Step 1: Practice with a Teleprompter!
Rehearse alone, with family, or co-workers and familiarize yourself with the text before an event or video shoot. This means, reading the script several times – out-loud – then making edits and repeating the process till you’re comfortable with the material.
You never want to show up the day before a huge event without laying eyes on your speech. If this happens, you’ll keep revising each sentence, adjusting the structural elements and possibly tweak the theme out of existence right up until the actual presentation — that’s never a recipe for success.
We’ve seen this all too many times and can tell you first-hand that you need to be prepping your speech months ahead of time. You might think that’s a bit excessive, but some of the best presenters work their material for months or even years!
The more you practice, the less it looks like you’re reading straight from a page in a book. The goal is to have the teleprompter serve as a guide or be just one ‘tool’ to draw from in your toolbox.
So what does that mean exactly? Well, you should know the main points, the structure, and the thematic elements of your presentation inside and out — but word for word, the teleprompter will be there to keep you focused and direct you through the script.
Step 2: Slow down!
Good teleprompter operators go at your pace, so don’t feel like you’re having to play catchup. Take pauses, use inflection, and build drama by controlling the pacing of your speech.
Step 3: Energy!
Being nervous is a good thing! Bring your nerves or confident energy to the event! Audiences love watching energy onstage — it keeps them engaged and watching your every move. They also like connecting with humans — flaws and all! Being imperfect is the most perfect move to make on stage — embrace the gaffs and spontaneity of presenting live.
Step 4: Go Off Teleprompter Script
It’s easier for a teleprompter operator if you stick to the script, but we know the most authentic, real and inspiring presentations sometimes veer from what’s on the teleprompter — and that’s okay! As long as you come back to your prepared notes — at some point — have some fun and tell an anecdote or a personal story. Connecting with your audience is key and only you know what’s going to work best.
For events we do in and around NYC, we always see our best presentations done by those who allot time to practice, work with professional coaches and focus their energy on the day of the event.