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Bookmarked: You Must Have a Good Sound System (Great Public Speaking)

You Must Have a Good Sound System (Great Public Speaking) – "A humorous speech demands a better sound system than a serious speech. In a serious talk, words can be missed and the main message can still be very clear. In humor it doesn't work that way. If key words are missed in a joke or story, it will ruin the humor. No one will laugh and you will look like a giant goober. The need for a thorough sound check is another good reason to be in the room early. You need to check the microphone to make sure it works. You need to check to see how far your mouth should be from the microphone. You need to know how loudly you should talk. Realize that during your check the audio level should be very loud. People will absorb the sound once they get into the room."

Bookmarked: The ten worst presentation moments (Microsoft)

The ten worst presentation moments (Microsoft) – [Posted back in 2006, it's become a classic.] "In the late 1990s I was asked to give a presentation to a group of people from a Government Agency. I didn’t want to carry all of my presentation equipment, so I asked for a projector and PowerPoint to be provided. I then turned up ready to give the presentation with my presentation on a floppy disk. In the meeting room was a 35mm slide projector. The meeting organiser pointed to the corner and said in a somewhat insulted tone,'There is the power point; we do have electricity here – we are not that backward.'”

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (12/07/08)

Empower Your Point: Context matters : Avoid turkey slaughter in the background — “While watching, it was very hard to focus on her : I totally missed the meaning of her interview. All I actually saw was this crazy man with his poor turkeys… I would much rather be an average presenter in an excellent context ( interested audience, computers working fine, etc.), than an excellent presenter in a horrible context ( say for instance with a turkey killer in my back)! Don’t get me wrong : Context is no excuse. It is your responsibility to make sure that everything is going to be fine.”

Corporate Presenter: Presenting on Television — “Even rehearsing your lines until you are blue in the face won’t always help you getting it right to camera.”

controlbooth.com: crappy cd player/bad cd??? — “So we’re up here in the booth, and randomly during an explosion cue, the cd player jumped tracks to curtain call music!! Nobody was touching the thing, and the sound consultant behind me said “that wasn’t you, it jumped a track”. Wtf????”

The Next Meeting: Virtual or Otherwise, You Need to Prepare for Meetings — “Let’s face it, the new technology available for virtual meetings, while exciting, isn’t quite perfect.  You need to make some allowances for that. If you’ll be making a presentation, it’s really important to practise it ahead of time.  Make sure it’s as clear as it can possibly be.  You may not have the benefit of your colleagues’ blank stares to tell you they don’t understand you, so you won’t be able to adjust on the fly.” Other good ideas.

Humor Power: When Humor Mis-Fires (Part Three) — “It had never occurred to me that this joke could mis-fire.  It got a good laugh, but as soon as I returned to my seat, I had second thoughts about using the line.”

Great Speaking Coach: Avoid Q&A Traps — “When you invite questions at the end of your presentation you run a substantial risk that one question derails the point of your whole presentation–and then you can’t recover your own momentum.”

Great Public Speaking: THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE — “I’m talking about the dreaded MICROPHONE BULGE. Unless you use a handheld microphone, or a wired clip on microphone (which causes you to trip over the wire all day) in one way or the other you have to deal with a wireless transmitter bulge in your clothing.
This needs to be addressed when you are purchasing the clothing you plan on wearing when you speak. … Sometimes I put the transmitter right in my pants pocket. That way there is no way it will fall off or come unclipped even if I get a little boisterous on stage.”

ChrisMoncus.com: How to Properly Wrap a Cable (the Over and Under Roadie Wrap) — Rolling up your cables (especially the one connecting your laptop to the projector) and storing them the right way helps to prevent them from failing when it might be more than a little inconvenient.

Hotel Chatter: You’d Better Find a Couch to Sleep on for Inauguration — Hope you’re not trying to do any regular business in DC around the 20th of January. Posted about this sort of thing a week or so ago.

PowerPoint Ninja: 13 Ways to Quickly Derail a PowerPoint Presentation — Part I — Starts with something dear to our hearts here at BML – “Technical difficulties: You and your audience are ready, but why aren’t the slides appearing or why isn’t the audio working? Delays caused by technical problems can cause you to quickly lose and never reclaim an audience. Leave nothing to chance.”

Just for fun:

Six Minutes: Gifts Public Speakers Really Want: Dozens of Christmas Ideas

Fortify Your Oasis: Weekend treat for Road Warriors — “As someone who has spent far too many nights in far too many hotel rooms around the world, these words of John Cleese’s have an all-too-familiar ring to them. Come to think of it, it sounds like I’ve stayed in some of these hotels.” (Video)