Presenting with an Autocue can bring lots of benefits, but only if you use it well. I’m using one now, but you shouldn’t know. Now you know, let’s put prompt output on the screen so you can follow along. I’m Matt and in this video, we’ll look at the key tips to make using a prompter more enjoyable and effective. Ready? Cue titles!
Know your script
First, ‘know your script’. Yes, the words are in front of you, but if your brain doesn’t know what’s coming, you can stumble or use the wrong emphasis.
If you write the script, write in your speaking voice, which is less formal than your writing style. Engage viewers with confidence and conversation.
If you didn’t write the script, go through it, and change any unnatural sounding words that might trip you up.
Either way, once you have the final script, read it – out loud if possible. You will become familiar with the flow and intonation and spot any tongue twisters.
Stand far enough away from the prompter
There’s no point pretending that you’re not reading if everyone can see that you are.
Make sure you’re standing far enough from the Autocue to prevent your eyes from scanning left-to-right.
A rule of thumb is to stand one foot away for every inch of screen size – so if you have a 10-inch iPad you’ll want to be 10 feet, or 3 metres, away.
If you don’t have space, you can decrease the width of the script in Autocue software, or you can increase the font size so there are fewer words on each line.
Make sure you let the cue marker guide your reading position. Don’t read at the top of the screen. If the script moves faster than you speak, you’ll run out of words.
Here’s an important tip. If you stand still and focussed on your Autocue, your delivery will be worse. So occasionally glance away from the camera like you’re recalling something. Pause. And [er/hmm] add some of your natural mannerisms. Relax your body and move your hands for emphasis. Don’t be afraid to use intonation and displays of emotion.
Maybe you’re exasperated [throw hands in the air] or [laugh] you say something funny. The more you connect with your script, the more your viewers will believe you.
Smile – It’s the easiest way to look confident. Not a cheesy grin, just a small sign that you’re in control and enjoying yourself.
If you’re new to being in front of the camera, the opposite might be true. You might be terrified, but the best way to hide that is to smile.
It’ll will also put your viewers at ease. So don’t save it for the end, spread some happiness throughout.
If you can master these tips, then you’ll be a better presenter, enjoy using a prompter, engage with your audience, mention all the key points or people, and speed up your work.
Thanks for watching.
Until next time. Stay on cue.