The Better Way to Read on Camera
CAUTION: Reading on camera will damage your connection with the audience!
Sometimes as a host, however, you need you need to get the words just right.
If you need to thank a sponsor, introduce a guest or give a land acknowledgment you may need notes, just for a moment.
As soon you look away from the camera, you are looking away from your listeners.
If you shuffle your papers, your listeners might hear.
Keep your eyes up, by putting your notes as close to the camera as possible.
Keep your text in the middle of the page, so people don't see your eyes scanning from left to right as you read.
Keep your hands down. Do NOT reach for your notes.
Use few key words only, in point form.
A weak solution:
Prop your paper right in front of your screen. Put the text at the top of the page only, so that your eyes stay up, near the camera.
RISK: Your audience won't see the page, but you will miss what's happening on screen.
RISK: If that paper falls, you will be without your notes....or scrambling to grab them.
A better solution:
Put a few key points on sticky notes, next to the camera.
RISK: If you have to move those notes, people could see you reaching for them.
RISK: You will be limited to just a few prompt words.
Use digital notes...and keep them small, in the middle of your screen.
Open a word processing program in front of your videoconference.
Remove the page margins and centre the text.
Use a front that you can read at a glance.
Minimize the program, so that it takes up only the top and centre of the screen.
TIP: Don't let your listeners see your hands moving if you scroll. Use a mouse, placed well below your computer.
TIP 2: Rehearse. Rehearse. Rehearse aloud.
You want to speak naturally, without hesitation or awkward pronunciations.
Note: While a teleprompter might seem like a good option, it is difficult to match the speed of the prompter with your speaking speed. Once you get out of synch, it can just add to the stress!