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.



This blog was active from April, 2008 to July 2012.
It is no longer being updated. It will continue to be maintained for reference purposes.

Question of the Week: Who are you?

In order to make this blog as useful as possible, I’d like to get a better sense of who is visiting. Please take a moment and answer the following using the poll displayed near the top of the left sidebar.

Are you usually:

  • A presenter with a support team that handles your technical and logistic details?
  • A presenter who handles all of your own technical and logistical details?
  • Someone who supports someone else’s presentation efforts by handling their technical and logistical details?
  • None of the above.

It would also be greatly appreciated if you could provide a little more detail about what you do by submitting a comment to this post. For instance, what sort of environment do you operate in? Corporate? Academic?

I plan to use this information when making choices about post subjects and how to go about discussing a particular subject. I know one question isn’t going to capture everything I need to know so keep an eye out for further noseyness in future Questions of the Week. Thanks for taking the time to participate.

Question of the Week: Five Finger Discount

hamburglarA recent post on Blue Room (a discussion board for folks who work backstage) deals with an interesting subject: “How much stuff have you had stolen?” I’d like to continue the discussion here since having equipment stolen is most definately a case of Murphy’s Law.

Using the poll in the left sidebar, please answer the following:

Have you ever had any equipment stolen?

  • Yes, I’ve had mission critical equipment stolen (it was a really, really cruddy day).
  • Yes, but it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t live without (at least temporarily).
  • No, I’ve either been seriously lucky (knock on wood) or I’ve been very cautious.

If it’s not too painful, we would all really appreciate it if you would be willing to share what happened in a comment to this post. What was stolen and how did they do it? Did you get it back? Any lessons learned that you would like to pass on to the rest of us?

If you haven’t been in this difficult situation, what procedures (if any) do you have in place to prevent it from happening? Or are you just seriously lucky?

There are a couple aspects of this issues that might be worth a closer look. For instance, are there particular types of venues that are more likely to become crime scenes. Is equipment more vulnerable in transit or at the venue?

Question of the Week: Murphy’s Favorite Target

We are all very aware that Murphy’s Law can attack every element of the presentation process. Which of the following areas do you find most vulnerable to problems:

  • Software
  • Equipment
  • Personnel
  • Venue
  • Transportation
  • Communication
  • Administration

Please respond using the poll in the sidebar to the left (you’ll need to visit the site if you’re viewing this in a reader). You’re also welcome to elaborate on you poll response in the comment section of this post.

Question of the Week: Sense of impending doom

Sometimes you just have a bad feeling. You can’t quite put you finger on why, but your intuition is telling you things are going to go badly. Very badly. You feel like you have a target on your back but you don’t know where the shot is coming from. Burned out projector bulb? Burst pipe in the meeting room? Unexpectedly hostile audience?

Did you ever know, without knowing how you knew, that some aspect of your presentation was not going to go completely as planned and that you were going to wish you stayed in bed that morning?

Please share your story in a comment to this post.

Question of the Week: Grace Under Pressure

grace_under_pressure On Friday, I linked to a video of stage manager Debbie Williams exhibiting aplomb and presence of mind while fixing Brad Pitt’s malfunctioning microphone during the Idol Gives Back concert. We’ve all seen presenters and stage crew deal with difficult situations, mistakes and disasters.

What was the single most inspiring example grace under pressure during a presentation that you’ve had the privilege to witness?

Please share your story in a comment to this post.

Bonus points if you can provide some video.

I’m looking forward to reading your stories.