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The Weekly Might Have Missed List (05/31/09)

©Jonathan Potts

©Jonathan Potts

Meet Prepared — Contingency 101: Retail Event’s Not So Grand Opening

Everything went well, he told me, except that they forgot to plan for a sudden rainstorm. Sure enough, it rained. When I asked what they did, he replied: “Panic ensued.” Although we as professionals will typically work out an inside venue back-up location should an outside event need to be moved, it’s imperative that we look at the myriad things that will be impacted by weather, even with an indoor function, such as the valet issue and power outage cited above, or access roads flooding.

LinkedIn Answers — What is the worst thing that has happened to you when presenting to a board of Directors?

I sneezed and the button of my skirt flew off and landed somewhere where it clinked pretty loudly. I paused, red-faced, then said: “In just another minute my skirt falls off – but it’s not a distraction, I actually have good news to report.” Got the laugh, moved on. (Nicole Filiatrault)

Controlbooth.com — Something To Share

If anybody is ever unsure about the health or capacity of a plug/connector, double check!!!

Speak Schmeak — Practice like you mean it

Practice using your props and flip charts. Practice using your remote device if using slides. Practice using your timer. If you’ll be recording yourself, practice with the microphone and recorder so they won’t distract you on the day. Pay attention to the details. Details count.

Sotomayor’s Scrambled Script

whitehouseAs I was listening to Nina Totenberg’s story about the Sotomayor nomination this morning on NPR News, an incidental detail mentioned at the very end caught my attention:

All went incredibly smoothly except for one thing: White House aides scrambled the pages of Sotomayor’s remarks in the book they placed on the lectern for her at the announcement ceremony.

Fortunately, she had memorized her speech.

Many public speaking gurus will tell you that memorizing your speech is a bad idea. In this case it helped speaker recover from a situation that would have gone badly for anyone who had not prepared so thoroughly. It’s also interesting to note that serious presentation problems can even strike at the White House where, from what I understand, the ability to achieve perfection in execution is a fundemental job requirement. Not exactly what I would expect from the West Wing.

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (05/24/09)

So You Want To Be a Banquet Manager…  — Air Walls and The Cranky Customer

airwallThe other day we had two different groups on either side of the ballroom airwall – one was a small group of around 35 people with a presentation and the other side was a group of 110 pharmaceutical sales reps. You can already see the problem. The sales reps had music playing between the breaks, cheering and clapping, all the usual sales mind games. The smaller group on the other side were very quiet and reserved. But they were pissed.

Distinction Services — Worst Presentation Disaster!

Sure enough with 30 peeople standing there, and during a demo of some embedded video in PowerPoint, the laptop froze.

More than PowerPoint — Presentation Diet Plan – Or Superstition?

You see, I can’t just eat ANYTHING on the day of a major presentation. I need to keep my energy up, so protein and carbs need to be on the menu. And I cannot afford a fit of, em, gastronomic distress during a presentation, so greasy, fatty, spicy, and carbonated items are definitely OFF the menu. And as much as I love a glass of wine with a big carby meal, that combo can leave me prone to sleepiness or drunken rambling — both highly undesirable to audience members.

Nick Morgan — Questions for speakers to ask meeting planners

Following is a list of questions that speakers should ask meeting planners in getting ready to speak at an event.  You won’t need to ask all of them all the time; the list is meant to give you a broad set of ideas.