Maintain Eye Contact

Maintain Eye Contact

The police advise you not to make eye contact with criminals. Yet we all look at politicians on the television as they give speeches. This seems somewhat of a contradiction.

If you, on the other hand, are the one giving the speech, you want to be able to fix the audience with a steely and virtuous look as you make your spiel. If you have a great memory and are a good orator, you can do this. Otherwise you need to read out your speech and that means glancing away from the viewers. Not only do you break eye-contact and give them a chance to look around, but you also give the game away.

Enter the teleprompter. You’ve seen them for decades in presidential debates and Hollywood awards ceremonies attached to complex podiums. The user is behind a glass screen but is looking out at the audience. You think they are looking at you but they are reading what their scriptwriters are sending up in a rolling script. The teleprompter is a two-way beamsplitter that lets a camera lens look through to the face of the weasel* while they look at the lens and make promises.

Now you can do this for your videos – and you can do it right out in the field away from mains current.

You’ll need a video camera to record what you say, a support for that camera, a support for the Prompt-it Maxi, and an iPad, tablet, or mobile phone with the speech written on it. The company cannot write your speech for you – you’ll have to do your own lying – but they can present the thing in front of your eyes as you look through the special glass screen at the video camera. It will look as though you are sincere, until you start sweating or burst out laughing.

There is an app that connects the feed of the tablet to the screen and a set of glare-reducing screen that make sure you can see the words as they scroll up the screen. You still need to be a good reader and speaker, but at least the words will be there in front of you while you look at the audience. They will also be there to haunt you later, but that’s another thing.

*   Mustelidae is the more accurate name for politicians. Always be accurate.

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