A large portion of the events we produce are corporate and industry association affairs and the presenters are not professional stage talent – executives and corporate representatives are the typical mainstay at the microphone. By requesting the teleprompter the client is hoping to keep everyone on-script exactly as planned. And it works! Unfortunately for the audience, it often works too well.
This is not a hit against the many great clients we enjoy but let’s face it, your executives and representatives are not professionally trained for stage performance. Most of the time it’s obvious your presenters are reading from a teleprompter – flat delivery, stumbling through run-on sentences and humor-intended lines delivered like a news story. OOF!
We want our clients to have an incredible experience both on and off the stage, so here are a few suggestions for injecting a bit more personality and fun back into scripted events:
- Hire a coach to work with your presenters for an hour or two. A good coach will offer valuable instruction on voice modulation, engaging the audience and working with the script, not for it.
- Don’t write humor into the script word-for-word. Instead, put a placeholder in the script and have the presenter practice his/her delivery.
- Place reminders in the script for the presenter to look at and talk with the audience.
- Have the presenters read through and rehearse BEFORE the day of the event.
A great presenter, to me, is the one who sounds like he/she is using his/her own words to engage me in the importance of what is being said. This can only happen with coaching, preparation and passion.