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  • Writer's pictureLynn Torrie

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.

The problems:

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.

Best Solution:

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!


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