Arts Entertainments

Reading from a considerate teleprompter

Well, teleprompters are definitely all the rage right now, especially since our famous President Barack Obama has shown us how powerful a teleprompter reading right can be to build a brand, in his case a political brand. Interestingly, reading a teleprompter is not as easy as you might think. This is simply because we are not all wise and are able to read something once, allowing it to become a photographic memory in our mind and then simply recite it once we get on the podium. In fact, there are Hollywood movie stars who are quite cerebral and have such a good memory that they can memorize lines perfectly, and then they just have to jump into character to act.

The other day, I was talking to a skilled teleprompter technician, who now works as a consultant helping corporate titans, world leaders, and politicians in the perfect delivery. He has worked in and around Hollywood with various very talented people in the media and also with actors. Plus, he helps and teaches other teleprompter techs on how to make the perfect scrolling and how to sync with whoever is on the podium, allowing for crowd interruptions and change of pace as the speech is read. It matters.

The cadence and speed at which you read are just as important as your voice inflection, eye contact, and delivery. If someone scrolls too fast, they can get ahead of the speaker and cause them to make a mistake or end up going too slow at the wrong time and the audience falls asleep. If the connection between the speaker and the audience is not established, they stop listening. In the same way, someone who watches television disconnects, perhaps mentally reviewing a channel or program for their time to think about something else. This is how speeches die and don’t work.

Speech delivery is of the utmost importance, and it is a leadership skill that is extremely important, because if the followers are not listening and they are not accepting the words or the speaker, everything is wasted. You could say that reading from a teleprompter is both an art and a science, and you’d be right. There are many things that go into the perfect execution of a speech read from a teleprompter, and not everyone can do it. But those who learn to do it correctly can become powerful voices in our lives, in our politics, and in our world. Consider all of this and think about it.

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