Team Obama thinks the switch, or partial switch — the president is not giving up the teleprompter entirely — will help him better connect with voters.

Critics have mocked Obama’s routine use of the teleprompter, including in speeches to schoolchildren. And the new use of written notes appears intended to trade away the smooth, distant demeanor of teleprompter rhetoric for a little more immediacy and vigor. A senior administration official acknowledged the shift in the president’s style, saying Obama is speaking “more extemporaneously.”

But the senior official said the lack of teleprompters has “less to do with image and more to do with upping the tempo” at campaign events, while creating more unscripted moments.