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The Weekly Might Have Missed List (10/31/10)

Fearless Delivery (Lily Iatridis) — Top Ten True Presentation Mishaps

#2- Vehicle in parking lot just outside the building catches fire and burns to a crisp. The room where I was giving my presentation had large windows just a few yards from the burning vehicle, so we were all mesmerized.  Not only that, but the heavy fumes from the burning rubber made us evacuate the room, so my presentation had to be rescheduled.  What took the fire department so long?

Public Words (Nick Morgan) — What to do when a speech goes horribly wrong – 5 tips

I once had to give a speech at a Harvard Business School event in one of its very high-tech auditoriums.  The speeches were back-to-back that day, and so I had to break my rule of always rehearsing in the room beforehand.  The A/V person was nowhere to be found.  So naturally the sound didn’t work on the videos I wanted to play.  I enlisted the help of a couple of really smart biz school students and the audience as a whole waited patiently with me as they tried to figure out what was wrong.

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (06/14/09)

Strelitzia — Wardrobe Malfunction

©iStockphoto.com/sampsyseeds

©iStockphoto.com/sampsyseeds

In back? There were buttons in the back? I craned my neck to see and then turned to look back into the hall mirror. Oh my. Apparently there were buttons in the back, from the waist to the hem. The dry cleaner had unbuttoned every single one of them to facilitate ironing. And failed to button them back.

Fortify Your Oasis — Presenting: they shouldn’t notice your technology

On the other hand, Mr Obama’s detractors have a point – not because he relies heavily on the Prompter, but because he doesn’t use it very well and, for his less-than-soaring rhetorical moments, that can distract from his message. I haven’t noticed him ‘blow it’ on the prompter during an important speech, but his ping-pong head movement does become noticeable when I see him doing minor stuff under the 24 hour glare of coverage.

Excellence in Presentations — Multiple speakers in a presentation

Those invited speakers would talk as if the other speakers never existed even though all of these environmental laws are related. They would show up 15 minutes before their own presentation and leave right after it. They had no idea what came before and after them. The end result was a series of totally disjointed and unconnected presentations that was confusing to the audience.

Fleeting Glimpse Images — Who says you can’t take it with you? The crew!

It seems like weekly there is a televised news story of passengers being evacuated from an airplane. No matter what the problem, if an emergency evacuation of a plane is ordered, you must leave behind any of your carry-on luggage stowed under the seat or in the overhead compartments. Unless you are careful, this also includes leaving your data behind.

Nick Morgan — Announcing the Worst Conference Experience Ever Contest

The contest begins with this posting and will run through the end of next week.  Entries must be 200 words or less, and my decision is final.

So bring it on.  Was it a memorably bad speaker?  A particularly stupid theme or breakout session?  A location?  An audience?  What made the experience awful?  Dish it out, and we’ll compare notes as they come in.  It’s time to raise the game by punishing the evil-doers.

Suzanne Neve Events — Rain, Rain Go Away!

Rain or shine, it is important to be prepared for anything that mother nature may throw at you on your big day. Below are some ideas to help with your planning.

FAIL Blog — Demonstration Fail

YouTube — Bret Michaels Gets “Dropped” at Tony Awards

Nick Morgan: “How Sarah Palin Should Prepare… and How You Should, Too”

©iStockphoto.com/doulos

©iStockphoto.com/doulos

Seriously, I’m not just trying to cash in on VP debate buzz. This would be a terrific article no matter what the specific context. In it, Nick Morgan makes a point that should be one of the Ten Commandments of Doing Everything Possible to Avoid Screwing Up a Presentation:

Second, rehearse under conditions as close to reality as possible. If you can get into the hall, rehearse there. If not, approximate it. The reason is that surprises at the event itself will throw you, and more than 3 surprises will flummox you. And that will show up in your body language. If the lights are brighter, or the sound is more echo-y, or the stage is bigger than you anticipated, that takes mental energy to deal with – mental energy that you won’t be putting into a sparkling performance.

If you’re a presenter, or if you’re responsible in any way for the success of a major presentation, you need to do everything you can to make sure that this policy is put into effect. And the more important the presentation, the more exacting you need to be in the replication of the actual presenting environment. Things like podium/screen placement, confidence monitor size/positioning and they type of remote control used for advancing slide are all good examples of things a speaker needs to feel familiar and comfortable with. It will also be helpful, if you’ll be providing AV support during a presentation, to have a chance to set up and put the actual system that will be used through it’s paces. Believe me, as someone who has been there, the best time to find out you need a longer VGA cable or that the projectors time-out function hasn’t been disabled is in rehearsal, not just before the speaker is about to go on.

Remember: If you rehearse like it’s the real thing, the real thing will seem like a rehearsal.