That makes it handy for all sorts of uses (reading while on the go, for instance), but my hope is to use the Kindle to replace paper text when giving a speech, for myself and for my clients. Here's why I think it will work:
- You can email documents, such as a speech text, to your Kindle. Equipped with a built-in, free access to a cellphone-style network, the Kindle lets you send documents to a special unique email address--which automatically loads them into the reader.
- You can adjust the type size. In the photo at right, my bio has been emailed to my Kindle and displayed at the largest type size (there are 6 options). In addition, you can choose left- or full-justification, and even highlight areas of emphasis with a box. But make sure you or your speechwriter includes all the bold, italic or underlined type before the text hits your Kindle--it's not an editing device.
- It's easy to "turn the pages" with one finger. For those tired of (or anxious about) shuffling papers during a talk, the Kindle's "next page" buttons, located on either side, make it easy to forward through a talk, whether the device lies flat on a lectern or is held in one hand. (I'm right-handed, but like holding it in the left hand, using the left thumb to depress the paging button.) And, unlike paper, this page-turning is silent--and can't spill all over the lectern.
- It's as unobtrusive as reading from file cards, with less work. The device is small--10.3 ounces and the size of a thin paperback book--so you can hold it in front of you to read from. While it's a new look for the speaker, it's no larger than the largest file cards some speakers use.
- The small surface aids in reading aloud. It's much easier, in my experience, to read from a shortened text--either on large cards, or on paper with large type and huge margins. (We've all seen speakers work their way down a long 8.5x11" sheet of paper--it's visible to the audience.) The Kindle's small surface allows you to look up more frequently from your notes, a more natural style that helps you connect with your audience.
- The features, taken together, offer speakers other aids. Want to check a last-minute fact before your speech? Kindle connects to web sites, and you can store related reference books in it, too. Giving a series of speeches? The whole pile can be toted with you and will never weigh more than 10.3 ounces. Want to annotate the speech you just gave to note what worked and what didn't? You can insert notes and highlighted areas throughout the text.
Buy the 6-inch Amazon Kindle