Three things you should know about teleprompting:
How to make a better connection with your audience:
It appears to be the perfect solution for a speaker. If you use a teleprompter (stand and read from a rolling screen also known as an Autocue) you have nothing to learn, the content can be instantly changed and the client keeps complete control of what you say.- Delivered well, your audience will never know you are reading. Perfect then – well not quite!
Don’t get me wrong I love teleprompters for the security they bring and the ability to get a complex message across without hours of script learning. That said, something is lost. It’s intangible though the connection between you and your audience can be lost.
Teleprompters are perfect for newsreaders or for any narrative to camera. The audience connection is through the camera not live to the audience, but for live work they should be used with caution.
In my experience as an international Event Host, there are 3 things that might just get you closer to your audience.
Know Your Stuff: Usually people who are speaking on stage are experts in their field. The challenge is how they marshal their thoughts into a coherent flow. After necessary research talk to other people about what you want to say. Get comfortable with your topic by just talking and note what works and get some feedback about how it sounds and if it makes sense. Have some bullet points just in case you loose your way.
Be Interviewed: Rather than present, ask to be live interviewed on the stage. The host will ask the questions, you talk naturally and freely. A word to the wise, invest the time in the pre interview meeting and agree what topics you will cover in advance. Then there will be no surprises and you can set identify areas to focus and avoid.
Be Brave: The most terrifying moment for any actor is the moment in rehearsal when they ‘ditch the script’. It’s the same for a speaker. Only when you let go, can you really bring your story to life and most importantly create a real connection with your audience.
Good luck. It is a great feeling and sets you apart from the majority if you just dare to try.