Ever wonder if the testimonial video you’re watching contains candid response or someone reading from a teleprompter? This thought can be rather distracting and take a viewer out of the video entirely, so it is important to make sure the subject’s delivery does not cause the viewer’s attention to be diverted. Let’s take a look at using a teleprompter vs candid response.

When to use a teleprompter

We strongly suggest only using a teleprompter with someone who has had the proper training. That being said, a professional actor serving as a host character and reciting lines direct-to-camera is the perfect circumstance for a teleprompter. It’s always helpful to have the actor become familiar with the script, but sometimes memorizing 20 pages of script is too much. You will save money in the long run and stay on schedule during the shoot day if you allow a teleprompter to be used. This is also the case if you’re filming a presentation from your company’s CEO. Even if he or she prefers the delivery to be casual, having a teleprompter present will keep him or her on-target and, therefore, save time!

When to go for candid response

If you’re producing a testimonial video and interviewing clients or employees about a certain topic or company, candid response is the best bet. Most times, the interviewees won’t have proper teleprompter training and therefore their answers to your questions would appear scripted. The more scripted the response seems, the less credibility your video establishes for the brand. Viewers will also be able to tell the subjects are reading from a teleprompter as their eyes will be a dead giveaway. Those of us without training will naturally read from left to right rather than maintaining direct eye contact with the camera. So the rule of thumb here is don’t use a teleprompter when you’re asking questions. Don’t be worried about mistakes or word flubs, you can always repeat the question and allow your interviewee to restate and perfect his or her response. You can also rely on SolidLine’s awesome Post-Production team to edit around any “umms” and “ahhhs.”

If you’re debating whether to use a teleprompter or not, the easiest way of determining which way to go is if the subject has training or not. Also, you should never use a teleprompter when asking candid questions. To learn more about conducting interviews and shooting testimonial videos, check out our blogĀ 8 Tips For The Perfect On-Location Interview.