Do We Really Need That Tech Rehearsal?
Why Special Event Technical Rehearsals Are Vital
When we’re producing or managing a meeting or event, we are very pushy about having technical rehearsals for general sessions, awards events; just about anything that has a speaker and audience. We also ask for something that is done in theater and that is blocking.
Let’s start with blocking. For a theater production, during rehearsals there are blocking rehearsals to show the actors where to enter, where to walk, stand, sit, exit when they speak their lines. Sounds smart, doesn’t it. When we are managing a corporate or association meeting or event, we request a time for all speakers (experienced or not) to do this and do a technical rehearsal as well. We don’t generally have the luxury of time, so this is somewhat condensed.
The so-called blocking is essential for awards events so the presenters know where to stand and how to present the award. Additionally, often visual clues are given. The presenter knows the visual clue that the “introducer “ will give.This is a good idea as many times the presenter is not a professional speaker or presenter. Thus, having the visual clue helps that person know when to either speak or to move and where to move to.Think about all those awards shows that you see on television. You’d better believe that the presenters and introducers rehearse. There’s also always another person on stage close by to move the presenter where he/she needs to be and then to get the presenter and honoree off stage in a timely manner as well as guiding them to the correct exit. The “other “ position can be a position of honor for younger or new members of the team.Then we have the technical rehearsal. Especially in events and meetings where the speaker is speaking only once unlike in a theater performance where he goes on every night, you have just that one change to get it right. Therefore, the other critical component is technical; sound & lighting, media and in some case telepromptin Why is this so important?
Let’s start with lighting.
You do want to see the person I would suspect, so the lighting folks have to be sure that they (after you’ve done that blocking) know where the speaker will be entering, exiting and speaking.
Then, of course, we want to hear the person. Being sure that the sound in the entire room is correct is key. Your audio people will need to be aware of any speakers that speak too low or too loud for that matter, so the levels can be adjusted for a particular speaker.
Any Media, be it sound, PPT, video, or prop should be gone through with the speaker. I think we all know why.
Many speakers simply use note cards and others prefer a teleprompter. The Teleprompter giving the audiance the felling that the speaker is talking directly to them. The speaker must go through the entire speech or presentation with the teleprompter operator so the operator get an idea of the speaker’s pace as well as having heard the speech. Some times a Teleprompter operator will reformat the speech during this rehearsal so that it reads easily for that speaker. This way, if the speaker decides to adlib, the teleprompter won’t panic, but wait for the speaker to continue return to the words on the prompter.. Sometimes a speaker after adlibbing will jump ahead, thus the operator must jump ahead as well, doing his best to find out where the speaker is.
Having these rehearsals with experienced staff and an experienced stage director is key to a seamless stage performance and therefore a seamless and successful meeting or event.