Every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has used teleprompters, and none as extensively as President Obama. It’s not hard to understand why a president relies on teleprompters; saying it right, saying it clearly and saying it every word a president utters is scrutinized, analyzed and second-guessed. And the little mistakes that everyone makes become magnified when the top leader makes them…
Nothing is more compelling than a confident speaker – a presenter that is relaxed, comfortable with the subject and able to engage members of the audience at a personal level.
This type of connection is a critical factor in motivating others to take action, whether it’s taking on a new task, buying a product or casting a ballot. A few gifted orators are able to deliver compelling presentations on their own; the rest of us need some help.
How the prompter works is quite simple – the desired script is scrolled vertically on a display – much like the credits at the end of a movie. The speaker views this scrolling script on a ‘half-mirror’ placed at face height in line with the audience to prevent the up and down head motions associated with reading prepared text. That’s it.
There are a few details that make the concept practical. For example, the monitor must be bright enough to overcome the ambient light and still be visible on the half-mirror (beamsplitter). Consumer monitors are not up to the task – a good prompter monitor has special backlights to boost brightness to 4 times normal levels. Outdoor prompters must compete with the sun, so they are usually supercharged to 8 times standard brightness. These backlights require additional electronics to make them work properly and keep them cool, and the monitors need custom controllers to flip the image either horizontally or vertically to compensate for the fact a mirror is being used to transmit the image to the speaker.
The prompting unit must be well built to withstand the rigors of frequent travel and set-up. Plastic is not a good option here – a professional system will invariably be built from metal components.
Lastly, the script needs to be stored and controlled by a computer. That means a custom software application that facilitates converting a Word document (or something similar) into a nicely formatted 40 point font script that can be smoothly scrolled with an inconspicuous handheld controller. (Most presenters have an off-stage assistant managing the scroll rate – this avoids distracting the speaker).
Tekskil has been designing and manufacturing speech prompters for over 25 years. Our units are professional quality fully featured prompting systems relied on by presenters across the world. When presentation quality is important, so is your choice of prompter.
Call us – we’ll help you choose a system that ensures your presentations are remarkable.