Reading From a Teleprompter Considered

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Well, teleprompters are definitely in now, especially as our famous President Barack Obama has shown us how powerful reading a teleprompter well can be for building a brand, in his case a political brand. Interestingly enough, reading a teleprompter is not as easy as you might think. This is simply because not all of us are savants and able to read something one time allowing it to become a photographic memory in our mind, and then simply reciting it once we get up at the podium. There are actually Hollywood movie stars that are quite cerebral, and have such a good memory that they can memorize lines perfectly, and then they merely have to jump into the character to perform.

The other day, I was talking to an expert teleprompter technician, who now works as a consultant assisting corporate titans, world leaders, and politicians on the perfect delivery. He has worked in and around Hollywood with a number of very talented folks in the news media, and actors as well. Further, he assists and teaches other teleprompter technicians on how to do the perfect scrolling, and how to sync up with whoever is at the podium, allowing for the disruptions of the crowd, and the change in pace as the speech is being read. It matters.

Cadence and the speed at which you read are as important as voice inflection, eye contact, and delivery. If someone is scrolling too quickly, they can get ahead of the speaker causing them to mess up, or end up going too slow at the inappropriate time and the audience falls asleep. If the connection between the speaker and the audience is not made, they stop listening. Likewise, someone watching on TV tunes out, perhaps does a channel check, or mentally micro-schedules their time to think about something else. This is how speeches die, and fail to perform.

The delivery of the speech is of the utmost importance, and it is a skill in leadership which is extremely important, because if the followers aren’t listening, and they are not accepting the words or the speaker, all is wasted. You might say that reading from a teleprompter is both an art and a science, and you would be correct. There is a lot that goes into perfect execution of a speech read from a teleprompter, and not everyone can do it. But those who learn how to do it correctly can become powerful voices in our lives, in our politics, and in our world. Please consider all this and think on it.

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