The 4 Most Common Types of Teleprompters, How They Work, and When to Use Them

Teleprompter Team
March 28, 2023
The 4 Most Common Types of Teleprompters, How They Work, and When to Use Them

Teleprompters help put speakers at ease when they’re presenting from a script. With the help of one, you can look your audience in the eye–or in the camera–while still fluently reading from the script. It’s like magic! 

You may want one if you work in a television studio or want to create your own video content. However, there are different kinds of teleprompters, and while we consider the Teleprompter app to be one of the best teleprompter options, it’s wise to learn more about each type before you go down the Google rabbit hole. 

What is a Teleprompter?

A teleprompter is a vital tool for speakers, broadcasters, and content creators, ingeniously designed to display a script or notes in a way that enables the speaker to maintain direct eye contact with the audience or camera. This device revolutionized public speaking and broadcasting by allowing presenters to deliver their messages confidently and fluidly, without the need to memorize lines or frequently glance down at notes. 

Teleprompters come in various forms, each tailored to specific settings and needs. From the classic Presidential Teleprompters used in formal events to the innovative App Teleprompters ideal for on-the-go content creators, understanding the nuances of these devices is key for anyone in the field of communication. 

So, let’s dive into teleprompter magic with a little help from famous literary wizards.

Types of Teleprompters

Understanding what a teleprompter is goes beyond its basic definition. It's a technological marvel that has evolved over the years, becoming an indispensable tool in various fields of communication. Here are the four most common types of teleprompters.

Presidential Teleprompters

Presidential teleprompter
Merlin trying out the Presidential Teleprompter for you.

As the name hints, you’ll mostly see this kind of teleprompter at events where (potentially long-winded) speeches are delivered. 

Want to know how do presidential teleprompters work? The two mirrors you see standing on each side of Merlin are actually transparent beamsplitters. They display the speaker’s message off a laptop or monitor. What’s even more interesting is that the camera crew covering the event can record Merlin’s speech right through the glass and from multiple angles! 

The Presidential Teleprompter, a prime example of what a teleprompter can be, offers speakers the ability to deliver lengthy speeches without losing eye contact with their audience.

The Presidential Teleprompter, a prime example of what a teleprompter can be, offers speakers the ability to deliver lengthy speeches without losing eye contact with their audience.

They’re also great choices for the following situations:

  • Outdoor speeches since the teleprompter glass’s angle is adjustable
  • When the speaker will be addressing from a height–you can also change the teleprompter’s height accordingly
  • Large rooms due to its large display size
  • Windy weather since many feature a mirror locking system

Tablet Teleprompters

Tablet teleprompter
Our model, Albus Dumbledore, about to lay down school law, using a Tablet teleprompter.

When we consider the versatility of what a teleprompter can be, Tablet Teleprompters stands out as a shining example. iPad teleprompters or tablet teleprompters are designed to convert iPads and other tablets into teleprompters. They’re cost effective for obvious reasons and may work for different sized screens, such as iPads Air, Mini, and the original. However, don’t forget to confirm if they’ll also accommodate iPad PROs because many don’t! Also, these teleprompters are usually placed on stands–dunno what Dumbledore’s doing holding his up like that!

The mirror glass is high on quality and low on iron content, so it doesn’t have a tint and can be read easily from 10 ft! Look for one of the collapsible models since they are easy to transport and store and come with a protective hood that keeps the mirror safe. 

Tablet teleprompters are as well-suited to solo content production due to the ease of use as they are to group productions. 

Camera-Mounted Teleprompters

Camera-mounted teleprompter

Another autocue teleprompter type that’s mostly used in live recordings and broadcasts. But it’s equally well suited to addressing virtual audiences. 

The camera and teleprompter are combined to form a single device in one of two main ways. In one version, the camera fits around the teleprompter, while the teleprompter straps directly onto the camera in the other version. So, you can use this teleprompter type when you also need to record the speeches/content being delivered. 

When you think of a teleprompter, this is probably the setup that appears in your mind. 

App Teleprompters

App teleprompter, Dr Strange as phone wallpaper
Dr. Strange looking dapper as ever while using his Teleprompter app.

Aspiring content creators often ask, “do TED talk speakers use teleprompters?” or “do YouTubers use teleprompters?”. The answer is: the smart ones do, and the smarter ones use a phone-based teleprompter!

Think about it. You’re using a readily available resource, i.e., your mobile phone, as a teleprompter, while capturing content using its camera. This makes it a cost effective solution. 

But what’s even better about this teleprompter type is the app-based technology offers easy portability. The App Teleprompter redefines what a teleprompter can be in the world of digital accessibility and convenience. So, travel bloggers, for instance, can keep creating and uploading content as they move around. Or, those covering events can design reels and other content for timely posting. And so on. 

The Teleprompter app is ideal for content creators and other kinds of presenters, such as Zoom-based company presentations, workshops, etc. 

Here are some reasons why:

  • Upload as many multi-format scripts (txt or PDF) from various platforms, such as Word, Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud, as you want 
  • Edit your scripts with ease and in-app. Want to format the text for hints on dialogue delivery? Totally doable! Need the app to produce subtitles? That happens automatically.
  • Don’t let your words run away with you! Adjust the scrolling speed with your bluetooth keyboard until it matches how quickly you deliver those words
  • View the written word the way you want to, i.e., as vertical or horizontal mirror playback, in full-screen, or other aspect ratios.
  • Shoot when the muse moves you–internet or no internet!

Comparative Analysis of Teleprompter Types

One might wonder how these various types compare and contrast, and in doing so, we reveal the multifaceted nature of what a teleprompter can be. Let's cehck the comparison, where each type of teleprompter unveils its unique strengths and applications.

Firstly, let's juxtapose the Presidential Teleprompter with the Tablet Teleprompter. The former, often seen in the realm of formal speeches and grand stages, is a testament to what a teleprompter can be in terms of professionalism and grandeur. It's designed for those impactful moments where every word counts, providing a broad, clear display for speakers. In contrast, the Tablet Teleprompter, with its adaptability and portability, is what a teleprompter can be in the hands of a solo vlogger or a traveling speaker. It represents the democratization of teleprompting technology, making it accessible to a wider range of users.

Then there's the comparison between the Camera-Mounted Teleprompter and the App Teleprompter. The former illustrates what a teleprompter can be in a professional broadcasting setup, seamlessly integrating with camera equipment for a flawless delivery. This type is a favorite in live broadcasts and studio recordings, where precision and timing are crucial. Meanwhile, the App Teleprompter shines as a beacon of modern convenience and accessibility. It symbolizes what a teleprompter can be when technology meets everyday life, offering content creators and professionals a tool that's as mobile as their lifestyle.

Each type of teleprompter, with its distinct features and optimal environments, serves a unique purpose. They collectively answer the question of what a teleprompter can be in diverse contexts – from the grandeur of presidential addresses to the dynamic world of YouTube and Instagram content. Understanding these differences is key to selecting the right teleprompter that aligns not just with your needs, but also with the spirit of your message.

Choosing the Best-For-You Teleprompter

Now that you know how do teleprompters work, you may be beginning to understand you can’t just pick any type and expect things to work out! 

Then, use these pointers to determine the tool best-suited to your teleprompting needs:

Focus on Your Objective

Why do you want a teleprompter? Will you use it for content creation for your vlog? Instagram product explainers? How to Youtube tutorials? If so, an app will serve you best. 

Similarly, ponder on these when considering your needs, regarding the other types:

  • The kinds of videos you’ll make
  • How often you’ll make them
  • The extent of control and customization you’ll need in terms of features and options

Ask Around 

With your objective as the focus, research different options. Ask other teleprompter users about the features and pricing. Check out user ratings and then shortlist your choices.

Check for Compatibility

Don’t miss this step! If, for example, you’re looking at teleprompters for laptops, confirm if the model-of-choice won’t require other equipment to work, such as a webcam. 

Yoda and teleprompting option
Yoda, hard at work, looking up good teleprompting options #belikeyoda

Or, if you’re opting for presidential teleprompters, see if they will work with the camera you own. 


In exploring the concept of a teleprompter, we've journeyed through the diverse landscape of this innovative tool, “what is a teleprompter,” from presidential stages to personal vlogs. The types of teleprompters available today are as varied as the reasons you might use one. Whether you're aiming for polished, professional speeches that resonate with large audiences or seeking a more personal connection with your social media followers, understanding the specific type of teleprompter that aligns with your goals is crucial. Each teleprompter type offers unique features and benefits, perfectly suited to different presentation environments and styles.

Keep in mind that the magic of effective communication isn't just in the words you say; it's also in how you deliver them. As you consider your next step in public speaking or content creation, know that a world of teleprompting options awaits you, each ready to elevate your presentation to new heights. We’ve so many more wizards waiting in the wings, ready to help you find the best-for-you teleprompting option.


What is the screen the president reads from?

The president teleprompter features two beam-splitting glass mirrors, angled at 45 degrees. They reflect the text that shows up on a monitor/screen placed right under them. The president gives the speech by reading the displayed text.

What is the benefit of using a teleprompter?

Simply put, teleprompters make speakers sound more and less human. When we converse normally, we give a lot of pauses and use filler words, like um, ah, etc. You can avoid that with a script in front of you telling exactly what to say. On the other hand, teleprompters also allow you, the presenter, to maintain eye contact with an audience, so your delivery isn’t robotic. In that way, teleprompters help you sound impromptu without actually being impromptu!

Can I use my tablet as a teleprompter?

Yes, you can! With the Teleprompter app that displays video script or notes right on your tablet’s screen. Read all about how it works in detail. But the short of it is, you can bring the scrolling speed down to match your speaking pace. Pausing and starting the script and retrieving it from various online storage venues are also possible.

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