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Quote: When the sea is calm

Any one can hold the helm when the sea is calm.

~Publilius Syrus (via @KristinJArnold)

Might Have Missed List (03/27/11)

Event Signage – A Case of Bad “Sign-You-Sight-Us” (PlannerWire)

Imagine, a conference going perfect until 30 attendees walk to the wrong end of a resort hotel for a meeting only to find out that the arrow was pointing in the wrong direction. They are now late for the keynote, late for their education session or late for a luncheon all because you did not double check.

A couple of things you can do to avoid bad “sign-you-sight-us”…..

How to look confident… even though you’re speaking in public (Douglas Kruger)

If you’re nervous about the next big presentation, try these 12 tips to create (the perception, at the very least!) of confidence:

Get a copy of the agenda, so that you know when you will be speaking, and how much set-up time is available to you. Work out beforehand whether you will need to change laptops or slides between presentations, and who can help you do so, so that you don’t have to fiddle at the beginning of your talk.

Thoroughly rehearse your presentation beforehand. You can do this both as a mental exercise, as well as out loud. Ever got half-way through telling a joke, then realised you had botched the set-up? That’s what tends to happen if you don’t practice a speech. You need to be familiar with what goes where. If you are able to rehearse in the actual venue, then so much the better. There is no substitute for having ‘done it already’.

Use checklists for anything that causes you anxiety. For example, if you have to travel to your venue, use a checklist of items to take with. If you struggle with equipment set-up, use a checklist of ‘how to’ steps. Take any measures to make your life easier on the day.

The MC is your friend. Get to know him or her well in advance. Bring your own intro and discuss your needs with him. Find out if there have been any unexpected changes.

Presentation Skills – Stage (Great Public Speaking)

Also check to see that any risers and stairs to the risers don’t squeak and are sturdy. You may fall down on purpose some time for fun, but you don’t want to accidentally fall if you can help it. If you do fall, use a pre-planned ad-lib like: “Give me an inch and I’ll take a fall.”

I think I found the cause of the Office 2011 toolbar bug (Idea Transplant)

I was in the process of designing a beautiful chart on my new Mac when I got too confident and decided to modify the toolbars of PowerPoint 2011 and… lost all my work again (see my previous rant about this bug)

In sbort: if you customize your toolbar in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, the program will crash as soon as you enter slideshow mode. Googling around reveals that many users have similar problems: corrupt toolbar files that cause crashing. I decided to dig a bit deeper…

 

Might Have Missed List (03/20/11)

YouTube — South African MP falls off chair

(Hint: Don’t ignore the any cracking noise made by the chair you are sitting on.)

SplitSider — Eight Types of Hecklers and the Comedians Who Shut Them Up

In the 2007 documentary Heckler, Joe Rogan says that “the number one thing about hecklers is 100% of them are douchebags.” A stand-up comedian’s act depends on the audience reaction by nature, but when someone attempts to derail the performer’s work, well, that’s something a douchebag would do.

TJ Walker — Never, Ever, Ever, Ever Apologize

They complain that they didn’t have time to rehearse their PowerPoint or that their video wasn’t working with their other software or their staff didn’t prepare the right material-everything but the dog ate their speech. It’s embarrassing, and yet it happens all the time. Before you make such an egregious blunder, stop and realize one thing: Your audience doesn’t give a darn about you. They don’t car about the process you went through to creat your presentation; they just want the results of your preparation.

Might Have Missed List (03/13/11)

forbes.com — Road Warrior Secrets

Coach Walsh always thought it was better to experience pucker-butt in practice, with crowd noise blasted over the speakers, rather than face it for the first time in a game.

Road warriors similarly should prepare themselves for the worst. Assume that you might catch a cold on the first day of a 10-day business trip. That you will have too little sleep. That your bad back will flare up on a crummy hotel bed. That you will have diarrhea, or its opposite. That your big speech will be scheduled for 3 a.m. in your local time zone. That the presentation room will be too warm. That the stage lights will give you flop sweats or a migraine. That your audience will be bored, even hostile.

How will you cope?

Accepting that these disasters might happen is half the battle. A prepared mind removes the panic out of any mishap. The other half of the battle is bringing the right weapons. As a 200,000-mile-per-year traveler, I never leave home without the following pills and potions. All are over-the-counter and safe at their recommended dosages.

Get Speak Schmeak — Your time’s been cut – what do you do?

You prepare an hour-long presentation. You arrive at your venue, get set up, and are ready to go on time, but the meeting starts ten minutes late. Then there is business up front, and the discussion goes on longer than planned. Now your talk, which you had planned for an hour, is going to be cut down to 35 minutes.

What do you do?

beFluent — When Your Presentation Doesn’t Go Well

The first thing to remember when that this-isn’t-going-well panic sets in is that whatever you’re worried about probably isn’t that big of a deal. Seriously. Those few seconds where you struggled to find the right word or the time you accidentally clicked to the next slide early will likely be forgotten by your audience – if they noticed them at all.

Professionally Speaking… — No Time for Presentation Practice

Yet, practicing a presentation is the single biggest thing that can reduce anxiety, enhance confidence and maximize the likelihood that the audience will get value — all things that are highly desirable outcomes for any presenter.

Here are my tips for finding some elusive time to practice a presentation…

the status Kuo — Why do people fail at presentations

The other big mistake the speaker committed today was not properly acquainting himself with the equipment he was using for the presentation. One of the biggest distractions throughout the entire event was the speaker fumbling with the remote control. As he had trouble changing slides every single time, he was unable to maintain control of an idea from item to item.

Just Passing Through — Feb 25, Ashland Theatre

An impossible onstage mishap took place in the play: a letter was to be dropped from the rafters onto the floor near the actor who was to read the letter. Instead, the letter fell through the slit at the edge of the closed trap door. The odds of that happening have to be about a gazillion to one! Someone from below the stage slipped the letter back up through the slit and the actor grabbed it with much relief! Lots of applause and laughter from the audience.

It's Midnight, do you know where your USB stick is?

Having backups is a very good idea. Losing track of said backup, not so much:

Dry Cleaners Claim Over 17,000 USB Sticks Were Left in Laundries in 2010

Having a backup of your backup isn’t a bad idea either. Just don’t keep it in you pants pocket.

Perfect application of Principle 1: If you can’t do without it, make sure you won’t have to.