A speech prompter might seem very easy to use, but there are technicalities on its use that require more than just reading from it. Learn important tips on how to use a presidential prompter.

Using a speech prompter can be hard

There are some speakers who think that reading from a speech prompter is easy, so they skip the practice. However, this is one big mistake. When it is simple enough to read scrolling text, it is not exactly very easy to turn into a report-building and energetic talker that will move your audience to act. A public speech is more than just words read into a microphone it is a performance that is intended to communicate ideas. If you think that these ideas are important to you and your listeners, you have to deliver them with commitment, personality and passion

It is rather ironic that communicating these ideas are mostly impeded by the need to read words. To effectively communicate, you need to build a relationship with your audience. Most first-timers who speak with presidential speck prompters end up being wooden and monotonous. If you are a business and is looking to avoid a dull performance, below are some suggestions to make your performance in front of a teleprompter a notch better.

1. Pause to refresh

One big difficulty when speaking from a speech prompter is overcoming the tool of words that can turn even the most intelligent speaker into a mindless parrot. You have to impose your rhythm on the speech, not the other way around. The most important element in rhythm is to pause. Keep in mind that the speech prompter will merely follow your lead, so it stops when you stop. Pausing is a sign of confidence.

2. Read in phrases

Pauses is not the only way to control pacing while reading the presidential teleprompter. During rehearsals, look for groups of words and figures of speeches, and read from phrase to phrase rather than work to word. Good phrasing is essential in overcoming a monotonous speech. You have to interpret the speech an enliven the words with energy. Good phrasing gives ventilation to a speck, so it is easier to understand.

3. Make the writing tense

Short and simple sentences that quickly get to the point are more easily grasped by the listener. Compound sentences and convoluted syntax are traps for the speaker. Look for interesting and dynamic verbs and make sure you do not slump into passive voice. Repetitions are good qualities in a speech. Also, restate your points in different ways. These are great for all speeches, particularly for a speech prompter.

4. Perform with Energy

So that you do not end up with a wooden monotone while delivering your speech, you need to speak through the screen where the words are reflected to the audience beyond. A good speech is considered an amplified conversation, so you need to give both halves of the conversation. Therefore, by pausing, phrasing or listening to the other half, which is the audience’s half, you will bring the speech to life.

5. Rehearse on video

A very important tool for practicing is a camcorder. Take a video of your rehearsals so you can see your energy level as you communicate. See if you look like you are talking with someone, or if you are droning in. Also carefully listen to your voice as you deliver your speech, and then play the video without they sound so see your facial expressions. The purpose of the rehearsal is to make your speech look easy.

6. Give yourself stage directions

There are newer models of speech prompters that allow you to use different font styles, color and symbols to indicate emotions, gestures and facial expressions to appear on the screen, along with text. The teleprompter operator will be very helpful in making and suggestion useful personal text notes for you. Of course, you still need to practice these kinds of things thoroughly.

7. Use a teleprompter in other ways

It is not always a good idea to have a speech written out in the teleprompter. You can break away from it and return it once you are done. There are even presenters who only have an outline of their speech typed in the teleprompter just to help them stay on track. Ensure that you have good paper notes with you while delivering your speech. Just like any device, teleprompters can let you down.

Truly, presidential speech teleprompters make the life of a business speaker a little easier. So many executes today are now reading from a scrolling white text on a dark background when they deliver a speech. However, as useful as the presidential prompter is, it also comes with its share of pitfalls. It is only by being more aware of these pitfalls that the savvy speaker can prepare and overcome the dangers of this important tool for speakers.

Learn how our friendly team of skilled teleprompter operators can save you time and money.

About Neil Tanner

Neil began teleprompting in 1993. He saw that speakers were much more comfortable with the right teleprompter, operator, and training. He’s since served thousands of delighted celebrities, politicians, CEOs, and other great speakers. Neil acquired better gear and associates over time to better serve more clients. We get comments from clients saying that they appreciate how engaged our team is, how we're their "secret weapon." We only want you to have the best experience on-camera and on-stage.