We frequently Periscope as a team, often to discuss a new project we’re doing or technique we’re using (follow us @cothcreative!), and last week, we Scoped from the set of Highlands News to give people a behind-the-scenes look at our shoot. During the broadcast, we had a time of Q&A, and one of the viewers asked for advice in helping on-screen talent appear energetic and friendly while using a teleprompter. It’s a great question, because it’s harder than it looks and often leaves talent frustrated as they try to juggle information, inflection, energy, facial expressions and reading – while trying to look like they’re not actually reading. It’s not a task for the faint of heart!
Here are a few things that might help make it a little easier:
- Think about the person behind the camera. No, not the shooter, I mean the person you’re talking to on Sunday. What are they thinking, feeling? How can you make them feel more welcome and at home? Use that mentality when sharing the information in the script. Look through the teleprompter and picture that person’s face.
- Go “up” at the end of your lines. Human nature is to lower your volume, pitch and tone at the end of each sentence. On screen, it translates with really low energy, so be sure to keep your pitch and volume level the same or bring it slightly higher at the end to keep your lines nice and bright.
- Keep your eyes open. Almost wider than you think is necessary. A lot of people squint when they read, and squinting will keep people from connecting with you. Like they say, the eyes are the window to the soul. Your want people to connect with you!
- Smile while you talk. This isn’t exactly natural, unless you’re talking about something funny, so practice in front of a mirror. What do you look like when you smile like “this” or “that”? It’s important to know (away from the mirror) what your face looks like when you move it a certain way. Practice makes perfect.
Also, vid teams, help your talent out by writing a friendly, conversational script. It’s a lot easier to appear friendly and conversational when the script is written that way! For reference, practice saying the script aloud as you write it. And never address your audience as a group. Any time you can refer to the viewer in the singular, do it. For example, Never say "Hey Church!" say something like "Thank YOU for joining us."
Hope this helps! Happy news-ing, everyone!