Teleprompters 101 – Preparing For Your First Presentation

Any time a presentation calls for the delivery of pre-written, detailed information within specific time frames, it’s time to use a teleprompter. Also referred to as prompters or auto-cues, teleprompters are widely employed on television to deliver news or weather reports, in entertainment such as game shows or advertising and also for documentaries and life style programming. Teleprompters also find use in non-broadcast video work. Many professionals find a pre-recorded message the most effective method to get their message across to associates, work force or even for prospective clients.

Auto-cues are fairly simple in use and the end result highly effective, making them customary for live events such as award ceremonies, conferences, launches and even as tools for keynote speakers. Anyone new to using a teleprompter might be a bit apprehensive. New users might experience discomfort, the onset of nerves or even sleepiness. Some new presenters can even come across as looking dishonest. The information in this article is designed to give you a summary of what to expect on a video production and how to get the best results from using a teleprompter on your next production.

Word Smithing

All the information for your presentation is contained in the script. More than just written words, a script should be designed to be delivered, rather than simply read. Scripts usually go to a production company who pass these to their auto-cue operators for formatting. Most production companies can accept almost any word-processing formats on PC’s or Mac’s. Just be sure not to leave it to the last second. Use the contracted form of words whenever applicable. This gives your script a more flowing delivery and better reflects how people speak. Concise sentences will get your message across more accurately. Your auto cue script should only contain the text to be read. No formatting, tables, indents, charts, borders, scene directions . . . just your monologue. If your presentation relies on visual aids, confine these to graphics that can be displayed to your audience. Once the teleprompter operator receives your script, this will typically undergo some pretty basic formatting to make sure the script flows well and the words are clear on the auto-cue monitor. Making your script too complicated by using images or storyboards for example could well incur expensive editing. Stick to the basics…just the script!

Clothes Maketh the Man

After your script is completed, it’s time to take a look at some of the visual elements of your presentation, namely, how you will look on video. A script is usually written with a particular audience in mind, so dress accordingly. Theatrical aspects not withstanding, presenters would do well to wear comfortable clothing, reflecting the mood and general tone of the message they are trying to get across. Avoid striking reds wherever possible and steer clear of bright white clothes. These don’t reproduce well on video and are usually less than flattering to your skin tones. Patterned fabrics with fine lines such as pinstripes or hounds-tooth should be avoided as these can look distracting on camera. Makeup is used for both cosmetic and technical reasons . . . covering up spots is one thing but lights used in both video and stage environments are bright, harsh and hot, so makeup is often used to cover up the shiny spots on the T of the face caused by the heat (and sometimes by nerves). Stage and video shoots are strange environments to get used to. The end result is what counts. A video shoot might look and feel wrong in the making, but if the end result looks good, that’s essentially all that counts. Don’t feel too badly if you have makeup applied or your clothing rearranged. The producer of the project will be the best source of information and advice regarding your wardrobe and general appearance, in order to better mesh with the overall tone of the project.

Location, Location, Location

Productions can take place in studios, offices, houses or even streets. The most basic rule of any shoot, regardless of the location is simple. Safety first. Be aware of stray cables, low slung overhead rigging, light stands and any other props in dangerous spots. Not only are the lights intense, they often burn very hot . . . so don’t touch them! Upon arrival, the Director will fill you in with all the details on how the set is actually set up and make all the necessary introductions with the crew. For a shoot involving the use of a teleprompter, the crew will usually consist of at least four people. The teleprompter operator, the sound operator, the camera operator and the Director.

You probably won’t play a part in any of the technical matters and most of the tricky stuff will be for before you arrive and after the shoot is finished. Your first stop will be makeup and wardrobe, but if you do have any last minute additions to the script, get these to the teleprompter operator these as soon as possible. Most of the teleprompter’s function is turning computer output into smooth scrolling TV output for your monitor. It usually has very basic text editing functions, so the more lead time the operator has, the better the output. Word changes are easy, but if you want to add a whole page of text, that will take as much time as it takes to enter or copy it from one file to another. When the script is finalized in the teleprompter, it’s your time to act. A glass of water and when the Director says “3-2-1″… it’s action time.

3-2-1 ACTION!

When you step in front of the camera, people may seem to be fussing over you . . . just let them. Unless alterations need to be made during your pre-read, you probably won’t hear very much from the teleprompter operator. Your first glance into the monitor will soon tell you why formatting and highlighting are a bad idea. The space they take up would leave little space for anything else on the screen. The Director is in charge of directing your delivery during the rehearsals and the actual shoot. If time permits however, the teleprompter operator will often provide a general outline of the cue. Be sure to check out part 2 of this series, where I outline the 5 main points to think about for your presentation.

Should Investors Consider Fund of Funds in their Portfolio?

A Fund of Fund means a mutual fund scheme that invests in other mutual fund schemes. The fund manager invests in other mutual funds instead of directly investing in equities or bonds. The portfolio is catered for investors with different risk profiles and financial goals. The Fund of Funds offers such benefits that the investors gain from the diversification as a result of investing in various fund categories.

The most sought-after Fund of Funds in India are:

Multi Asset allocation fund of funds are mutual funds that invest in and even other asset classes such as gold, equity, debt, and other commodities.
Gold Fund of Funds are funds that have underlying investments in Gold ETFs
International funds are investments in mutual funds that comprise bonds and shares of global companies.
Investing in a fund of funds is a smart choice if one looks into a few aspects.

Advantages

An investor’s investment is diversified across several funds from various sectors..
This investment strategy of the fund of funds in India can helps one to get exposure in some of the top-performing mutual funds even with a limited investment budget.
In case of Fund of Funds, taxation levied is payable by an investor, only when the fund is redeemed. However, both short-term and long-term capital gains are subject to tax deductions in India, depending upon the annual income of the investor and the time of investment.
There is no taxation on fund of funds scheme if Fund Manager rebalances the scheme portfolio.
Disadvantages

The basic meaning of Fund of Funds is that the mutual fund invests in many funds that further invest in several securities. It is quite possible that the Fund of Funds, will own the same stocks and securities through different funds. This reduces the potential for diversification.
The Fund of Fund expense includes expenses of the underlying funds owned by the Fund of Funds.
Who should Invest?

Investors who wish to invest long term may avail of the fund of funds benefits by investing in such funds.
The main aim of the fund of funds in India isto augment returns by investing in a diverse portfolio thus trying to minimise the overall risk.
Individuals with limited financial resources and low liquidity needs which they can spare for a more extended period of time can choose avail of the benefits of a fund of funds. Since such funds invest in different types of mutual funds, the investor also gains access to high-value funds.
Also new investors with limited knowledge looking for a long-term and diversified investment option can invest in such funds.

Tips to Develop Your Presentation

It is not always an easy task for some people to have a presentation in front public or a group of work peers. There are several things that you need to prepare before giving the presentation so that you will get the best result to deliver a topic for your audience. At this time, this article is going to give you several tips that will guide you to develop your presentation.

Firstly, you have to collect all of the information, articles, pamphlets, and emails that you need to write down your presentation in longhand. Or, it would be more effective if you type in a Word document so that you can later extract bits of information from your notes into PowerPoint.

Secondly, you need to divide your material onto the logical segments. You can try to do it with a simple fashion by differentiating which material that goes in certain segment. After that, you can start to write out your material that you plan to communicate to the group by using terms and language that will be easy to understand. So, everyone in attendance can easily understand and conceptualize your speech.

Thirdly, what you have to do is to create your PowerPoint slides by developing bullet points. It can be done directly from your PowerPoint. Besides, it is also important for you to make summary from the each major section of the material you want to deliver on your presentation. Also, it will be very helpful if you write some notes for yourself in your notes section of the each slide that you are going to cover. When you want to print out the handouts, there will be an option to print the slides with or without the notes.

Fourthly, you have to make sure that you are giving the right material for your audience. You can make a discussion with your manager or supervisor who is willing to give the talk about what you plan to discuss in a form of the presentation synopsis. It is better for you to meet this person for at least a week before the event in order to make sure that you can satisfy his needs with the scope and the depth of the material. If necessary, you can also make adjustments.

Fifthly, you have to try making your presentation interesting, colorful, and crisp. You can add some audio or visual effects that are provided in PowerPoint for keeping the attention from your audience.