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The Weekly Might Have Missed List (09/12/10)

Steve LaRose — Heading to Moscow

The Russian AV Vendor hasn’t given us any level of confidence as of yet, so we all board our planes today with a bit of a feeling of impending doom.

Michael Wade — A Presentations Lesson Reaffirmed

Each participant was to receive a workbook containing some exercises. I had carefully proof-read the material. The person at the training broker had proofed it. The material was then sent off to a print shop. It was at that point when things became interesting.

Despite the pdf format, quite a few pages had been messed up in the electronic transmission. As a result, I learned a couple of hours before the presentation that the workbooks had flaws.

Many flaws.

Lisa Braithwaite — Five things speakers can learn from event planners

4. Be flexible.

“Stuff” happens. Event planners are experts at working around setbacks and figuring out solutions when things don’t go as planned. They don’t panic, they just get busy.

As a speaker, if you have not yet experienced one of these setbacks, it’s only a matter of time before you do. Your technology will fail. Your room will be next to a loud construction site. The speaker before you will go long and your presentation will be cut by fifteen minutes. The trick is to keep going. Sometimes your audience will know there’s a problem, but most of the time, you will be the only one. Keep it to yourself, fix it as quickly and quietly as possible, and move on.

At some point, after all the planning and preparation, you have to let go and accept that whatever happens, happens!

Tod Maffin — Ten Things I Wish I Knew When I Started as a Professional Speaker

Backup, Backup, Backup!

This goes without saying, but it surprises me how few speakers have redundant backups. Just last month, I was keynoting a conference and had to go on stage early because the presenter before me couldn’t boot her computer and she had no accessible backup.

Here are the backup methods I use and recommend:

  • Turn on auto-backups in your presentation software, that way you always have two copies of your slides; in case your computer crashes while saving it, you’ll always have the most recent uncorrupted version.
  • Sign up to Backblaze — it’ll back up everything on your hard disk automatically without you prompting it. It’s only $5 a month. Backblaze is the only system like this I found which can restore a Mac file to a PC and vice versa, if that’s important to you.
  • Before leaving, upload the slides to Dropbox.com or something similar.
  • Finally, if you’re on a Mac, tell Keynote to also save an additional copy as a PowerPoint presentation and upload that to Dropbox.com too.

But backups aren’t just for files — I carry my own backup wireless mic, fresh batteries, and a separate cheap GSM cell phone, so that in the event mine craps out I just have to pop my SIM card into the new phone and I’m back in business again.

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (06/07/09)

wedding

©iStockphoto.com/Norlito

So You Want To Be a Banquet Manager… — I STILL Want To Get Married Outside

Wait until she gets the bill from the DJ that she forced to setup his equipment in the damp wedding garden. His extension cords sat on the rainy grass and kept blowing the circuit breaker and finally burnt out one of his speakers.

The Webinar Blog — Bad Press For Webinars

When I work as a guest speaker or moderator, I typically use two computers and two phone lines. It’s ridiculous overkill and seems silly… Right up until the first one fails. That doesn’t happen very often at all, but if you do enough webcasts, it eventually will.

Pro Humorist  — How Room Design May Affect Your Presentation

You also want to make sure that you’re not involved in the opposite extreme of speaking in an atrium or, even worse, outside. I did in a gig in a atrium once and it was like being in a huge greenhouse. Hundreds of plants everywhere, running water and… swimming fish; I wish I was exaggerating. The danger with a place like this is that there are too many distractions for the audience. Not only that but due to the spaciousness, lack of seating and super high ceiling the laughter didn’t exactly contage.

Speak Schmeak — Awkward

Upon receiving her award for Best Female Performance, she proceeded to give her acceptance speech, clearly nervous. While balancing the heavy award in her hand, she lost her grip and it went flying several feet onto the floor as she desperately tried to catch it.

Presenting Matters — Presentation Mishaps: The Mental Game of Bouncing Back

We have all been there… You work hard to prepare for the big day. The success of the moment rests on your shoulders. You are focused and determined to make this presentation powerful and persuasive. And then… something goes terribly wrong. It doesn’t work out the way you anticipated. You leave bewildered and in shock at the disappointment. What now?

todmaffin.com — Whistler help needed urgently!

Agh! I just arrived in Whistler to give a presentation tomorrow morning and en route my MacBook Pro died.

controlbooth.com — Monkey Walk

1. n – A final check of a facility done before leaving to make sure you’ve packed up all your gear. The idea is that you walk through the facility and touch/ pick-up / move everything to make sure something isn’t hiding, just like a curious monkey.
usage– ” Ok we’re packed! Let’s do the monkey walk.”

Dave Paradi’s PowerPoint Blog — PowerPoint Tip: Equipment to carry when presenting

None of these items are high-end technically, but they are three of the most valuable items I carry in addition to the normal items presenters carry. Think back over your own experiences and see how often one of these pieces of equipment would have been valuable to have. Now you know why I carry them – and suggest you may want to as well.

Presentation Zen — Presentation Zen Design (the book)

As I mentioned before, I’m in the beginning stages of writing and designing another book, this one called Presentation Zen Design. For many of us, there is a hole in our education when it comes to communicating visually, and knowledge of even the basics of graphic design is missing for most people. This book intends to do its small part to help fix this problem by focusing on concrete graphic design principles and techniques in the context of presentation design, though the concepts and knowledge can be applied to other areas of one’s professional life.

FAIL Blog — News Clip Fail