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A classic post from James Feudo's Overnight Sensation

Ten Things That Will Guarantee Your Speech Will Bomb. My favorite bit:

7: Don’t check your equipment:

If you’re using PowerPoint, make sure you test the computer, projector and cables you’ll be using – you don’t want any last minute technical troubles. If you need internet access, bring along an aircard just in case the network is down in the building you’re in.

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 (08/10/08)

Fortify Your Oasis: Presentation party pieces — “Most trainers and skilled presenters have a couple of these schticks that they can pull out at the drop of a hat. It’s a very good idea, because you never know when you are going to have to fill some ‘dead air’ because of a technical hitch or a late arrival. Steve Jobs illustrated this really well in his January 2007 keynote. His remote clicker stopped working and so did the backup.”

Sales and Marketing Manager.com: Sales Clown & — “Two selling blunders from Dan Seidman of SalesAutopsy.com. A couple guys drink slurpies before a call. And a former Xerox rep memorizes her pitch for a disastrous presentation.”

LinkedIn Answers (Michael Seidle): What is the worst presentation gaffe you’ve ever seen?

Great Public Speaking: CHECK EACH SEAT and SAVER LINES.

Learning as I go: The Day In Which I Spoke In Front of 200 People — “So, about ten minutes before a company-wide presentation is being made, it has come to our attention that there is no moderator. By the time I’m found, I’m told that I will need to do it. Uh. Crap. Me is not a public speaker as I will skipsy all over my words or start to babble with some weird fillers. No way. I cannot remember the last time I spoke to a room with more than six or seven people. 200? No.”

Communication Skills For Technical Staff: 5 Ways To Deliver A Disastrous Presentation

Control Booth Discussion Board: Human Stupidity — Photos of dangerous things witnessed  during meeting setup and backstage. Apparently there’s a lot of things you shouldn’t do with ladders, fork lifts and power cables.

Overnight Sensation: Public Speaking Success: Death by Time Limit – Tip for Trainers — “The point is that if you’re supposed to end at a certain time and you don’t, you’ll notice the energy level of the room suddenly drop.”

Valley Wag: IAC building power outage kills New York tech meetup, spares us all — “New York wantrepreneurs preparing for a night of rejection and glazed looks can relax — tonight’s New York Tech Meetup is canceled due to a power outage at IAC.”

Terrific Public Speaking and Presentation Skills: How Many People Will Speak at Your Funeral?

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (06/22/09)

Zallas Technologies: Managing Meeting Mayhem — “You start the meeting, only to be interrupted by two or three latecomers. As you glance around the room, people are busy sending text messages on their cell phones and whispering quietly to each other. What about the meeting? How do you even try to compete with all of these distractions, not to mention the rambling storyteller and the constant disagreement between the two at the end of the table?”

Speak Fearlessly: How to deal with the “Stump the Chump” dynamic in Public Speaking — ““Stump the Chump” refers to an audience member who may be disruptive or hostile; often expressed through repeated questioning meant to challenge a speaker’s authority and possibly steal the spotlight.”

Great Public Speaking: LapTop Volume — “Here’s a quick way to handle the volume when you do not have a sound person in the room.” and BACKWARDS — “The problem was, he started at the wrong end of the pole.”

SpeakerSue Says: The 2 Biggest Mistakes Presenters Can Make — “For example, you could: Faint, throw up, ramble, bore, forget, amble, become parched, blush, not know, say too much, say too little, humiliate yourself, not be funny, stutter, not shut up, patronize, condescend, shake, and in general make a mess of yourself. But wait, there’s more.”

Colorado Communication Coach: What I Learned from Scathing Criticism — “Then, on the backside, he or she typed out a numbered list of all the mistakes I made in my presentation…”

Gathering: don’t poison your attendees — “Seems like an obvious statement, but how often do we consider ALL of the ways we could be harming our guests?!”

Mother Tongue Annoyances: How to Attain Serenity Before Giving a Speech — “However, in my experience as a technical trainer, IT professional, and astute audience member I have seen not an insignificant number of public speakers blow otherwise fine presentations by needlessly psyching themselves out due to mishandled fear or over-jangling nerves.”

Overnight Sensation: Career Success: How a Crisis Can Become Your Opportunity for Greatness –Try to keep this in mind the next time the presentation is going to hell in a handbasket.