With both Republican and Democrat presidential conventions this month, TelePrompTer operators in Cleveland and Philadelphia are in high demand. We will make note of which speakers perform better than others from the lectern.
One thing is clear – politicians rehearse more in front of the prompter than most business or association executives.
For less experienced users, here are some tips:
- If you can’t write your own speech or script, make the time to edit the text to increase your comfort with content and pacing.
- Within limits of the prompter, place words in a way easiest to read. For example, try not to put a prepositional phrase on 2 lines. Decide if you want to read from all capital letters or standard upper and lower case.
- Insert speech markups such as // (or write the word “pause”) to remind you when to pause.
- Whether it’s a “Presidential” style or floor monitors, don’t swing your head back and forth like you’re watching tennis. Vary the time looking at each screen.
- Don’t worry about the ad lib – or going off script. Operators are very good at picking up when you get back to the text.
- If possible, practice in the room you will be speaking in to get a sense of audience seating and room lighting.
With proper preparation and practice, the TelePrompTer is almost always better than the written text on the podium.