The opening scene is a recurring one. There you are, watching TV, when a hot new politician appears in front of you, about to deliver the speech of a lifetime. You sit, glued to the screen, completely enthralled by their presence and impressed by their flawless presentation skills.
Once the speech has been delivered and the performance is over, you begin to wonder what exactly it was that held your attention for so long. You did not even vote for them in the past election, but you still couldn’t look away! Was it the poetic words, the musical cadence, the tone of voice? Maybe all of the above, combined with the fact that that performer made you feel special, keeping eye contact at all times, talking directly to you. I’m sorry to be the one to vanish all of these illusions, but one of the secrets to this faultless delivery has to do with a sometimes completely underrated device: the loyal and unwavering teleprompter.
Also known as an autocue or a telescript, the teleprompter originated many years ago. At first, it was simply a roll of paper that was scrolledin front of the performer or speaker as a way to promptthem of their lines and replace the cue cards. Technology has changed a lot since then. Today, the screen is in front of 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 a specially prepared beam splitter.
If you’ve ever had to deliver a script to camera, then you will know that nailing the perfect presentation can prove to be somewhat tedious and frustrating. The exercise can be an intimidating one, bringing on the familiar feelings of anxiety – sweaty palms, palpitations, stuttering, momentary amnesia… yes, we’ve seen many corporate professionals, internet entrepreneurs and business owners waste valuable hours struggling to get it right.
But don’t worry; we can always rely on the teleprompter. Regardless of your natural performing skills, by using the teleprompter, your messages will be professionally delivered and will grant you a polished on camera look. It is such a valuable piece of equipment, both in the studio and on location.
With a little bit of practice (and the help of this lovely machine, of course) you will deliver lines whilst looking directly into the camera lens, giving the appearance of spontaneity. With the teleprompter, the speakers’ ability to relate to the audience increases. Rather than continually glancing down at a printed script, speechmakers can use the device to convey their message straight from the heart.
If you ever face a teleprompter, then here are a few ideas of how to make the most of it. And if you want to practice, come on by, we’ve got a teleprompter at our studio that is always eager to be used.
- Don’t panic
- Write Your Script to be spoken, not read
- Practice, Practice and More Practice (out loud)
- Give your performance with Passion and Energy….
- But don’t shout
- Don’t forget to Smile
- Relax and Use Non Verbal Communication
- Don’t speed up or slow down to follow the teleprompter, the operator will follow your own speed
- Have fun!