Teleprompters and crib notes - is one really bad and the other good?

@jerzgirl (7892)
Gloucester City, New Jersey
February 7, 2010 2:57pm CST
Much criticism has been railed against Pres. Obama for his use of teleprompters during speeches. Although I do agree that using them in a 6th grade classroom was probably a bit much, I think there are worse things to do - such as forgetting a key idea or phrase or misusing words or looking at the palm of your hand for the crib notes you wrote to get you through the interview! Yes - I do think that last one really takes the cake! It wasn't even an entire speech that had to be remembered! It was THREE points needed to answer an interviewer's questions (which apparently had been given before the interview in order to jot those notes down, don't you think?) Seriously, do you really think that reading one's palm (and I'm not talking fortunes) is better than using a teleprompter? Really? Here - you decide: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtcVMTZkTZQ Now, be honest, which method of memory enhancement is better? Which one is more professional? Which one do YOU prefer?
4 people like this
7 responses
@anniepa (27162)
• United States
8 Feb 10
First of all, while I agree it was a bit much to have them in a classroom, I've never known of anyone getting blasted for teleprompters before even though everyone has been using them for years. When someone is being interviewed who is SUPPOSED to know what they're talking about, they shouldn't need crib notes in general. I mean, if they were going to be discussing something that involved a lot of numbers and figures I'd see no problem with them having some notes to refer to but the kind of questions you're referring to...well, I think you know what I think! What makes it even worse is for someone to use "palm notes" moments after having made fun of someone else for using teleprompters! Hmmm... Annie
1 person likes this
@jerzgirl (7892)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
8 Feb 10
OK - I went digging and she did criticize Obama in her speech about using a teleprompter - even as she was reading from notes on the podium! Head down, top of head to the audience. Now - how is that better than using a teleprompter?
1 person likes this
@Taskr36 (13926)
• United States
9 Feb 10
Annie, do you think having a few points written down is the same as reading every single word you say from a teleprompter? Have you seen what happens to him when his teleprompter stops working? He freezes up. With notes written on your hand you are speaking from your own mind. I'm honestly not sure if you guys don't see the difference of if you're really just trying to find an excuse to attack her.
@artistry (4154)
• United States
8 Feb 10
...Hi there jerzgirl, I would like to know where people have been for the last many years when every President that I can remember used a teleprompter. Someone said they didn't know if Mr. Bush, the son, used a teleprompter. Well, how in the world do you think he spoke, especially with pages at the State of the Union address? He sometimes couldn't read the words as they were written. I go back to my point that I believe, that just like W, SaraLee has a mental problem, she has cognitive reasoning difficulties. W's problem has been documented, hers has not. It is a biological problem, not of her doing. Listen, as I have said in the past, to her sentence structure, and the way when she answers questions, the way she repeats things in different ways because she can only remember what she has prepped for. She has a hard time going off script and making sense. Both ways, notes or teleprompter are fine with me, but no professional person would write notes in their hand when speaking on tv or to the public. You want to see how Presideent Obama speaks without a teleprompter, get a video of him answering every question put to him at the Republican House Summit. It was amazing. The man is an accomplished writer, he is so far beyond any of these peanut gallery critics like SaraLee. For her to be photographed with writing in her hand is seriously laughable. Saturday Night Live will do an entire skit on it I am sure. Put SaraLee before an audience without a script, and you would feel so sorry for her random ramblings. Even with a script, it's painful, like the farewell speech she gave or the speech in China where they walked out on her. It's going to be very interesting to see how long she can bluff her way through. Good job so far, and very lucrative. Take it easy.
@jerzgirl (7892)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
8 Feb 10
I don't know where they've all been, myself. I don't remember seeing teleprompters in the past, but I also don't recall it having been an issue before now, either. I really do think it's because Pres. Obama is Black (half) but rather than use that as a reason, people are finding whatever reasons they can to criticize him. They use his middle name against him (like he had control over what his parents named him), his place of birth (proven time and time again), his assumed religion or they make up things that don't exist in either his book or his wife's thesis because they want some reason to hate him other than his color. They didn't do this with Carter or Clinton - the only difference in THIS Democrat is that he's a man of color. They may not even see that, but it was the trigger that got the ball rolling. It's truly shameful that this man has been targeted for so many non-issues - and frightening that so many still believe the lies that have been spread. Anyway, I agree with you about Obama's speaking ability and his knowledge. I don't think his use of a teleprompter in any way is indicative of his lack of knowledge. He may have a speech writer, but I believe he more than others before him participates in the writing of his speeches because he wants to own what he is saying - he wants it to be from HIM. And, I think you may be right about Sarah's cognitive problems - hadn't really thought about that before, but that is definitely possible. Even Bill Clinton is far more knowledgeable than one might think if all you hear is his "good old boy" banter. I wish I knew while he was president just how much he know and understood about foreign policy and international relations. I was amazed listening to him at one point and gained a new respect for him. It's a shame he allowed his dalliance to interfere with so much at the end.
1 person likes this
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
8 Feb 10
I went to Youtube and watched Gov Palin's speech to the National Tea Party Convention. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMrfiP7jfUM I noticed that she was reading from a paper but like most speakers she was looking around at the audience. If you go to youtube and search for "Obama Teleprompter" you will find several videos. In most of them you will see that he moves his head from left to right and back and rarely looks at the middle. The other think I noticed was that he has his head tilted back making him look aloof to many people. It looks like he is looking over the heads of the people. In one of the video clips http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jiow64UjuQQ CNN Reporter Wolf Blitzer tells the audience that on TV where they use teleprompters they also have a written text just in case. To me a speech delivered from notes seems more personable than one delivered using only a teleprompter. Comparing the speech of Gov Palin and watching President Obama speak using a teleprompter, Gov Palin's speech seems to connect with the audience more than the President's speech.
1 person likes this
@jerzgirl (7892)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
8 Feb 10
I appreciate your perspective, Bob. I can see why you think like you do about that, even if I don't completely agree with it. I also appreciate that you didn't feel the need to attack my perspective even as you disagreed. Thank you.
1 person likes this
@raydene (9875)
• United States
8 Feb 10
Hi Doll I'm not too concerned with how well someone speaks...Many people can not speak well in a large group but they are still good people. It doesn't matter who you vote for... I think it's important to give support... to whomever the majority elected. Here's hoping for the best! lol xoxoxoxoxo
1 person likes this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
8 Feb 10
I would say that writing a few notes so you can remember something is not as bad as having a whole speech on the teleprompter. A president of any country would not need a teleprompter unless of course he is in a foreign country and his audience does not understand English. I believe that Obama understands English and most Americans also speak that language.
@anniepa (27162)
• United States
8 Feb 10
How about Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr? Do you really think that they all, up until Obama, memorized every word of their long speeches such as the State of the Union Addresses? I wouldn't expect them to! They know what they're going to say but when there are interruptions for applause, etc. and it's a long speech what's wrong with having it written down so you don't lose your place or forget something important in the moment? Having a speech written is a lot better than having to have the answers to questions you've gotten in advance written down, don't you think? Annie
2 people like this
@jerzgirl (7892)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
8 Feb 10
I'm also curious to know if you think that Sarah Palin's reading of her entire tea party speech from a paper on the podium with her head down not looking at the audience regularly throughout it was in good form?
2 people like this
@suspenseful (40326)
• Canada
9 Feb 10
Well Reagan was an actor and he probably had to take speech classes when he went to Actor's school. Bush was not that good a speaker and he may have disregarded the speech writers when he said "I will do it on my own," and I also heard that Clinton was a naturally good speaker. Yet if any of the cameras showed Bush using a teleprompter, you would have had a field day here mocking him and saying he was such a bore, but because Obama uses a teleprompter it is all right. Oh and if Obama used crib notes, it would have been all right with you. That is the trouble, he gets too many excuses. It is like there is an exception with him. So why is he more better then anyone else who ran? Or the previous presidents?
@Taskr36 (13926)
• United States
9 Feb 10
I don't see ANY similarity between a person having a couple points written down and another person reading every word he speaks directly from a teleprompter. I was on my schools debate team for years. I was always opposed to written speeches and constantly recommended against them as they come off fake even if you write your own speech. I ALWAYS wrote down a few key points to touch on and that's it. It's the best way to make sure you don't leave anything out. It allows you to say what you must within the allotted time and allows you to speak from the heart instead of being scripted. I see absolutely ZERO fault with her having a few key points written down. Also, if you're speaking from the heart you can actually make eye contact with the audience instead of having your eyes glued to a teleprompter.
@jerzgirl (7892)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
9 Feb 10
So, how did you feel about Sarah reading her speech from the paper she had on the podium in front of her? Isn't that the same thing as a teleprompter but with even less eye contact?
@Rollo1 (16669)
• Boston, Massachusetts
8 Feb 10
If you look at the photo of what's on her hand, you will see that there are three key points written there. Not the answers to three questions. Three points she wanted to be sure she brought up and talked about. She didn't have notes that she read from, she didn't have policy positions written there, all she had written there was "Energy" "Tax" and "Lift Americans Spirits". Now if she didn't have anything to say on any of those points, then those words wouldn't have done her much good. It wasn't even a news interview, it was at the Tea Party Convention. There were no answers to tough questions written on her hand. Since it was friendly venue to which she was an invited speaker, it's unlikely they were trying to trip her up with surprise questions, so I am sure she knew what they were going to talk about ahead of time. Obama's problem with the teleprompter is that he appears to rely on it heavily, and says really problematic things when he speaks without it. He should make notes on his hand that say things like "don't mention Vegas again" and "no jokes about the Special Olympics". To her credit, Palin did something Obama never would do. She laughed at herself when the media took her task. Instead of lashing out and telling people they ought to stop watching the news, she wrote herself another note on her palm, which she held up for cameras. It said "Hi Mom".