5 Ways to Improve Your Next Teleprompter Presentation

Here are five ways you can improve your next teleprompter presentation:

1. Pre-Read the Script

The Director should always allow you to pre-read of the script on the teleprompter during rehearsals.

Sometimes you find that words that usually go together on one line are split up over two lines to help readability. Occasionally the opposite helps.

On a written page, you are normally reading 8-15 words per line, but with this medium you’ll be reading 3-5 words per line.

It’s a different rhythm and requires getting used to . . . it’s your autocue operator’s job to help you with readability options.

2. Keep to your own speed

An experienced teleprompter operator will react to your talking speed, changing the scroll speed to keep up with your reading speed. Speed up your delivery and the teleprompter go faster. Slow down and the teleprompter slows downs with you.

3. Maintain Eye Contact

Easier said than done, this needs practice and will probably need a few takes to get spot on.

Until the Director tell you anything different, before the take starts, during the take and after it finishes, just keep looking straight into the camera. That is of course unless you’ve mastered the technique.

Eye movements are more important, the closer the shot is. Eye movements away from your audience will make you look either uneasy or slightly dishonest. The only time you can really look away from the screen is when the Director says ‘cut’.

Most people won’t even know they are looking away from the camera. Turn away during a script edit point and the shot will have to be re-done.

It’s ok to blink though!

4. Don’t Rock

Even when standing still, people usually move from side to side or shuffle their feet positions. This is a completely normal reaction but one best left out of a shoot.

Swaying from side to side makes you look uneasy, which you probably are if you’re rocking about.

It’s a bit like the eye contact and body movement discussed earlier on. Animated gestures during a shoot are fine as part of our communication is based on movement. Awkward looking swaying or shuffling aren’t.

At the start of a take, shake the fidgety off. Stretch, run on the spot, jump up and down. Anything to shake off the lethargy and fatigue. Begin each take mentally and physically prepared.

If the warm up still won’t keep you still, ask for a pedestal to rest one foot on or even make your presentation sitting down.

5. Sell the Message

This may sound a bit cheesy, but don’t just read your message . . . value the script!

Delivering the script could well make you so drowsy, your face starts to look like it’s going to sleep.

If you yourself look bored with the presentation, imagine how your audience will be feeling. Get upbeat about the project. You might not like the script or even agree with it, but you have to put on a convincing presentation. Vary the stress of your voice, use gestures, get involved. Practice in front of a mirror if you have to but by all means try not to look bored with the whole business!

Your script has all the information you need and it’s written so that the message is understandable. Now . . . let your audience SEE how valuable it is.

Looking Back

So you’ve finished your recording and it’s time to see the finished product.

The first thing you’ll confront when viewing the tape is vanity. Don’t worry . . . it happens to everybody.

You might think you sound strange. You might think you look weird. The reason for this impression is simple . . . you are used to seeing a reflected view of yourself as opposed to how everyone actually sees you. Seeing your left side where your right side usually appears and vice versa is odd.

Some camera angles can also distort your appearance. You might trick yourself into believing you look unwell or have put on weight.

Becoming a polished presenter means casting a critical eye back over your performance. Critical but not negative. Assess your presentation and address any awkward habits or mannerisms.

Don’t go over your presentation looking for details. The objective is a sincere delivery.

The eyes rarely lie. Is you attention focused on the teleprompter texts, are you making a monotonous, boring performance? Are you shuffling around? Are you dropping your eyes?

It’s all about getting an appreciation of your own performance. Most importantly, do you look like you believe what you are saying?

Leaders from all walks of life recognize the importance of an effective communication style delivered in a sincere, personal style, but public speaking remains a hurdle for many of us.

This article is intended to acquaint you with the intricacies of video production and the use of a teleprompter. You will have to do some groundwork, but if you stick to the advice given here, you’ll be better armed to concentrate on delivering a sincere, professional presentation when the big day arrives.

When you are ready to bring your presentation in-house, use professional teleprompter software . . . it will make a huge difference to the success of your production. You can find a review of this teleprompter software available now on YouTube.

Posted under Articles

This post was written by Noel D'Costa on June 30, 2010

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