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Comment of the Week: Careful, you’ll put your eye out!

It seems to be a really hot topic. One of my first posts from way back in April, Jedi Knights With Frickin’ Laser Pointers, is still generating new comments. Just about everyone agreed that laser pointer use should be kept to a minimum, but I really like the way Jeff Bailey of MostToast summed up his remarks:

“My current presentation remote has a laser pointer built-in. I find it useful for checking to see if the batteries are dead but that is about all I use it for.”

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).”

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (09/14/08)

Lots of really great links this week.

©iStockphoto.com/michal_edo

©iStockphoto.com/michal_edo

Fleeting Glimpse Images: Pulling It Off — Rikk Flohr describes his preparation process. Great ideas for avoiding any number of problems. “I double check my laptop for presentation readiness, arrive at my room early, set up and am ready to start on time. Drink a little water. Have your back up mouse, pointer, presentation on thumb drive and any paper notes where you can find them. Great your guests as they arrive and begin working the room.”

A2J: Migraine — “My presentation on Migraine almost caused me a major headache. Everything fell apart in the last minute and then miraculously came back together in the last second!” Good example of how potentially fatal problems string themselves together.

Nury Vittachi: How not to introduce someone 2 — “People were only given the title ‘Moderator’ or ‘Master of Ceremonies’ if they agreed to have their brains surgically reduced to the size of a sesame seed, I said. Their single remaining brain-call contained only one thought: ‘Make speaker look like jerk.'”

Public Speaking Can Be Fun: Being Prepared for the Public Speaking Unexpected — “Three years ago after a 45 mile bike ride driving home on the Mass Pike, I felt a thump. I looked in my rear view mirror and witnessed my bike flying down the middle lane. The bike flew off my roof rack!”

©iStockphoto.com/LeggNet

©iStockphoto.com/LeggNet

Overnight Sensation: The Disinterested Audience — “Of all the different types of hostile audiences out there, the disinterested or uninterested crowd can be one of the toughest to address. There are a number of reasons that your audience can fall into this category, such us being forced to attend the event, so we’ll look at what causes an audience to be disinterested and what you can do to bring them around.”

MostToast: Technical Presentation Worst Practices — “I am pretty sure that this is staged. I am also sure that these types of problems happen on a routine basis.”

Great Public Speaking: DOUBLE CHECK YOUR BACKUPS.

Presentation Coaching Institute: Presentations Rehearsal… Fact or Fiction? — “First let me define a false sense of preparedness. Glancing over your notes or rummaging through your PowerPoint slides for let’s say five to six minutes before a presentation and thinking to yourself what you will likely say is pretty much a recipe for presentation disaster.”

The PowerPoint® Blog: Open PowerPoint in Safe Mode — “This is one of those – I hope you don’t need to do this – actions. But recently one of the computers here suddenly decided it did not want to have fonts work (line spacing was all messed up).”

Pistachio: While I Talked, People Twittered — “The major downside of this trend that I see is that real-time feedback from a small number of people can force a speaker to unintentionally focus on trying to please that vocal few. This is dangerous if the small but loud group isn’t representative of the majority of listeners. It’s human nature to fixate on criticism, and focusing on the comments of a few audience members can throw a presenter off track.”

confessions of a serial theater lackey: Things I Learned During the REEFER Tech — For our readers on the technical crew. “Climbing a ladder during a strobe test is a bad idea. (In my defense, I was already at the top of the ladder before the test started. However, I should not have climbed down once that strobe kicked in).”

bookofjoe: Why steamship captains studied sailing — Thought provoking quote. For me this relates to when we did 35mm slides.

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (08/31/08)

Grammar Girl: Funny Homophones — “When you pick the wrong word, your readers laugh at your amusing sentence. It’s great to put them at ease with a joke or two, but if they’re smiling at what you wrote in all seriousness, that’s not good. Other readers don’t laugh; they cringe and wince, lament and vent. Some sticklers just stop reading.”

MostToast: Rehearse and Learn — “Make a commitment to practice and rehearsal with the equipment that you will use during your presentation: it will make your presenting life much easier.”

Speak Schmeak: Run out of time? Never again! — “A common presenter mistake is to run out of time. Even when you’ve practiced, you sometimes find yourself rushing the last five or ten minutes of your presentation, wondering where the time went. Well, here’s an easy solution.”

Execupundit.com: Crisis Management Students — “I’ve kept both responses in mind over the years whenever considering a potential crisis and have asked, ‘What if this is one of those occasions when those students are correct?'”

Make Your Point with Pow’R: Applying Project Management Principles to Presentations — “How do you keep track of everything? How do you remember to send your introduction a week before the presentation? Do you even know who to send it to? The easiest way to deliver powerful presentations every time, is by creating a simple project plan of the work to be done, and then working your plan. In this podcast, you can learn ‘How to use Project Management Principles to plan your next presentation’.”

Speak Fearlessly: The Path to Presentation Peace: Mindfulness and Stillness — “Another very handy place to use this technique is in the practice of presentations. It’s all very well to be prepared, but if something goes awry (a cell phone rings, the wrong slide pops up), it’s easy to panic. Anxiety, and stress = sweaty palms, physical tremors, accelerated heart rate and more. When this happens, we begin to focus on the feeling of anxiety and not what’s happened to interrupt the presentation.”

Fortify Your Oasis: Golden Oldies – Thoughts on Presenting — “This poor woman utterly lost her audience. Hers was the one subject of the day that any doctor should have been interested in, but they were now going to remember her presentation for all the wrong reasons.”

vctips: Join Twitter to follow these tips. Good things to keep in mind in order to avoid disaster when presenting to venture capitalists. A lot of these are useful for presenting to other audiences as well.

Control Booth: Storage of lav mics — Take care of your mics and they’ll take care of you (by not failing mid-presentation).