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The Weekly Might Have Missed List (01/11/09)

Brad Montgomery’s Laugh-O-Nomics: Meeting Planner Sabotages Keynote Speaker

©iStockphoto.com/design56

©iStockphoto.com/design56

I got my gear set, was all-systems-go with the AV team, and had chatted with the big boss (who by the way had hired me two times in the past.)  So far, everything is easy and fun.

But here is where it gets hinky.  I was about to grab a box lunch… I was starving and was needed calories before I spoke for an hour and a half  … when I casually asked  the meeting planner if I could have a sandwich.  I asked her knowing it was a formality.  Of course she would feed her speaker.   I nearly didn’t ask.

I was wrong.  She said, “Oh no, those are for the participants.”  I thought she was joking.  “You’re kidding, right?”    I honestly thought she was joking about not feeding me.

BBC: Cat turns up on weatherman’s set

A cat wandered onto the set of a live weather forecast by Germany’s leading meteorologist Joerg Kachelmann. Kachelmann had just started his two-minute forecast when the cat appeared – but he scooped it up and finished his forecast. (Video. Would you be able to handle a distraction like this with this much aplomb or would you be completely derailed?)

Pro Humorist: Public Speaking Advice: Reading Audiences

I noticed one of the audience members in the front row falling asleep. I’m not normally known for being the sort of soporific speaker to send someone into a slumber. My mind immediately began racing through my potential options whilst my mouth carried on on auto-pilot. Here were the choices as I saw them:
1) I could draw attention to sleeping beauty
2) I could let sleeping dogs lie.

IttyBiz: 7 Lessons From A Big Launch

This Christmas, I bought Jamie the full series of The West Wing on DVD and we’ve been watching a few episodes each night. What never ceases to amaze me is how many colossal fuck ups take place. They have an in-house staff of hundreds and TENS OF THOUSANDS off-site. Their staff are among the most highly trained people in the world, and shit still goes horribly wrong. They do their best to predict, but there’s only so much they can do.

They have thousands of people employed to predict and prevent disaster. You have you. Cut yourself some slack.

FailBlog: Pen Trick Fail (Video. You need to watch to the end.)

CNET: Steal the slide show with Victorinox Presentation Pro

At this year’s CES, Victorinox announced the newest member of its team, the Presentation Pro. This convenient business tool is small enough to slip into your pocket or onto your keychain, but don’t be fooled by its mini size–this thing has every gadget you’ll need to give a business slide show presentation.

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (09/28/08)

Blue Room technical forum: Wifi interfering with Radio mics, Strange goings on — “The strange problem we are having is that at some venues we seem to have a conflict between the radio mics and wifi, whilst at other venues there is none. When there is conflict, the signal stength on the Sure recievers is all over the place (normally rock solid in this size venue) and the signal drop out is very high, this occurs over all frequencies in the group. With all radio mic transmitters off, there is no sign of a signal being picked up from the wifi on the Sure recievers. Looking at the frequencies used by the mics and the wifi there should not be a conflict, but there most definately is at times.”

Speak Schmeak: What not to do at the end of a presentation — “We plan a lot for what to do before and during a presentation, but not much for what to do at the end — or what not to do.”

The Codebelay Blog: How Do You Avoid Presentation Disaster? — “But the code used for my presentation didn’t work because the machine it was working on wasn’t configured correctly. There might have been an issue with someone overwriting my code, too.”

Dave Paradi’s PowerPoint Blog: Presenting when you are not allowed to use a handout — “A participant in one of my workshops recently presented me with a new challenge. In his position as a sales professional, he has now encountered two large organizations who have stated that when he presents to them, he is forbidden from bringing handouts for the audience.”

Lynn Espinoza: When YOU should NOT be the spokesperson! — “You’ve been tapped to be the speaker at an industry event.  There is a nagging feeling deep inside your gut that you are being set up for failure.  The content for the speech is not your own, and in fact this is not your area of expertise. You feel like you’re over your head. Guess what? You are.”

Mary Hanna: A day for nitpickers — “The room was full of professional speakers, both beginning and accomplished. The presenter, a well-known marketing expert, was talking about achieving credibility as a speaker. A bullet on his PowerPoint slide, which I was following on the handout, said ‘Always site your sources.’ As I always do, I corrected the handout, crossing out ‘site’ and writing ‘cite.’ I turned to my friend and pointed it out. She acknowledged it with a nod. ‘It affects his credibility,’ I whispered.”

TJ Walker: Should I rehearse and for how long? — “Yes, you should rehearse. From a presentation coach’s perspective, the following 25 words are the dumbest phrase in the English language: ‘I don’t want to rehearse because I don’t want to seem canned. I want to seem spontaneous and fresh so I’ll be better winging it.’ Ugh!!!”

CNET News: ‘Google Moderator’ tool takes on lecture-hall chaos — “There was never enough time for all the questions, and it wasn’t clear that the best questions were the ones actually getting asked,” Heath wrote in a blog post. “And since many of these talks were led by offices outside of Mountain View, it became harder for distributed audiences to participate.”

blogcampaigning: Public Speaking Tips — The last one is best.

Brad Montgomery: What to do when your humor fails? — “When I coach others about how to be funny, I teach saver lines. Basically, these are jokes that you tell after a joke goes bad to “save” the situation. Johnny Carson was the king of savers. I just found this video….check out the master.”

KNOWHR: Writer’s Remorse — “Here’s what else I know: Those last-second edits rarely add anything to the quality of the communication.”

Great Speaking Coach: Avoid the Deadly Quotations Trap — “Why not? Because what could be a living, memorable moment when delivered by you with vocal variety and gestures becomes a flat, two-dimensional inert set of words.”

The Power of Reflection: Do You Make This Mistake When Ending Your Presentations? — “Gord’s terrible ending damages his career.  He looks weak and indecisive.  His presentation fails to generate any enthusiasm for his cause.”