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Thought for the day: Practice until…

From Tony Ramos’ Facebook stream:

Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.

Nicely compliments the two Principles of Presentation Disaster Avoidance devoted to practice:

Number 3: If you practice like it’s the real thing, the real thing will seem like a practice.

Number 9: Everyone knows that it’s essential to rehearse, but not everyone knows how to rehearse what’s essential.

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (09/05/10)

Ellen Finkelstein — Outstanding Presentations Workshop

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Phil Presents — Presentation Pitfalls #7: Slide synch (or lack of)

While the speaker was fiddling with his envelope, someone else advanced the slides too quickly, and revealed the winner’s name to all but the speaker before the envelope had even been opened. Doh! Not only did this make the speaker look silly, it made everyone think less of the organization of the event, both for the Powerpoint slip-up and for even using ceremonial envelopes when the winners were already on the slides.

Webinar Crusher — What If I Screw Up A Live Webinar And How Do I Recover?

If you think that your first webinar is going to run perfectly, you’re wrong. If you think that your first 20 webinars are going to run without any problems, you’re also wrong. Things are going to happen. Maybe your Internet connection will die or Go To Webinar will not display your screen correctly. Maybe your PowerPoint won’t show up or you will lose your PowerPoint. You might be all ready to demonstrate a site for your viewers only to find out that the site is down for maintenance.

Instead of crossing your fingers, hoping nothing will ever go wrong, no, that things will go wrong. When these things do go wrong, what do you do? Always have some kind of a backup plan.

No Sweat Presentations! — When You Speak, Don’t Jingle or Deliver Other Distractions!

Other personal distractions could have to do with your appearance

  • A stained shirt or jacket
  • Food on your face or in your teeth (I’m not kidding.)
  • Too flashy jewelry that sparkles too much.
  • Outrageous clothing that ’sends its own message’

There are some preventative measures that can be taken to avoid delivering distractions.

  • Empty your pockets before speaking.  No coins or keys = No Jingle!
  • Have a friend in the audience quietly ’signal’ you if you start swaying or rocking.
  • Put a Post Note on the lectern or on top of your notes or mind map with a reminder
  • Get a good night’s sleep the night before a presentation.
  • Practice – Practice – Practice
    • In front of a mirror.
    • In front of friends and family.
    • In front of a camera.
  • Look in a full length mirror before coming to the lectern.
    • Check:
      • Clothing – zippers, buttons, for lint & hair
      • Self – hair, face

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (05/31/09)

©Jonathan Potts

©Jonathan Potts

Meet Prepared — Contingency 101: Retail Event’s Not So Grand Opening

Everything went well, he told me, except that they forgot to plan for a sudden rainstorm. Sure enough, it rained. When I asked what they did, he replied: “Panic ensued.” Although we as professionals will typically work out an inside venue back-up location should an outside event need to be moved, it’s imperative that we look at the myriad things that will be impacted by weather, even with an indoor function, such as the valet issue and power outage cited above, or access roads flooding.

LinkedIn Answers — What is the worst thing that has happened to you when presenting to a board of Directors?

I sneezed and the button of my skirt flew off and landed somewhere where it clinked pretty loudly. I paused, red-faced, then said: “In just another minute my skirt falls off – but it’s not a distraction, I actually have good news to report.” Got the laugh, moved on. (Nicole Filiatrault)

Controlbooth.com — Something To Share

If anybody is ever unsure about the health or capacity of a plug/connector, double check!!!

Speak Schmeak — Practice like you mean it

Practice using your props and flip charts. Practice using your remote device if using slides. Practice using your timer. If you’ll be recording yourself, practice with the microphone and recorder so they won’t distract you on the day. Pay attention to the details. Details count.