Monday, March 15, 2010
Why a teleprompter?
My wife and I were watching a KBYU broadcast of a speaker using a teleprompter to deliver a talk to students there. What a remarkable difference there is between an extemporaneous talk, given from the heart, and someone reading a teleprompter.
I think it is high tribute to President Obama that his use of a teleprompter is so casual and conversational that you cannot detect he is reading the comments. He actually seems to be speaking spontaneously when he uses one. That is a great gift, unfortunately not shared by many other public speakers.
When a talk is read off a teleprompter and sounds like reading, the speaker sounds insincere, even robotic. I wonder why we see them used so often anymore, even at BYU Education Week, among small audiences. When you rob a speaker of spontaneity, you deprive the audience of a connection which might have been made.
I can't read a talk. I can try, but I always drift off into a conversation and leave the script behind.