Mr. President (Obama) Please look at us!

President Barack Obama enjoyed a deservedly triumphant inauguration this week. One hesitates to critique anything about the festivities – with one notable exception: As he uses a teleprompter, why does he never look at his larger audience? That is, the people watching at home and those along the mall watching on video screens?

No doubt he has great speech writers and has excellent phrasing, but he consistently ignores the TV and live audience with his constant left-to-right “ping pong” style of delivery.

Obviously, he uses presidential-style prompter monitor screens on either side of the lectern, but the TV cameras are always located in the center. By acknowledging the audience in the center of the room, he would be even more believable and gain even further credibility. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beGnoIVcdjc

I can help him do this – just as I have helped dozens of Fortune 500 CEOs learn the fine art of communicating while using a prompter.

In my book "On-The-Job Speech Training – Public speaking tools to build on your professional success” I train experienced speakers to include the entire audience even as they rely on a prompter for their notes or speeches.

If President Obama would watch himself on video during any of his speeches with this observation it would make sense. In fact at his first meeting with the White House staff he read his remarks and only once broke the habit of looking left and right, not at his audience. http://www.c-span.org/Watch/watch.aspx?MediaId=HP-A-14552

Ray Franklin - rfranklin@stageamerica.com

Ray Franklin

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