off of during video production.
There are two main types of software based teleprompters - those that use a smart device (e.g. tablet) to display captions using an app or a browser-based (website) on your regular computer. Your selection will largely depend on your physical set up and the tools that you have at hand. Neither is better than the other; all you want to do is ensure that you can see the text easily while you are recording.
This guide includes some recommended teleprompter options you can use and a comparison table of all of the recommended options.
Please be aware that none of these recommended teleprompter software are institutionally supported, meaning that they have not undergone U of T's security and risk management evaluation process. Please use these tools at your own discretion.
1. Device app options
PromptSmart teleprompter apps' main feature is its use of speech recognition to scroll as you speak and pause when you pause. It also has all the basic features of a teleprompter, it offers a variety of text customization, has a mirror mode, and the background is Camera friendly. Something to be aware of is that you have to manually scroll-back if you make a mistake. If you get the pro version ($19.99 up-front purchase for iOS devices, and $2.99/mo for Android devices), then you can unlock extra features including remote control on another device, which you can use to adjust your script.
1.2. Video Teleprompter
Video Teleprompter is a good choice if you are planning to use your phone camera for your recording. The stand-out feature for Video Teleprompter is the ability to re-size and move text to the side of the phone to ensure you’re looking at the camera – keeping that steady eye contact. It also offers a variety of customization, cue point, and export options. If you would like some more features such as import features and to save your videos without the logo watermark, upgrade from the free Lite version for $16.99.
1.3. Teleprompter Premium
Teleprompter Premium is a great choice that is easy to use and it gives users more control and ability to customize. Some unique features in Teleprompter Premium ($14.99) includes the mirror text option for professional teleprompter camera rigs, control and preview the teleprompter from another iOS device via Bluetooth, adjustable text margins, and the ability to use your device camera to record your scripts etc.. If you do not need these extra features or just want to try out the app, there is also a free Lite version that you can download.
1.4. Nano Teleprompter
Nano Teleprompter ($4.99) is simple and powerful option for Android users who wishes to record using phone camera. It includes basic features such as importing and syncing files from Google Drive, remote control, and customization of your script (highlight important phrases, customize colors, and adjust margins/space between lines etc.). A unique feature of Nano Teleprompter is that it allows users to use it as an adjustable floating widget, which you can use while using phone camera, or any other camera apps.
2. Browser based options
Teleprompter.me is a free browser based teleprompter that scrolls the web page and advances the words in time as you speak. If the teleprompter misses some words that you said and stops advancing forward, you need to go back and say it again or click on the word that you are on, and that will kick the prompter back into action. Thus this is a great option for recording videos which you can edit later, but maybe not the best for live videos. It currently only works in the Chrome web browser but there are plans to expand to other browsers and mobile in the future.
Did you allow microphone access? - If you are planning to use the voice activated script scrolling feature on browser based teleprompters, make sure that you have allowed browser access to your microphone. You can most likely set this in site settings under permissions.
2.2. Teleprompter Mirror
Teleprompter Mirror is another free browser based teleprompter that has the voice activated script scrolling feature. You can edit your scripts on the page, set the script scrolling speed, mirror text, and customize your fonts. If you are speaking too fast, sometimes it may take a second for the teleprompter to follow, or you can go back and say the words again to kick the teleprompter back in action.
3. Comparison Table
|Software/App||PromptSmart||Video Teleprompter||Teleprompter Premium||Nano Teleprompter||Teleprompter.me||Teleprompter Mirror|
|Speech recognition scrolling||Yes||No||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Adjustable scrolling speed||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Customizable font color/size||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (limited)||Yes|
|Adjustable margins / space between lines||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Mirror Script||Yes (Pro version)||No||Yes (Premium version)||No||Yes||Yes|
|Video/Audio recording||Yes (Pro version)||Yes||Yes (Premium version)||Yes||No||No|
|Remote control||Yes (Pro version)||Yes (Premium version)||Yes
(Lite version: on web browser on the same Wifi network.
Premium version: on other iOS devices)