Those who love him and hate him acknowledge that Donald Trump is a master at getting media attention. For decades Americans have witnessed Trump’s brazen, no-holds-barred style which opened the door to him spending fourteen seasons as the star of the hit TV show The Apprentice and later Celebrity Apprentice.
The Apprentice is a reality television show featuring season-long competitions. Each season began with a new group of contestants vying to earn a place in one of the organizations run by Trump.
Anyone who has watched Trump over the years has observed that he prefers to speak “from the hip”. While that speaking style may have helped Trump to build his real estate empire, it doesn’t translate well to presidential politics.
Trump’s undisciplined approach has led him to repeatedly commit speaking blunders. Many of these blunders could have been avoided had he used a teleprompter effectively.
Here are three myths about teleprompters that are hurting Donald Trump.
MYTH No. 1: Trump Doesn’t Need To Use a Teleprompter
Trump has been an outspoken critic of teleprompters. He has only recently discovered that he needs to use a teleprompter to keep on message.
He recently admitted that using a teleprompter has helped him to stay on message saying, “I have been staying on message more now because, ultimately, I’m finding that I do better with voters, do better in the polls, when I’m on message”.
Every president since Dwight Eisenhower in 1954 has used a teleprompter. And many have credited it for helping President Obama to get elected twice.
MYTH No. 2: Using Teleprompters Requires No Practice
Although Trump has credited using a teleprompter to keeping him on message, he is not very good at it. It’s evident that he does not rehearse his teleprompter speeches. Rehearsing would remove the “wooden” sound in his voice when reading from the teleprompter.
There is a common misconception that teleprompter speeches don’t require practice because the entire speech is right in front of the presenter to read. The truth is a dry run will help the presenter to deliver his speech with a better flow.
It is very common for politicians and business executives to rehearse their speeches using a teleprompter. Elizabeth Warren practiced her keynote speech for two days before speaking at the Democratic National Convention.
Many forget that President Obama was not good at reading the teleprompter in the early days of him running for president. Hillary Clinton also was not good at it. By practicing over time, they both got better, much better.
As with anything, practice makes perfect.
MYTH No. 3: Using a Teleprompter Is ‘Cheating’
There is a lot of the fuss around whether or not the use of a teleprompter is “cheating”. This sentiment is preposterous as a teleprompter is just a device that electronically reflects words on a two-way mirror.
Flawed logic like this is what originally led Trump to not use a teleprompter.
They are, in essence, electronic cue cards. Using a presidential style teleprompter allows Trump to make direct eye contact with the audience while reading his speech.
Reading from teleprompters is no more cheating than reading from a printed speech or notecards.
Having attended The Wharton School, Trump should perhaps take a page out of the Wharton playbook, as all of their MBA and Executive MBA students learn how to use teleprompters as part of their core curriculum.