Of course it's always your own choice when it comes to which speech prompter to use. But if you choose to use autocue or a teleprompter, then it pays to read your autocue. That's certainly our take-away when we watched President Trump at work this week in Washington D.C.
We expect occasion when President Trump makes an announcement. So, we weren't surprised that the travel restrictions speech should be such an occasion. Speaking straight to camera shouldn't be much of a problem, you might think. But, when it's a live address, then it can get a bit tricky. Since autocue practice is always essential.
Now the President isn't a natural autocue reader, not least because he's probably come to it rather late in his career. He simply isn't a career politician using it since their first conference speech. And that's probably why he always sounds a bit wooden and stilted with his use of the autocue. Speaker notes are more his thing.
I suspect that the autocue text is very large so he can read it without spectacles. Because you want to read your autocue as naturally as possible. However, any natural fluency in his speech is quickly lost as he reads. Shorter sentences would be an obvious solution.
Why should you want to practise your autocue before your big conference speech? I mean, it's all done for you, isn't it. Well, no it isn't. So, you need to practise beforehand, for these good reasons.
But beyond just reading your autocue you also want to get it right. And it's pretty clear that the autocue script was very out of step with the orders he actually made about international flights.
To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.
Certainly the written orders suggested that the suspension applied to the Schengen travel area of the EU. So, did the President simply misread his autocue or was it kept deliberately simple to read? Both are feasible. Another option, the deliberate tampering of the script is most unlikely. However, Clive Lewis the Norwich MP discovered the hard way that an autocue speech prompter plot is always a possibility. But that's Labour party politics for you.
We have to reckon that the President simply doesn't have the time in the day to practise these announcements. But for everyone else, it's always a good plan to snatch some speech practice.
When you have to read your autocue at conference, after the COVID-19 outbreak, then you can always find lots of public speaking tips with our regular series of posts, podcasts and videos. And when you have to step up your public speaking skills then you'll always find a coaching session to be a good option. So, when the time is right, and we're back at conferences again, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
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