Murphy's Law states: "Anything that can go wrong will go wrong." This is especially true and especially painful when there is an audience involved.

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Seven small steps down the path leading to presentation doom

1) You weren’t particularly careful about your pre-presentation meal choices. Washing down the street vendor’s Khlav Kalash with Crab Juice might not have been the best idea you’ve had recently.

2) Your time is too valuable to fly in the night before your presentation. “Leaving early in the morning will be fine. Two hours is plenty of time to get from the airport to the hotel.”

3) “I’m too tired to figure out the alarm clock. I’ll just call down to the front desk for a wake up call.”

4) “I burned my presentation to a CD, I’ll just hand it off to the AV guys as I head for the stage. Yeah, I use (pick one):

  • a Mac.
  • unusual fonts.
  • something other than PowerPoint.

Why would that be a problem?”

5) “Backup copies? If I lose the CD, the office can always email me a copy of the file. There will be plenty of time and all the hotels have good wireless internet access now.”

©iStockphoto.com/TommL

©iStockphoto.com/TommL

6) “I’m flying out right after the meeting so I only need one change of clothes. I like to travel light and what’s the worst that can happen?

7) “I’m sure the hotel will give us exactly the AV equipment we asked for. Of course it will work perfectly.”

8 comments to Seven small steps down the path leading to presentation doom

  • 8) “Here's a flash drive with my presentation on it. I am the next presenter. Can you load it real quick so I can see my slides?” as he puffed out his next presenter chest in pride.

    “Sorry sir, not while the current presenter is on stage and going through his presentation.”

    “But, I don't know if it will play on your computer and I really want to see it.”

    “Sorry sir, can't be helped,” I replied while thinking to myself, Our call time was 6am just so we could offer presenters 4 hours of rehearsal time. Where were you for the last 4 hours. You have been the presenter we have been waiting for to load up. I hope your presentation works right or you are going to make us look like incompetent idiots I just know it.

  • All very good points. I always try to use my own laptop when presenting for that very reason. No matter how you stick to standardize your presentation, there is always something that does not quite work if you don't.

    Something that works quite well (since I don't like transitions) is to save each slide as a jpg image, then create a new deck with just the images on it. I keep that deck handy as a backup, so if I cannot use my laptop, and everything goes funny on the presentation machine, I have a backup plan.

    Then you will not have any problems with fonts and alignment not working. It does mean that you loose some of the transitions, but if your deck is good you can work around that issue.

    Craig

  • “Call time? Call time is for sissies who let the AV guys tell them what to do. Beside, I was still making changes to my slides until 5 minutes ago.” Thanks for stopping by and commenting Rick. I think you sketched out a character we've all been fortunate enough to work with before.

  • Thanks for the comment and the ideas Craig. I think using jpgs is a great way to prepare for the kind of problems mentioned. My only concern is that it adds an additional step to the slide creation process which could make thing even more difficult if last minute, emergency changes were necessary (although it still beats shooting to film and having 35mm slides made).

  • wonderful points Lee! this really true especially point no.5 .. I seen guys that experience that in person :P Thanks for dropping by my blog too :)

  • Thanks for stopping by maverick, glad you've found these ring true. Number 5 is especially frustrating to see because it seems like such a basic, no-brainer precaution to take.

  • Thanks for stopping by maverick, glad you've found these ring true. Number 5 is especially frustrating to see because it seems like such a basic, no-brainer precaution to take.

  • Thanks for stopping by maverick, glad you've found these ring true. Number 5 is especially frustrating to see because it seems like such a basic, no-brainer precaution to take.

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