Did you ever think why some people can deliver a presentation in front of audience while making a direct eye contact with them? Memorization and cue cards are amongst some of the most common methods that enable people to deliver a presentation confidently, but teleprompter is also a popular tool used for fulfilling this purpose. It is also used by Obama during his presentations!
Teleprompter is a display device equipped with electronic visual text which prompts the person a visual text of speech being delivered. Presenter need not break his eye contact with the members of audience to look into the slides for presenting forthcoming ideas. Moreover, the audience may not ever know that they are reading the teleprompter.
Teleprompter can be easily adjusted in any environment and hence prove to be a great tool for public speaking. It can be set above the head of audience which gives them an impression of direct eye contact.
A teleprompter app can be downloaded into Kindle Fire tablet device capable of tracking the elapsed time, adjusting font size as well as creating or editing a presentation. You can also use iPhone, iPad as well as Android tablets and devices.
Using a teleprompter is similar to using cue cards. The screen is in front of, and usually below, the 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 other beam splitter, so that they are read by looking directly at the lens position, but are not imaged by the lens. 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 entering the lens. Mechanically this works in a very similar way to the Pepper's ghost illusion from classic theatre: an image viewable from one angle but not another.
Because the speaker can look straight at the lens while reading the script, the teleprompter creates the illusion that the speaker has memorized the speech or is speaking spontaneously, looking directly into the camera lens. Notes or cue cards, on the other hand, require the presenter to look at them instead of at the lens, which can cause the speaker to appear distracted, depending on the degree of deflection from the natural line of sight to the camera lens, and how long the speaker needs to glance away to glean the next speaking point; speakers who can internalize a full sentence or paragraph in a single short glance timed to natural breaks in the spoken cadence will create only a small or negligible impression of distraction.
The TelePrompTer Corporation was founded in the 1950s by Fred Barton, Jr., Hubert Schlafly and Irving Berlin Kahn. Barton was an actor who suggested the concept of the teleprompter as a means of assisting television performers who had to memorize large amounts of material in a short time.Schlafly built the first teleprompter in 1950. It was simply a mechanical device, operated by a hidden technician, located near the camera. The script, in inch-high letters, was printed by a special electric typewriter on a paper scroll, which was advanced as the performer read, and the machines rented for the then-considerable sum of $30 per hour.
In 1952 former President Herbert Hoover used a Schlafly-designed speech teleprompter to address the 1952 Republican National Convention in Chicago. U.S. Governor Paul A. Dever spoke at the 1952 Democratic National Convention, also held in Chicago, using a mechanical-roll teleprompter on a long pole held by a TV technician in the convention audience, while the 1952 Republican National Convention used a smaller teleprompter placed in front of the speaker's rostrum. Mechanical prompters were still being used as late as 1992.
In the early years of teleprompter use by politicians, some saw the device as cheating.  in 1955, Richard L. Neuberger, a Democratic Senator from Oregon, proposed legislation that if a politician used a teleprompter the use of the device had to be noted in the speech. 
The first personal computer-based teleprompter, CompuPrompt appeared in 1982. It was invented and marketed by Courtney M. Goodin and Laurence B. Abrams in Los Angeles, California. The custom software and specially-redesigned camera hardware ran on the Atari 800 computer, which featured smooth hardware-assisted scrolling. Their company later became ProPrompt, Inc., still in business as of 2021[update]. Paper-based teleprompting companies Electronic Script Prompting, QTV, and Telescript followed suit and developed their own software several years later when computers powerful enough to scroll text smoothly became available. In January 2010 Compu=Prompt received a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award for "Pioneering Development in Electronic Prompting".
The word "TelePrompTer", with internal capitalization, originated as a trade name used by the TelePrompTer Corporation, which first developed the device in the 1950s. The word "teleprompter", with no capitalization, has become a genericized trademark, because it is used to refer to similar systems manufactured by many different companies. Some other common terms for this type of device are:
Modern teleprompters for news programs consist of a personal computer, connected to video monitors on each professional video camera. In certain systems, the PC connects to a separate display device to offer greater flexibility in setup, distances, and cabling. The monitors are often black-and-white and have the scanning reversed to compensate for the reflection of the mirror. A peripheral device attached has a knob that can be turned to speed up, slow down, or even reverse the scrolling of the text. The text is usually displayed in white letters on a black background for the best readability, while cues are in inverse video (black on white). Difficult words (mainly international names) are spelled out phonetically, as are other particulars like "Nine-eleven" (to specify that the event 9/11 should not be pronounced "nine-one-one", for example).
With the development of inexpensive teleprompter software applications as well as free Web-based teleprompter applets, many different disciplines are now using teleprompters to help them deliver sermons, deliver speeches, and create quality audio recordings. Unlike their more advanced counterparts, these entry-level products work on desktop computers, laptop computers, and even tablet computers to enable the speaker to control the rate and flow of their speech. They are also used by many different organizations and schools to deliver prewritten information by relative novices. They are usually called "personal teleprompters."
Glass teleprompters were first used at the 1956 Democratic National Convention. The inventor of the teleprompter, Hubert Schlafly, explained that he wanted to create a less obtrusive teleprompting system than the ones used at the time. He said, "We developed a 'one-way mirror' device we called the Speech View system... The prompter, hidden in the base, reflected the text on the glass to the speaker while the audience looked through the glass without being aware of the text. Two such prompters, one on the right and one on the left of the speaker allowed him to switch from one to the other and appear to address the entire audience".
Schlafly's company then created a speaker's lectern that included two synchronized glass teleprompters and a range of technological innovations including air conditioning and an adjustable-height speaker's platform. The success of the system led the company to develop a new model for use on TV cameras, with the glass placed directly in front of the lens. The camera "looked through the glass; the performer looked directly at the TV audience and was able to read the text word for word. This device now has worldwide use".
Schlafly's glass teleprompters were also used for the 1956 Republican National Convention, and at both parties' conventions from then on. In 1964, glass teleprompters were used by Robert F. Kennedy, at the time the Attorney General, who served in both the Kennedy and early Johnson Administrations (1961-1964), to deliver his convention speech.
In 1996, for the first time, speakers at the Democratic National Convention, held at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, used a four-teleprompter system: as can be seen at another convention in image (A), the first three prompters are placed to the left, right and in front of the speaker, the latter embedded within the speaker's lectern, enabling the speaker to look down at the lectern without losing his/her place in the text of the speech; while in image (B), the fourth prompter is a large confidence monitor located immediately below the lenses of the TV broadcast cameras, at a distance of several meters/yards from the speaker.
This modification to the traditional two-teleprompter set-up continues to be in use at both the Democratic and Republican parties' national conventions: the two glass teleprompters on either side of the speaker's lectern create the illusion that the speaker is looking directly at the audience in the hall, the monitor embedded in the lectern, together with the fourth, much larger teleprompter screen, known as a 'confidence monitor', placed immediately below the broadcast TV cameras which are located some distance away from the convention stage on a specially-constructed broadcasting gantry. This placement of the center prompter creates the illusion that the speaker is periodically looking straight into the camera lens and thereby appears to directly address the TV audience watching the televised Convention coverage.
This use of multiple off-stage confidence monitors also dispenses with the need for glass teleprompters to be present on the conference stage, thereby reducing "stage clutter", and removing the inevitable restrictions on the speaker's movement and field of vision imposed by on-stage glass prompters. The disadvantage of such a system is that the provision of "giant teleprompters" becomes essential to maintaining the illusion of speaking with apparent spontaneity. 781b155fdc