ERIC Number: ED313755
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Nov
Public Speaking Teleprompters: The "Secret" Continues.
An empirical study examined politicians' use of public speaking teleprompters (PSTs) when delivering major addresses to determine if audiences made aware of this practice would more seriously question speaker credibility, sincerity, and communicative ability. After completing an initial survey about political attitudes and awareness, subjects, 36 undergraduates at a large midwestern university, were asked to watch three 30-second video clips of George Bush's 1988 nomination acceptance address: one clip showed only face and upper torso; another clip revealed PST plates from the front, and the third clip presented the PST platter from behind, allowing the subjects to watch the text scroll upward as Bush read it. After each clip the subjects were asked to fill out an instrument measuring perceptions of speaker skill, credibility, and means of delivery. Then the subjects were told about PSTs and were asked to fill out a final questionnaire, asking for their attitudes about PSTs and their past cognizance of them. Results revealed that subjects' reservations about the teleprompter did not significantly undermine ratings of speaker competence and credibility during subject exposure to obviously teleprompted oratorical displays. Greater concern surfaced after an informational lecture on the system. Findings suggest that greater exposure of the PST could lead to more serious questioning of oratorical ethics and leadership. When unseen, PSTs conceal the large degree to which public officials now depend on ghostwriters. (Eighteen references and one appendix including survey questions and results are attached.) (KEH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A