Power Prompter, a teleprompter for broadcasting, vlogging and Keynote presentations

Power Prompter is a €49.99 Mac-only teleprompter for people who need to talk at presentations or slideshows and webinars, as well as vloggers and even professional broadcasters. It supports beamsplitter hoods for setups such as the Autocue Starter and Master Series and can be controlled remotely. It offers smooth scrolling at a constant 60fps.

The Power Prompter app is based on a script editing window and a separate teleprompting window. The scripts you create in the script window, which is a full-blown rich text editor, are SQLite databases and can be read with any SQLite client. You can import text files into Power Prompter, including MS Word Documents (both .doc and .docx) and PDF files, and save files as plain text, Rich Text format and .docx files.

In the Text Editor you can adjust many things, but font size isn’t one of them as it is dynamically adjusted to fit the Words per Line and Prompter Margin settings. And, although you can’t embed images, pictures or other rich media, you can use emojis to indicate, for example, emotion.

The editor furthermore displays the current position in the script with an associated label next to it displaying the estimated runtime. Also shown is the current line and the total number of lines in the script. As you can customise the number of displayed lines, words per line and margins in the prompter window, all of these indicators are relative to those settings.

I pasted a Markdown text into Power Prompter, complete with links to web pages. The editor converted the lot to text with the URLs not visible, which is what you need in order not to be distracted by data you can’t read out loud anyway. Some elements in some texts, however, may not translate so efficiently. The online user guide discusses them.

One of the things you should be aware of in general when using a teleprompter is that allowing the screen to display several words per line is OK as long as the talent is sitting at a considerable distance from the prompter. Most vloggers and those who present a webinar sit quite close to the screen where the teleprompter window will be located and that will result in their eyes visibly scanning the many words on a line. The trick here is to use two or three words max.

Power Prompter’s prompter window can be customised in many ways and the developer has gone the extra mile by supporting Transport Control so you can start and pause prompting, rewind and reverse the scrolling, and adjust the speed in real-time — all of which can be controlled via the Mac’s keyboard, a free iOS app for iPhones and iPads, a presentation clicker, or a standard Apple Keynote and/or Microsoft PowerPoint compatible remote.

Even if you want to control Power Prompter with yet another remote device — e.g. a Loupedeck Live — you can easily do so using the customisable keyboard shortcuts. Regardless, you will need some prior practice using the controls before you can properly read text without losing your way when you have to slow down the scrolling to breathe, for example.

The runtime depends on the current scrolling speed, the words per line you set and the prompter’s margin settings, but what if you have to fill a specific timespan? In that case, you can use Power Prompter’s “Run Time Automatic” which allows you to set the desired runtime for the script to the second, with the app trying to automatically match the scrolling speed to this constraint.

Other pluses are that the script editor stays in sync with the prompter screen, and the presence of a button that shows a red blinking border around the display, so you can easily find it in a studio environment.

The prompter window itself uses a highly optimised layout and rendering engine to provide smooth high-quality scrolling. Usually, you will use it in full-screen mode, but you can also run it in its app window. You can even use your iPad as a wireless display for Power Prompter with Sidecar.

My trying out different things over the course of a week taught me that, using my iMac as both the editor and the prompter, the most difficult part is finding a comfortable reading speed that does not require you to constantly start/stop the prompter or fiddling too much with the speed adjustment slider while reading your text out loud.

With the its Run Time Automatic feature, Power Prompter is a boon for anyone who has to say something in front of a camera within a pre-defined time frame. If you want to leave a professional impression while presenting, Power Prompter is a great solution at an affordable price.