How to Make Your Next Speech Easy With a Teleprompte
Teleprompters are fairly new to the world of speech-making. The legend is that the producer of the American TV show I Love Lucy claimed credit for the invention in the 1950s. Since then, many politicians and business people have used teleprompters to improve their delivery of prepared speeches. The convenience of teleprompters cannot be doubted, but their effectiveness depends largely on the skill of the speaker.
Usually as a speaker is reading from this device, he or she seems to be looking directly at the audience and seems to be speaking without a script. However, quite often this does not happen and the speaker does not truly connect with listeners.
To make your next speech a breeze with a teleprompter, be sure to read your script many times aloud. This way, you become more familiar with its phrasing and cadence. This is really important if another person wrote the speech. It also makes it more unlikely that you will lose your rhythm if there is a misspelled word or if there is an unnatural line break in a sentence.
Second, keep in mind that speaking naturally can be difficult because most of us are not accustomed to reading text out loud. Our brains intuitively add pauses and inflections in our minds when we read silently. This does not happen automatically when we read aloud. Be careful to not have a sing-song quality in your speaking off of the teleprompter glass. This makes you sound remote and unengaged. Try to pour emotion into your voice to connect with listeners.
Third, become friends with your teleprompter operator and hold several rehearsals with him. Set your own speaking pace. A good operator will follow you and adjust the scrolling to suit your talking pace. A good teleprompter, such as the Telmax G2-17, will allow you to adjust the scrolling speed easily. The teleprompter software also should allow for this. But be sure to rehearse with your operator!
Fourth, keep a few people in the audience during rehearsals so they can tell you how you are connecting with them. You want to look like you are not reading. You truly want to avoid the robotic movement of your head from side to side as you read from each teleprompter screen. President Obama does this quite often. Having a large screen to read off of, such as the Telmax G219, can help you read more naturally and with less strain.
Fifth, have a hard copy of your speech in hand. These devices malfunction. Even though Bill Clinton was once able to keep speaking flawlessly for 15 minutes when his teleprompter failed, you probably are not that good!
Last, remember that effective speaking with a teleprompter takes much practice, just as with any other type of speech delivery. Practice reading off of your teleprompter several times per day for the best results.