Most of what we teach in the Dale Carnegie Course, the High Impact Presentations program, and the new Public Speaking Mastery program, entails being natural and engaging in front of the audience. For us, this means not memorizing a speech, not reading it, but delivering a presentation from your heart while staying connected to your audience. To be engaging as a speaker, you’ll need to be free to read the audience’s body language. That way, you’ll know if you are communicating with them or if you are putting them to sleep, allowing you to make the necessary course corrections.
On rare occasions, however, you will need to deliver a presentation that will be more presidential. Either you will be standing behind a lectern or sitting at a table staring at the business end of a video camera reading a prepared speech. In those instances, you may find yourself shuffling papers or cards as you read your speech and transition between pages.
While we address this particular challenge in the High Impact Presentations program, here is a technical alternative that may give you more flexibility. It turns your wireless notebook or tablet PC into a teleprompter! Yes, that same piece of equipment that presidential candidates, politicians and news anchors use to appear poised and natural when they are reading material in front of an audience or a camera crew.
There are limitations, such as it only accepts 2000 characters (this entry has 2185 characters) and you need to be connected to the Internet. But the price is right and it does give you a chance to deliver a read speech without the hassles of squinting at pages that you mistakenly printed in 10pt type.
For those of you scheduled to take a High Impact Presentation program in your area, you may want to think about using this particular tool in your coming class for the “speech reading” assignment.
But this tool still has value even if you are deathly afraid of speaking in public and you don’t envision yourself ever speaking to a group of people. You can still use the tool in training yourself to read from a laptop screen faster, a handy skill to develop in this age.