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Might Have Missed List (07/17/11)

Gub doo gia bee? (Language Log)

[This post is chock full of all sorts of wonderful things going wrong during a series of presentations at an academic conference. This brief passage represents just a sliver of a very entertaining story]

And the other problem was that, impelled by some irresistible psychological imperative (I saw this later with several other speakers), he instinctively pointed the remote projection controller at the screen, desperately trying to get it to respond. But the computer he should have been pointing the remote at was ten or fifteen yards away on a table in a totally different direction. It was just too counterintuitive to turn 180 degrees away from the screen, so his back was toward it, in order to change the screen image. We humans are simple mammals, and we imagine that what we are focusing on is where the action is. So his clicking away with the remote was not being detected by the computer, and even if it had been detected, he would have had no idea whether anything had happened to the screen as a result.

Presentation Tip: First Impressions Matter (Professionally Speaking…)

Be prepared, with AV equipment checked, handouts sorted and slides ready. If you seem disorganized and rattled over logistics, your audience may assume that your presentation will be equally disorganized.

How to recognize someone for their service to an organization when they can’t be present in person (Conferences That Work)

  • A week before the event, Nancy and I set up a test call with me calling from the laptop I would be using at the conference. It was good we did this, because it took a while to get Nancy’s camera working. We arranged for her to start Skype when she arrived at work, thirty minutes before we would start the recognition ceremony.

  • About twenty minutes before the call, Nancy was not showing up as connected on Skype. I called her from my cell and she assured me Skype was running. I restarted Skype on my machine & this time she appeared. Phew! During the next few minutes, I muted our audio while the audience assembled.

 

Bookmarked: Presentation nightmares (British Airways Business Life)

Presentation nightmares (British Airways Business Life) – "And another friend confessed to an incident when he tripped on entering the room where the clients were assembled, and spilt an entire – and extremely hot – latte down his shirt. In one swift action he yelped at the top of his voice and, in a bid to avoid being scalded, tore his shirt off. To stunned silence. Once the clients had assured themselves he was OK (presumably to avoid some sort of lawsuit) they said he could continue, and he had to give the entire presentation topless. They went with another company in the end"

[This reminds me of another wet T-shirt story that's very popular on BML. The article the above is from also includes a couple other short, but funny, presentation horror stories.]

Bookmarked: The three causes of public speaking fear (and what you can do about them) – Speaking about Presenting

The three causes of public speaking fear (and what you can do about them) – Speaking about Presenting – "A few weeks ago I was running a training course. I knew that the CEO would be one of the participants. I felt myself get a little nervous as we were setting up. When he walked into the room I got hot and my heart started racing. Why would I react in this way? I have a demand around CEOs. It goes something like this: CEOs are really important and I must have their approval. My demanding thought made me nervous. What was the result? I messed up the instructions for a simple exercise that we do at the beginning of every course and that I’ve done perfectly hundreds of times before!"

Bookmarked: The 7 Deadly Sins of Public Speaking

The 7 Deadly Sins of Public Speaking – "Wrath, or uncontrolled anger, is committed by a speaker who handles problems in the worst possible way. As a speaker, you should always remain in control. No matter how bad your presentation is going, keep calm. Don’t let these frustrations provoke you…"