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Presentation Nightmares – how to handle ‘em

by | Nov 1, 2011

A client presents a 10-minute presentation to the top colleagues in his profession. They judge him on his visuals and content – one of five will get the award. Even though he has given them his updated visuals, the A/V team loaded the first skeleton version of his speech. A deflated client just went with the program and tried his best to go with the older PowerPoint. He came in 4th.

Here’s what I told him later:

Dear Hedley,

I’ve thought a lot about your challenging A/V story. You did the right thing at the time.

It’s so unfortunate how these snakes bite you, even when you’ve done everything “right”.

There has been so many times where all of my equipment works perfectly, until I get to the point in my keynote where someone is supposed to press the “play” button. It’s almost funny how often something goes awry. In fact, at a recent meeting, instead of going over to the equipment and pressing “on”, the gal just LEFT THE ROOM! She knew she was supposed to turn on the machine, but she suddenly felt like she was going to faint.

What do you do? I had to stop and figure out if this women was ok. (That always comes first – making sure your audience is healthy. PS – I had another presentation where someone went into a diabetic coma and just fell to the floor during my speech. You stop then too.) Then I had to ask someone else to do the switch thing. Crazy.

One thing you can bet on, something might go wrong. But along the way I’ve learned a great deal about damage control.

That said, you did the right thing. You just went with the flow – and that’s what we have to do.








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