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The Weekly Might Have Missed List (09/19/10)

associationTECH — Tech the Mic…Tech 1…Tech 2…Tech Tech Tech

It seems absurd the amount of preparation that goes into a session only to have the session falter at the end because of an AV situation that could easily have been avoided. A great example is a session I went to about using video for associations. Great information and examples were shared there, but the first presenter kept struggling with a slow connection whenever she wanted to play a video. The first couple of times I felt sorry for her, but after that I grew annoyed. Why didn’t she have a backup plan for something as finicky as video? Why didn’t she have some videos stored directly on her laptop, so she didn’t have to rely on the internet? Had she checked her connection and the buffering time before the presentation?

Life in the Corporate Theater — Let the Games Begin (Dispatch from Moscow)

We immediately decided to have the AV Vendor show us all of the equipment so that we wouldn’t have any surprises as 7:00 pm.

To start off, we requested a 16 channel mixer, with a minimum of 10 XLR inputs. They provided a 12 channel mixer with 8 XLR Inputs. We requested a minimum of 4 channels of graphic equalizers, and they provided 1 channel. We asked about the wireless microphones, and fortunately, the 5 microphones we requested were there, all thrown kinda loosely in a case. They informed us that they had  “Madonna” mics and we asked if they had regular Lavalier mics. They said they did, but that the “Madonna” mics worked much better. We told them that we understood that, but that the presenters would never wear a Madonna style headset mic. It turns out that the Lav mics are omni directional, and I am going to have to struggle against feed back for sure.

Next they showed us the video switcher, and while it was a lot closer to being right than the DJ Mixer that they gave us in St Petersburg, it was only a two channel input switcher and we need four channels.

We asked about cables for everything and while they may have brought enough for what they thought we would need, it was clear that they underestimated what we really needed and we had to make a quick inventory on paper of what we wanted.

ReadyTalk — Conference Blunder Contest (The blunder with the most votes winds two round trip airline tickets)

We had just released our the 3.0 version of our product and had a showcase webinar. It was our largest webinar ever with 1023 people on the line. After telling everyone we would begin in just a couple minutes our CTO left his office for some water and locked himself out. He tried looking for a key and attempted to jimmy the door open, but no good. So in his best Starsky and Hutch impersonation he body slammed the door to break it down. We moved to bigger offices a month ago and that door cost us $800 to replace!

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (10/19/08)

Subjective: The Artful Life: If I Turn This Off Now We Will Go Into Darkness — Snarky description of a presentation that went very wrong (in more ways than one). “Enter PSU IT guy (well, enter his speaking role anyway, as he’d been poking about at the podium for a few minutes at this point). Oh higher educated IT guy, explain to us simple art enthusiasts why things have gone so wrong: ‘Well, the old projector had this button you could push that fixed this problem and this new projector doesn’t have the same buttons.'”

©iStockphoto.com/hammondovi

©iStockphoto.com/hammondovi

Life in the Corporate Theater: International Shows — “On Thursday I am headed for Prague, so I started pulling out supplies that I will need for working in Europe.” Great ideas for preparing to work overseas including several items you may never have thought of.

Craig Strachan: A lesson in being prepared — “Last night, I spoke at a function in Cape Town, and I was almost in big trouble.”

If you travel a lot, you might also want to check out One Bag: The Art and Science of Traveling Light.

Signal vs. Noise: Going in Unprepared — “This year I’ve spoken at about a dozen or so conferences and another dozen or so meetings or classes or gatherings. What I’ve started to notice is that I’m better unprepared.”

Blue Room technical forum: Macs, The pick of the current crop is…? — “After a day of trauma with several visiting speakers turning up with presentations prepared on Macs, and them only sort of working on PCs, I’m thinking that the best fix may be to get a Mac myself. Never having used one in anger for this sort of stuff, I thought I’d ask here as well as my friendly Geek forum.”

Great Public Speaking: Keystone Effect — “When a projector is not exactly on a level plain with a projection screen the projected image is not symmetrical.”

The Next Meeting: Making every second count at virtual meetings — “The key to achieving a successful virtual meeting is being prepared for both the expected and the unexpected. That means you must take your personal knowledge of your own virtual team and all the virtual office jobs concerned and use them to anticipate all the things that you might encounter when holding meetings.”

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (10/12/08)

©iStockphoto.com/kozmoat98

©iStockphoto.com/kozmoat98

Life in the Corporate Theater: Does anything work in Miami? –“So, beyond all the jackhammering that we are hearing through the walls during the meeting, the Internet connection that the hotel is providing is very sketchy.” Things get off to a rough start for Steve in Another day in Miami but seem to improve as the day goes on.

EffectiveMeetings.com: Presentation Disaster Preparation — Lots of great advice including “The Key to a Glitch-free Presentation: Arrive Early. I’ll never forget a major address I gave at a convention many years ago. The program was scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. The committee, good hosts that they were, insisted on taking me out for dinner. Naively, I went along. They promised to get me to the auditorium in plenty of time. Needless to say, we arrived just at the stroke of 8 and I was on. Never again! ”

oboeinsight: That’s The Night When The Lights Went Out In Georgia Sydney — “I’ve been at two performances when the lights have gone out. Once, with San Jose Symphony, Richard Stoltzman played —in the dark and by memory!— Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Clarinet Solo, while my husband, who was stage manager at the time, quickly set up stand lights so we could continue the full concert. (I guess we had a generator that provided enough power for stand lights.)”

©iStockphoto.com/LeggNet

©iStockphoto.com/LeggNet

Recognized Expert: Dealing with a Difficult Participant — “Three minutes into your talk someone takes a cell phone call and carries on a conversation as though they were in the room alone. They’re loud and disturbing. What do you do?”

Stagecraft Journal: ‘Da Rules: Meant for Stagehands and shop crews but there’s a lot here of interest to anyone working at any atge of the presentation process.

Speaking About Presenting: 5 strategies to defuse the audience — “Sometimes your audience needs defusing. You may know ahead of time that the audience is likely to be hostile to your ideas, or there may be a big issue looming over them which distracts them from listening to your presentation. Or they may simply not be that interested in listening to you.”

TJ Walker: What do I do if I make a mistake or forget what I am about to say? — “Let’s say you are in the middle of making a point and suddenly your brain freezes and you can’t remember what to say next. The average presenter will have a look of horror shoot across his face, turn bright red, grimace, apologize to the audience…” and If my allotted time is cut, what should I eliminate from my presentation? — Good advice with this fantastic close — “The foolproof presenter realizes there is never an ideal environment for speaking. There will always be distractions in the form of noise from next door, poor lighting, or noisy people in the back of the room. The foolproof presenter simply sizes up the opportunity given what is available in terms of time and resources and then makes the best of it—every time.”

The Accidental Communicator: 5 Ways To Deliver A Disastrous Presentation — “What me worry? Why bother to practice – you know this stuff inside and out, you’ll just go up there and wing it and the crowd will love you because it will seem more natural and less rehearsed than all the other presenters. Yeah right.”

Control Booth: Risk Assessment Sample — “here is an anonymised version of the latest risk assessment done by the theatre technicians.”

Indezine: PowerPoint Version Hell — “All these issues can be placed under a common umbrella that I’ll call Version Hell – and while it’s no fun being under this umbrella, life can be much more uncomplicated if you are aware of these problems, and ready to look at workarounds and best practices. You might have noticed that I never promised any solutions – that’s because very few of them exist – most of the time, you’ll have to look at workarounds for existing content, and plan with best practices for any new slides you create. As goes the famous saying: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Fans Of Reality TV: Quick Fixes For Wardrobe Malfunctions.

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (09/21/08)

news.com.au: Porn served up to government officials — “A senior civil servant is facing the sack after pornographic images flashed up as he delivered a powerpoint presentation to government officials in the Solomon Islands.”

Make Your Point with Pow’R: Screen Captures — “Never, ever, demo live websites during a presentation. You run the risk of at least the following, and possibly much more going wrong.”

©iStockphoto.com/zoomstudio

©iStockphoto.com/zoomstudio

Great Public Speaking: More on CD ROM Backups of your Program — “I did a speaking gig this week in Vegas and had to use my backup presentation on CDROM. Low and behold, when I opened the presentation it was barely readable!”

Fortify Your Oasis: Know Your Audience — “Have you ever been at a wedding where the best man told what he thought were hilarious stories about the groom – stories that fell completely flat with the majority of the audience?”

MostToast: Don’t Put Toastmasters On Your Resume — “They stopped him after thirty-four minutes; thirty-four minutes of false starts and dead ends. They stopped him after spending thirty-four minutes listening to something that wasn’t closely relevant to the position. Sam had blown the presentation.”

Life in the Corporate Theater: Sonoma — “Moral of the story? Don’t completely shut your sliding glass door on a hotel balcony. I can’t imagine what I would have done if I was on the 12th floor. Also, make sure you have clothes on. I never would have lived it down if I had to climb over to Allen’s balcony in my underwear!”

Corporate Presenter: French Farce — “TF1’s Laurence Ferrari runs into a bit of hot bother with Al Pacino & Robert de Niro earlier this week”

The World: 8 Timely Tips for Pre-Presentation Preparation By Patricia Fripp CSP, CPAE — “The big day has come. You are ready to deliver your presentation. To guarantee your success there are still a few final steps to take before you face your audience.”

The Software Pro: Choosing a Presentation Remote — “Rehearsing with your remote should be a built-in part of your presentation rehearsal to avoid distracting your audience and accomplishing the goal of communicating your message.”

The Grammarphobia Blog: Daised by podiumbrage — “God, I’m turning into a grump, but when it comes to politics and language, abuses get me downright dyspeptic. One common mistake has surfaced during the recent heady convention days. It’s the misuse of “podium” for “lectern.” I suppose I’m a lone voice crying in the wilderness on this one, but the podiumbrage has left me daised.” Good news is it’s now acceptable to use “podium” for “lectern.”

ManageSmarter: The Top 12 Presentation Mistakes — “Mistake #1: Overlooking “Murphy” If it can go wrong, it will go wrong. This mistake basically means that you walk into the room where you’re going to present and something is wrong. LeRoux tells a story about a multimillion-dollar sales presentation to which “Murphy” paid a visit—in the form of missing curtains and a boardroom window overlooking a huge pool surrounded by bikini-clad swimmers (you can guess what the attendees looked at instead of the presenter).”