Using Teleprompters in Public Speaking
Using a Teleprompter in Public Speaking
Giving an effective public speech is much like making an effective video or television presentation. The audience needs to be captivated and the speaker needs to be persuasive. Continuous and direct eye contact is a key for both of these factors.
Although there are other ways to make continuous, direct eye contact with your audience during a public speech such as memorization and limited use of cue cards, one of the best ways is to use a teleprompter. A teleprompter will enable you to read your speech to the audience without breaking eye contact with them and without them being aware that you are even using it. Although practice is recommended, a teleprompter will eliminate long rehearsal sessions and excruciating hours of memorizing.
No article about teleprompters and public speaking would be complete without a mention of the President of the United States. The most powerful man in the world, President Barack Obama, practically never leaves home without his teleprompters. At the vast majority of his speaking engagements, his prepared speech can be found sitting unobtrusively behind the audience, scrolling downward on a pane of glass. Considered one of the most powerful orators of any president, Obama is also the first president to use his teleprompters so extensively. Other presidents, even very recent ones, would generally only use them when giving major addresses - inaugural speeches or State of the Union speeches. Is Obama's oratory ability directly related to his extensive use of teleprompters? Is it just a coincidence, or might there be some correlation here?
Whether you are a motivational speaker, a pastor delivering his weekly sermon, a CEO trying to communicate enthusiasm to your employees, or just a small businessman presenting to your office, a teleprompter will help you influence your audience in the best way possible. Combined with the powerful presence that you can exude as a person and with an arsenal of great body language and gestures by your side, a teleprompter can help give you great success in any public speaking venue, large or small.
When used in public speaking, the teleprompter should be set up in front of the audience and just above their heads so that it looks as if you are looking at your crowd. Many great orators use two teleprompters, one on each side of the room, so that they can turn occasionally and address the other half of the room without losing their place or appearing static.