Kenan Doyle Branam
Media Consultant / Coach / Presenter / Producer
gold bar
Network Add Kenan Branam to your Google Circles Storify by Kenan Branam Klout Report for Kenan Branam LinkedIn icon Facebook Twitter YouTube vimeo Huffington Post meetup TED Technorati My Obama Profile Skype
Preparing the script at Arthur Andersen


"The Force is You" emphasizes the role that each and every one of you plays in the success of our business.
This is not a new message.


This is not a new message. We've always counted on your individual effort, as well as your teamwork, to meet our goals.

Preparing the Script for Teleprompter

Help for the Script Writer
(See also Teleprompter Resources)

Deliver the Script by memory stick or email

After your script has been crafted, proofed, and approved, you can facilitate speed and accuracy of the prompting session by delivering the script in advance of the setup date. You may mail, ship, or email the script. The file should be in the Windows format. We can accept Macintosh disks with three days advanced delivery. Please be sure files are clearly named.

Prepare your scripts using your favorite word processor. Our software and hardware system of choice is manufactured by TeleScript. The TeleScript software will easily import most PC word processing programs but its native format is Rich Text Format (RFT) which preserves important formatting like Bold, Returns, Underline, and some Text Color.

Format for Easy Reading and Speaking

Don't worry about margins and line length. Prepare the script by typing normally. Use the RETURN or ENTER key only to set a paragraph, not for end of line. The prompter program will read these word processing files in their native form and maintain paragraph format, but all margins, tabs, and pagination are removed.

Remove the "left side" (such as camera directions) of two column layouts before saving to transfer file. You may leave essential direction for the Speaker, but they should be short so that they will not cause unneccessary pauses in the delivery. Place these instruction between sentences: (pause), (turn to Camera ONE), etc.

By creative use of spaces, we can help the speaker make pauses at appropriate places and emphasize certain words. You can re-space lines, sentences, and paragraphs in a form that will help the speaker grab the meaning and rhythm of the message quickly and with least distraction. For example:

  • All sentences and some commas can be followed with one carriage return.
  • All paragraphs and some long sentences can be followed with two carriage returns (making one blank line).
  • Where there is a significant change of subject, you may place two blank lines but no more.
  • Of course, there is the very helpful "..." and "--" to encourage a certain rhythm.

Special Formatting Features in the Prompter Program

  • Character Sizes
    The number of characters displayed on each screen line can be changed with one button. The system allows five sizes. The most often used font size for camera mounted and podium screens is 20 characters per line (size 3).

    Some speech writers have found it very useful to print out copies of the script for proofing, re-writing, and personal rehearsal. By configuring the word processing print format to deliver 20 characters per line and approximately 14 points high, the Speakers become more comfortable and have better memory of the text.
  • Underlines
    The Prompter Program allows for underlines of words. More than a few words underlined will be very confusing to the speaker as you can see here:
  • Hello, welcome to the show...

    The first item on our agenda is....
  • Reverse Type
    After the text has been imported to the Prompter Program, the entire script can be configured with white letters on black background or black letters on white. This can be toggled back and forth with one button click. Also, individual words can be reversed. This feature should be reserved for non-spoken directions rather than emphasis:
  • Search and Find Triggers
    The software can be set to find any symbol (a trigger) with just a click of a button. The search feature can also find words and phrases. For example:
    • Since your word processor page numbering system does not translate to the prompter format, other methods of navigating long scripts can help make a session go smoothly and efficiently: [SLIDE 5] or [PAGE 25].
    • Use consistent names for the speaker(s). Use the LAST NAME every time instead of switching to FIRST NAME. When we need to cue to a certain person's speech, the search function can be used.
    • If the script is considerably long - 30 minutes or more - you can also help navigation by using topic headings, slide cues, page numbers, or even arbitrary codes such as [, {, *, #, etc. for triggers.
  • Timing Tip
    The program automatically counts the words in the script and estimates the time of delivery. The default timer selects Normal, 180 words per minute. You can use your word processor's "word count" and divide the total by 180 to get a good estimate of the total time. Other selectable speeds are Slow, 156 WPM and Fast, 228 WPM. You might even time your Speaker for a minute or two to get an individual average to use in your late night compulsive editing. :-)

Have a good session!
(See Article: Prompting VIPs)

Lyndon B. Johnson
George Bush
(and Barbara)
James Baker
Ann Richards
Bob Lanier
Lee Brown
Mrs. John Connally

Arthur Andersen
Fairmont Hotels
Global Sante Fe
United Way

Dan Rather
Amy Goodman
Bill O'Reilly Factor
Michel T. Halbouty
George Foreman
Catherine Crier, CourtTV
Geraldo Rivera, CNBC
Greta Van Susteren
Lyle Lovett
Paul & Linda McCartney
Hakeem Olajuwon
Marylou Retton
Dale Robertson
Oprah Winfrey
Tommy tune