A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (09/12/10)

Steve LaRose — Heading to Moscow

The Russian AV Vendor hasn’t given us any level of confidence as of yet, so we all board our planes today with a bit of a feeling of impending doom.

Michael Wade — A Presentations Lesson Reaffirmed

Each participant was to receive a workbook containing some exercises. I had carefully proof-read the material. The person at the training broker had proofed it. The material was then sent off to a print shop. It was at that point when things became interesting.

Despite the pdf format, quite a few pages had been messed up in the electronic transmission. As a result, I learned a couple of hours before the presentation that the workbooks had flaws.

Many flaws.

Lisa Braithwaite — Five things speakers can learn from event planners

4. Be flexible.

“Stuff” happens. Event planners are experts at working around setbacks and figuring out solutions when things don’t go as planned. They don’t panic, they just get busy.

As a speaker, if you have not yet experienced one of these setbacks, it’s only a matter of time before you do. Your technology will fail. Your room will be next to a loud construction site. The speaker before you will go long and your presentation will be cut by fifteen minutes. The trick is to keep going. Sometimes your audience will know there’s a problem, but most of the time, you will be the only one. Keep it to yourself, fix it as quickly and quietly as possible, and move on.

At some point, after all the planning and preparation, you have to let go and accept that whatever happens, happens!

Tod Maffin — Ten Things I Wish I Knew When I Started as a Professional Speaker

Backup, Backup, Backup!

This goes without saying, but it surprises me how few speakers have redundant backups. Just last month, I was keynoting a conference and had to go on stage early because the presenter before me couldn’t boot her computer and she had no accessible backup.

Here are the backup methods I use and recommend:

  • Turn on auto-backups in your presentation software, that way you always have two copies of your slides; in case your computer crashes while saving it, you’ll always have the most recent uncorrupted version.
  • Sign up to Backblaze — it’ll back up everything on your hard disk automatically without you prompting it. It’s only $5 a month. Backblaze is the only system like this I found which can restore a Mac file to a PC and vice versa, if that’s important to you.
  • Before leaving, upload the slides to Dropbox.com or something similar.
  • Finally, if you’re on a Mac, tell Keynote to also save an additional copy as a PowerPoint presentation and upload that to Dropbox.com too.

But backups aren’t just for files — I carry my own backup wireless mic, fresh batteries, and a separate cheap GSM cell phone, so that in the event mine craps out I just have to pop my SIM card into the new phone and I’m back in business again.

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (08/03/08)

Speak Schmeak (yet again): The power of language (or, how I got in trouble for saying “pee”) — “But it has revived an old question for me: How far can you push the comfort level of your audience? ”

slide:ology: Tips for Remote Presenters — Great tips from Nancy Duarte for avoid problem while doing a webinar. “When delivering a presentation online, each application used to display your content is very different. Host a dry run of your presentation in which you click through ALL your slides. Many of the applications lose transitions, builds, and animations. What works in PowerPoint may not work in the application hosting your presentation.”

Execupundit.com: What Can They Do To You? — “Somewhere I read about an executive who calmed the fears of an associate who’d blundered by telling her, “What do you think they (upper management) are going to do? Burn down your house? Take your children? The most they can do is fire you.”

Arunn Narasimhan: Decorum at an Academic Interview Presentation — “The Laser pointer used by the nervous candidate should auto turn off whenever it is pointed away from the board and in particular when the candidate turns and addresses the gathering.”

Toastmasters & Etc.: Let’s All Introduce Ourselves… — “Do you want to start out a meeting with “Let’s all introduce ourselves” at the beginning? I’m not a huge fan of this in general because it can get kind of out of control time wise (or very out of control), even with a small crowd, unless you’re careful. Three little anecdotes about this follow.”

Speaking about Presenting: How to manage unruly question time — “Ask each questioner to state their name before they ask their question or make a comment. They’re likely to behave better.”

CenterNetworks: I’ve Had Enough of “Live” at Conferences — “When I spend thousands of dollars and my time to attend a conference, I am really not interested in watching the Qik CEO broadcast the session live to everyone without paying attention to what’s going on in the moment. I also really don’t give a rats ass what people outside the conference think of what’s going on inside the room. I want to have the speaker’s full attention. I didn’t have that today – not by a longshot. And again, I am using this session as an example but the issue is much more widespread.”

Working Blue: They tried to make me go to conference, and I said NO, NO NO. . . — “I’m slated to give a brief talk to grad students about delivering conference papers, so I thought I’d start with the usual “conference blunders” routine. There are some immediate biggies that come to mind, but I know I’m overlooking some more subtle problems of conference paper downers. Any that I’m missing? Here’s my list:”

Seven Red: Top 20 4C’s Presentation Mistakes (Part 1) and Top 20 4C’s Presentation Mistakes (Part 2) — “The Technophile – I see you there messing around with your brand new MacBook Pro. You’ve got the A/V hook-up working, and you’re testing out the video. You even brought those portable speakers so that we hear the audio clearly. Good. I’m the last person to complain about a little tech stuff at the presentation. But why, why I ask you, must the video be longer than your explanation of why I’m supposed to care about it?”