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Teleprompter 101

  • Indium Corporation
  • I have a new-found respect for public speakers who use a teleprompter. I just used one for the first time and I certainly learned a lot.

    Why the teleprompter?

    Indium Corporation is rolling out a very powerful new product. This product advances the state-of-the-art on numerous fronts – versus the "slightly-better than the other guys" that is increasingly common in our industry. We quickly started saying, "This is BIG!", and it stuck. The rollout (now called, "This is BIG!")involves print media, electronic literature, tech papers, exhibits, live demos, and more. We are making a splash by rolling it out at key trade shows, worldwide.

    We wanted to portray the product as being as special (BIG!) as it is, so we decided to make a video that touches on all the key points of differentiation.

    I quickly realized that I couldn't remember every single point, so we fired up the teleprompter.

    LEARNING POINT #1: Keep the teleprompter absolutely as close to the camera lens as possible. Viewers can easily see when you are reading something that is far from the lens – and it looks cheap!

    LEARNING POINT #2: Read your own words. I started out trying to regurgitate the key points, as written by one of our tech leaders. It was a trainwreck. I simply don't speak like someone else writes. No one does. After a few flubbed takes, I rewrote every single point in my own words. It was tremendously better,more natural, and smoother.

    LEARNING POINT #3: Appreciate and respect the written word – but allow a little room for ad libbing. Color-code critical language in red font – so you know to stick to the party line. But allow yourself to ramble a little on all other points.

    You can see my finished results (my first effort, so don't judge me too harshly) on the Indium8.9 microsite.

    If you, or one of your teammates, are planning on using a teleprompter as part of your B2B Marcom efforts, be sure to follow this advice and things should go a bit smoother. Here is even more advice: teleprompter tips.

    I'd like to hear comments from you on this. Thanks!