Doing a bit of tweaking to the theme and CSS.
I was never really happy with the banner headers…
Let me know what you think!
Doing a bit of tweaking to the theme and CSS.
I was never really happy with the banner headers…
Let me know what you think!
It is no secret that being a good communicator is key to success in business. We value those who have the ability to communicate well, and that often includes public speaking. One proven tool to aid in the delivery of a speech or presentation is the teleprompter. However, knowing when and how to use one may be just as instrumental in earning that standing ovation.
History of the Teleprompter
Simply put, a teleprompter is a device that “prompts” the person speaking with a visual text of a speech or script. This allows the reader to read the text word for word, ensuring a consistent and accurate speech, while maintaining the illusion of spontaneity.
In the 1950s, Fred Barton, Jr. came up with the idea of a teleprompter as an actor. He later helped found the TelePrompTer Corporation, which built the first devices. Although in some countries it may be referred to as an AutoCue (a UK brand name), the TelePrompTer name has become the generic term for these devices in most of the world.
The earliest teleprompter was nothing more than a scroll of paper with a script printed on it that was then run over a mechanical device operated by a hidden technician. It wasn’t long before the initial version was improved upon by becoming automated and mounted on a television camera. These improvements, though better than cue cards and a standalone prompter, were not enough because the speaker was still looking slightly off camera. Thus came the next, and most important improvement: reflective glass.
Instead of being mounted facing the speaker, the prompter was mounted below the camera and facing up, or mounted above the camera and facing down, with the text reflected off a piece of glass directly in front of the camera lens. The placement and construction of this glass prevented it from being seen by the camera and allowed the speaker to look directly into the camera while reading.
The computer revolution in the 1980s brought many advances. Scrolling paper rolls were replaced with monitors and computer-generated text as early as 1982, but were still in use as late as 1992. The advancement of technology has also enabled teleprompters to become lighter and thinner, straying away from old bulky ray tube monitors to ultra-slim flat screen monitors. Voice recognition software has also played a part. For example, high-end news organizations are testing teleprompters with the ability to be voice activated, ensuring that the prompter is always going the right speed for the speaker.
Today’s Types of Teleprompters
The three main modern types of teleprompters are camera mounted, presidential, and floor or stand mounted.
In addition to the actual teleprompter itself, there are some other components that are also essential — the software and the remote control. Both camera mounted and presidential prompters require images to be reflected off of a piece of glass, which then requires that the original text be reversed. All professional prompter software should have this feature. Teleprompters also require a way in which to stop, start, and manipulate the speed of text.
When should/shouldn’t you use a Teleprompter?
Using teleprompters, such as a presidential monitor, infers professionalism and makes a speaker look more “presidential.” In general, prompters make the speaker look better as they allow them to connect with the audience, whether live or prerecorded, through eye contact, and studies have shown that eye contact can be a major factor in whether or not we trust someone.
The average person (not a trained actor, or someone with a photographic memory) has a difficult time memorizing large chunks of text. This is why many speakers use PowerPoint or notecards to keep them on-track. However, these methods can be cumbersome and make the presenter feel the need to add graphics or slides when they may not be relevant or useful. Teleprompters are also used when a speaker needs to convey a lot of detail or technical specifications.
Just as knowing when to use a teleprompter is important, knowing when NOT to use one is just as essential. The budget of an event can play a very big part in the use of a teleprompter, because you not only have to pay for the equipment but you have to pay for the person to operate it. Cost is not the only factor when considering a teleprompter; the environment is just as important. If the room and audience are small, the use of a teleprompter might be awkward. Imagine being in a small breakout session and having the speaker behind a pair of presidential monitors.
Preparing Speakers for a Teleprompter
Picking the right equipment is only half the battle when it comes to delivering a good speech. The speaker and the speech itself have to be a finely tuned machine. Options include hiring a speechwriter, which is surprisingly inexpensive, and they can work with the speaker to hone a message and to use language comfortable for the speaker. It is very important to write as one speaks, because if the language isn’t familiar, it often sounds stiff and awkward.
Not only does the speech have to be well written, the speaker delivering it has to also be well trained. The speaker should rehearse in the space before the event and allow plenty of time with the prompter itself. Even the most experienced speaker can find a prompter a little unsettling for the first time. Otherwise, a prompter will likely hurt the presentation, rather than help it.
One of the most important tips is to make sure that the speaker knows they are in control, not the teleprompter. It’s the operator’s job to make sure the speaker has the words they need, when they need them, not the job of the speaker to try and “keep up” with the prompter.
In conclusion, knowing your audience, your prompter equipment, and your speech will ultimately reward you with a successful presentation. It is wise when budgeting to accommodate for not only the equipment itself, but for the operator and a possible script writer as well. Also, make sure that plenty of time is allowed for rehearsal and practice. Practicing with the equipment and with the operator can help make or break a perfect prompter presentation.
Originally published at metroConnections.com
*UPDATE* Comments have been disabled here as I’ve folded this blog into my main website. If you’d like to comment, please do so >>HERE<<
OK, this is one that’s fun to try. You’ll either:
I know it might seem redundant with the hardware softkeys on the the Galaxy S3, but I really like this mod and it’s one of the first things I do after flashing a new rom. The S3 has plenty of screen real estate to handle it, and I find it a much faster way of navigating around the phone, with faster access to app switching and Google Now. Also, frequently while trying to reach down to the “Back” hardware button with my left hand, the phone feels like it’s going to shoot out of my hand like a bar of soap.
To enable the on-screen navigation buttons:
Use a file explorer (like Root Explorer) to navigate to
and open the file with a text editor. Add the line
at the end of the file. Save and close. Reboot. Done
Be advised, there a are a few apps that don’t behave well with the keys, such as the camera. For some reason (probably because it’s a stock app) instead of resizing, it partially covers up some of the controls. Still completely usable though.
For extra credit, you might try one of these other mods…
Disable the softkeys:
and open the file with a text editor.
You will a giant list of key numbers and what they do. Try to find these…
|key 172 HOME
key 158 BACK
key 139 MENU
Add a # before any key you don’t wan’t to use anymore. Save and reboot.
Thanks to jastonas over on XDA for the post!
Prevent the “HOME” key from waking your phone up:
Personally, I like to keep the softkeys engaged. I do still use them from time to time, such as when you can’t find the freaking “MENU” key on a poorly designed app. But, in a completely made up statistic, I have found that accidental pocket-engagement of the “HOME” key is responsible for 80% of battery loss.
and open the file with a text editor.
You will see this…
|key 115 VOLUME_UP WAKE
key 114 VOLUME_DOWN WAKE
key 172 HOME WAKE
key 116 POWER WAKE
Just delete the word “WAKE” from the “HOME” key (or more if you like, but be careful you still need a way to wake your phone!!!). Save and reboot.
Thanks to Eric over on Galaxy S3 Forums for the post!
That’s all there is to it! So now that the S4 is coming out, is anyone getting antsy to trade in their S3? Personally over a year in I’m still happy as a clam…
Ok, so much of what I’m about to say may seem obvious, but I can personally vouch for the fact that most of what highly paid motivational and inspirational keynote speakers say is, after you’ve heard it, pretty obvious stuff. I’ve sometimes considered becoming a motivational speaker myself, with my “hook” being that I’ve heard hundreds of them and can boil most of it all down to about 10 salient points- but that, dear friends, is a story for another day.
THIS story is about how I went from hating traveling to enjoying it, and it all started on a whim.
For a very long time, I really despised traveling. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the destinations, but I hated the journey. I was blessed that my parents wanted their kids to be exposed to other cultures, peoples, and places, and we traveled a fair amount both inside the US and even a couple times abroad. So now in my adult life, I really do love being in other cities all over the world, soaking up the surroundings, seeing how very different we all can be, and how very much alike we all are.
But the getting there… oh, man…
To start, there was the ear pain. Every time I flew, my ears would properly “pop” and pressure-equalize on the way up, but not on the way down. This would cause excruciating pain in my ears during decent, not unlike having your eardrum being squeezed by a vice made of ice needles. The pain would usually subside once on the ground, but one or both of my ears would remain clogged with fluid for anywhere from 1 to 3 days. After many years of trying every remedy people could think of – chewing gum, drinking water, pressure points, ritual sacrifice – I finally learned from my Dad, who had the same problem but to a much lesser degree, to use a special kind of silicon earplugs that cover the whole ear-hole. That’s a technical term, of course.
This worked like magic, but I had to wear them for the entire ascent and descent. It also had the secondary benefit of blocking out the other ear-holes on the flight that talked too much. A happy ending to at least that part of the story, but the number of years that I just suffered through the pain far outweighed the ones where I knew that particular solution.
Setting my medical issues aside, everything about airports and airline personnel just rubbed me the wrong way, and it seemed as though every travel experience was worse then the last. There was the time I was stranded in O’Hare overnight and slept on a bench (which I later turned into an unpublished short story called The Moving Walkway is About to End), or the time that I was stranded in the Bahamas with no money and a taxi voucher that no taxi driver would take.
Even in the years before 9-11, I always seemed to have issues with security. When my parents would swing through town, I would meet them at the airport for dinner, and if I even had a scrap of a gum wrapper in my pocket it would set off the metal detector. After 9-11? Forget about it. I was a constant subject of bag searches, pat downs, and explosive testing, mainly due to the large amount of electronics I have to bring along for the typical meeting production gig. Or perhaps I had a 3.25 oz tub of hair gel that just needed to be confiscated by the Federal Government.
At the ticket counter and in the air, I found the airline employees unhelpful, inflexible, and sometimes downright mean. During the times I was stranded, I was never offered a hotel voucher, bonus miles, or indeed (other than the useless taxi voucher) any compensation at all. After having been drinking alcohol legally in the UK for a full semester abroad at age 20, I was carded and not served on the flight back, due to “US Federal Law”. When I explained that there was no federal law regarding the legal drinking age in the US, I was told, “Then it’s Northwest Airlines Law.” No drinky-drinky for me. I settled back into my middle seat and scowled.
It definitely felt like every airport ticket counter person, every security guard, and every flight attendant in the world was out to make my travel life as miserable as they could. To add insult to injury, I was traveling more and more for work, pretty much insuring a future filled with increased pain and suffering.
And then one day, I’d had enough. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was tired of feeling like a victim, tired of feeling helpless. It was time to do something radical. I decided to fight back in the only way I could.
I would kill them with kindness.
And so, on this utter whim, I decided one travel day to be just as unbelievably, doughnut-sprinkly sweet as I could, to every person I interacted with:
At the end of the trip, I realized that I felt less tired, less put-upon, less grumpy. So on my next trip, I continued to be just as nice as I possibly could to everyone I met:
It felt like I was getting more aisle seats (again before the ease of online seat-change) and exit rows. Once I achieved medallion status as a frequent flyer, it felt like I was getting upgraded more often than my traveling companions. A couple times I bought a drink and had it upgraded to a double at no extra charge. “Here, have a couple of bags of peanuts. You want some cookies, too?”
A friendly TSA agent informed me as we chatted while he looked through my bag that one of the biggest reasons bags get pulled aside is when they look like a mess of jumbled cables and wires on the X-ray, and if you take the time to coil and pack them neatly they’re able to more easily see what everything is. And yes, I said friendly TSA agent. I would not have guessed such a thing existed previously. Guess what- they do. A lot of them.
Turned out he was right. I started very carefully coiling my cables and arranging the electronics gear neatly in my carry-on bag. The number of times it got searched went from almost every time to maybe one out of every twenty. Possibly even less, it happens so infrequently that it’s hard to remember. But when it does, I remember to smile and not get upset about it.
Just one week after I got it, I left my brand new iPad on the floor of the plane, next to my seat. Instead of it going into the black hole that expensive electronics left on airplanes go, I was called by Delta on my way home from the airport and told it was being kept safely (literally in a safe) for me in their office. To this day I am convinced this is because I was nice to the flight attendant sitting in the jump seat facing me. We chatted and I asked her where a safe place to put my iPad was, since I didn’t have a seat pocket in front of me. It was she who recommended putting it next to the seat against the wall of the plane (an unusual place, and likely why I forgot it), and I’m sure it was she that took the time to get my name from the manifest to get it back to me.
Another TSA moment- I realized I still had my Leatherman multi-tool on my belt as I stood in the security line, almost at the front. I looked around and saw a TSA agent standing nearby. I put on a *Big Smile* and waved to him with a questioning look. He came over and I apologized profusely for being so dumb as to forget to put my trusty belt tool in my checked luggage. Rather than just confiscating it on the spot, he pointed out that a nearby money exchange kiosk was now offering “mail home” services for small items at a reasonable rate. I thanked him profusely, left the line, and mailed my it home for $10. Much cheaper than a replacement!
I returned to the security checkpoint and got in line, happy to have saved my trusty Leatherman from certain doom, and fully prepared to go through the whole line again. I saw the agent and gave him a “thumbs up” sign to let him know it had worked. To my shock and surprise, he waived me over to him and let me into the First Class and Über Status line, which had only about 5 people in it. Wow. I mean… just… wow…
Things were working so well, I started applying this bizarre concept (being nice to people) to the good folks who worked for the hotels I was staying at. Wouldn’t you know it? I started getting better service and nicer rooms- higher floors, beautiful views. I even got comped for no apparent reason to the “Executive Level” at a beautiful resort in California, with a private lobby and a fully stocked and staffed complimentary lobby bar that served breakfast and appetizers most of the day.
You see, faithful obvious truth-seekers, these people in the airline and hotel industry have to deal with hundreds and hundreds, sometimes thousands of people a day. Most of them don’t stand out- they’re just anonymous faces marching by. Which leaves only two types of people that do stand out: Those that are kind, pleasant, and brighten your day, and… assholes. And I realized that I used to be one of the latter.
I mean really. What flight attendant on an international flight with hundreds of passengers to take care of wants to be lectured by some smart-ass kid about the legal intricacies of state-based drinking age limits while over international waters? C’mon, son…
Put simply, I hated traveling, so traveling hated me. I started making the extra effort to be nice, and the whole experience was lifted up to not only tolerable, but down right enjoyable most of the time.
And there’s the key- it takes effort. The kind of effort that most of us can’t spare as we move through our busy lives. I’m not perfect at this, and believe me, if I could apply this sunshine and roses way of dealing with the world to the rest of my life 24-7, I would. I have good days and bad days like everyone. I have however chosen to try and make that extra effort in this particular area of my life, and it has paid back over and over.
In fact, I believe it was a flight attendant who finally suggested the cure for my painful eardrum issues. Sudafed. That’s right, the decongestant. Pseudoephedrine. Take it about an hour before the flight and my ears pop and equalize perfectly normally. No more earplugs. I can actually wear headphones, or I can carry on a conversation, just like everyone else. Though sometimes I do miss the quiet…
So there you have it. The Great Secret of Enjoying Travel: “Be nice to people.” Wow. Who’d have thought? I know. Crazy talk.
Studies have shown over and over again that even “fake smiling” can improve a person’s overall mood. It also might just get you a bulkhead seat with extra legroom. That can definitely improve your mood. So sit back and enjoy the ride!
If my 2012 blog stats are any indication, apparently I need to write less about corporate event technology and more about the Samsung Galaxy S3…
*Update 10/08/2014* This post is pretty out of date at this point and I have no idea if it even works any more, but it’s the number two most visited page on my site. Comments have been disabled here as I’ve folded this blog into my main website. If you’d like to comment, please do so >>HERE<<
*** UPDATE 12/20/12 ***
While I’m still recommending Home2 Shortcut (easier on the eyes and more functionality), reports are coming in that Bluetooth Launcher will still work with 4.1.1. Apparently you just need to select a different activity. Process is updated in the post, but I was unable to get it to work on either my or my wife’s S3.
*** UPDATE 12/18/12 ***
Based on the comments and questions below, it appears that Blootooth Launcher does not work this way anymore with Android 4.1.1. If someone figures out a way to make it work again, leave a comment and I’ll update this page.
I now am recommending Home2 Shortcut for this getting direct access to Voice Search (which contains most of the original Voice Actions).
I found it over on XDA Developers and it can be found on the Play Store. It allows you to set Home Double Press as well as other key combinations. I found “Voice Search” under “Activities->Google”, but YMMV.
Some of the more popular posts on this blog have had nothing to do with Event Technology per se, but rather have been tips and tricks that I myself found hard to find and decided to repost when I found the answer.
This is one of those posts!
I searched for a really long time to find a way to make Google Voice Actions, instead of S-Voice, the default action when double pressing the Home key on my fancy new Samsung Galaxy SIII. I just couldn’t get S-Voice to do what I wanted it to do, and it was basically useless in the car. Turns out there’s a clever little workaround using a 3rd party app that isn’t actually designed for that specific purpose! The tip comes from Sorka over on Android Forums and is a great little workaround. NO ROOT REQUIRED!!
Here’s the trick:
Thanks again, Sorka, works like a charm, and there’s a metric crapton of other options offered by Bluetooth Launcher. Nice workaround!
Meanwhile everyone, how are you liking your S3?