How to Rehearse with Teleprompter/Autocue for a conference
What’s the difference between reading a paper script to an audience, and reading it off Autocue?
Not a lot, except with Autocue the audience can see the glazed eyes instead of the bald patch.
Let’s be clear – using Autocue with glass panels or monitors doesn’t do away with need for rehearsal and preparation. Teleprompt is like having notes on cards -you just glance occasionally to keep on track. So to be a good presenter, and use it effectively here’s what to do.
Read the script several times out loud – if you’ve written it yourself you’ve got a head start, but reading it aloud shows up the weaknesses, tangled sentences, and frankly even the bits where you bore yourself!
Divide it into sections making sure you know what the point is of each section.
Decide what your attitude is in each paragraph – for example, are you being positive and enthusiastic, critical and full of foreboding, or fairly neutral with non contentious material. You may well find other attitudes depending on the nature of your speech.
This will give variety in the way you present, and break it up in your mind (this incidentally makes it more interesting to present too). Your job is to lead the audience through those breaks, but your changes of pace, body language, tone of voice, facial expression etc. will give a lot of clues.
To make it look good on Teleprompt load the text in (download the free software below for rehearsal). With a fairly large font stand back from the screen(s) and see how much of the text you can deliver looking to one side or the other of the screen(s). Just come back to the screen(s) when you need to.
Try to read ahead so you get a good look away from the screen(s)
At first it’s quite hard, but the more familiar you become with it, the easier it gets. Stock phrases or information you know, will be easier to deliver without looking at the screen.
Think of the screen(s) purely as reference notes. If you find you’ve slightly departed from the printed text, see if you can seamlessly get yourself back on track without panicking or stumbling over the words.
If you get a chance to rehearse with full Autocue and two screens, concentrate on talking to the whole auditorium, again just glancing at the panels for reference. This way you will have much more contact when there is an audience there. The same applies if you can freely move about the stage, and monitors are rigged at the side and rear of the auditorium. Many people will not realise you are using any from of prompt at all. Your presentation will be more interesting, have more impact, and make all that rehearsal worthwhile.