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Podcasting Hacks by Jack D. Herrington

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Build a Teleprompter

Reading a script while talking into the camera is difficult without a teleprompter. Build your own prompter with MDF and window glass.

To engage with your viewing audience you sometimes need to look them straight in the eye. But how do you do that and still read scripted material? You can do what newscasters and presidents do: use a teleprompter. Teleprompters project your script on a sheet of clear or mirrored glass right in front of the camera. This means you can look straight into the camera and still read the script.

The downside is that the hardware and software for a teleprompter can cost big money. As always, however, where there is a will there is a way and cheap homemade solutions are available.

Do-It-Yourself Teleprompter

Using a small sheet of clear glass and some medium density fiberboard (MDF), you can build a simple teleprompter for around $20. Go to your local glass store and ask for clear glass, cut to your dimensions with the edges smoothed so that you don’t cut yourself. Then go to your local hardware store to get some screws and a 4 x 4-foot sheet of MDF at 3/4-inch thickness.

My design calls for three pieces of MDF. The two sides are 16.5 x 6.5 inches. The bottom is 15 x 14 inches, and the piece of glass is 10 x 16 inches. If you don’t have access to a table saw, you can have your local hardware store make the cuts for you.

Use a saw to cut 45-degree slots for the glass. Then mount the glass and attach the base with four screws. If you have a ...

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