Some people live their lives by the motto “Never Look Back”. Out on location, we were chatting with the maestro of teleprompting here in Las Vegas, Mr. Jeff Critelli. Jeff told me the #1 rule of prompting… ‘Never scroll back.’
Teleprompting can be difficult, as we can all attest to. Speakers occasionally go rogue and start talking off script; a good teleprompter operator can anticipate where the daring CEO is headed, and can have the approved copy sitting there waiting for him/her to get back on track.
It’s usually during these high stress moments where the rookie operator panics. Thinking they have scrolled too far, the unwitting operator goes against all of the forces of nature and diverts down a path that will lead to their impending demise. They scroll backwards! The presenter is totally caught of guard. Their safety net has just been pulled out from under them. Initiate ‘panic sequence’.
The operator is sitting there defeated; nothing to do but count down the number of words left in the script, knowing when zero hits, all hell is going to break loose.
But this isn’t going to happen to you. Your presenter is going to go off the cuff and you won’t even flinch. A little voice in your head says “never scroll back” and you hold tight. The presenter looks up and there you are with your script all queued and ready to go, right where they went off course. You’re the unsung hero, waiting to get the speech back on course . Well done.