Using a well-written script is an essential component of any successful corporate video project. It’s what helps you stay on track, ensures all relevant points are covered and keeps you within the allotted timeframe. But reading from a teleprompter can feel awkward – especially since you’re trying to sound natural and be inconspicuous. The good news is, there are some tricks that can make reading your script seem like second nature. Here are a few ways you can convince your audience you’re winging it.
Start with the right material.
There’s a big difference between how something sounds when it’s read silently and how it sounds when it’s actually spoken. This needs to be taken into consideration when writing your video script. Write in a way that flows well and sounds natural when spoken. For instance, you’d probably say “can’t” instead of “cannot” in everyday conversation. Once you’ve got a draft of your script written down, read it aloud to see if it sounds right when spoken. If it doesn’t, tweak it until you get it right.
Practice, practice and practice again.
When you practice reading your script again and again, you’ll begin to get much more familiar with what you have to say. This will make it less likely that viewers will notice you reading from a teleprompter. It’ll also help you personalize the text so you can add more meaning behind your words. If there’s anything in the script you seem to keep tripping over, change it to something you’re more comfortable with.
Smiling is the easiest and most effective way to connect with your audience. Of course, we’re not saying you have to plaster a fake grin on your face the entire time. After all, the goal is to look and feel as natural as possible when delivering your video message. At the very least, however, you should begin and end your video with a warm, authentic smile.
Turn up the energy.
Things can easily get lost in translation, particularly when you’re reading a script and speaking into a camera (as opposed to talking to a live audience, for example). Turning up your energy level and injecting more emotion into the message you’re trying to convey can dramatically improve the quality of your video, making it much more engaging and entertaining to watch.
If you’re feeling tense, nervous or uncertain, that will come through not only in your voice, but also in your non-verbal communication as well. Try to loosen up and relax. Use natural facial expressions and hand gestures to emphasize your words and stress important points you want to make. Try to envision that you’re actually having a conversation with another person and act natural.
Maintain eye contact.
One of the nicest things about a teleprompter is that it actually forces you to look directly into the camera lens. This can help give the illusion that you’re locking eyes with each individual viewer, something that can make your video much more engaging. Take advantage of this by maintaining your gaze and resisting the temptation to look away.
Last but not least, try to have fun with your video. Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you make a mistake, try again. If possible, improvise a bit. The more you allow yourself to have a little fun with your video recording, the more genuine you’ll come across, which will make the final result much more enjoyable to watch.
Using a teleprompter can be intimidating and feel uncomfortable at first, but with the right attitude and approach, you can easily master the art of delivering your video scripts. The tips provided above should at the very least get you pointed in the right direction.