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The Weekly Might Have Missed List (09/19/10)

associationTECH — Tech the Mic…Tech 1…Tech 2…Tech Tech Tech

It seems absurd the amount of preparation that goes into a session only to have the session falter at the end because of an AV situation that could easily have been avoided. A great example is a session I went to about using video for associations. Great information and examples were shared there, but the first presenter kept struggling with a slow connection whenever she wanted to play a video. The first couple of times I felt sorry for her, but after that I grew annoyed. Why didn’t she have a backup plan for something as finicky as video? Why didn’t she have some videos stored directly on her laptop, so she didn’t have to rely on the internet? Had she checked her connection and the buffering time before the presentation?

Life in the Corporate Theater — Let the Games Begin (Dispatch from Moscow)

We immediately decided to have the AV Vendor show us all of the equipment so that we wouldn’t have any surprises as 7:00 pm.

To start off, we requested a 16 channel mixer, with a minimum of 10 XLR inputs. They provided a 12 channel mixer with 8 XLR Inputs. We requested a minimum of 4 channels of graphic equalizers, and they provided 1 channel. We asked about the wireless microphones, and fortunately, the 5 microphones we requested were there, all thrown kinda loosely in a case. They informed us that they had  “Madonna” mics and we asked if they had regular Lavalier mics. They said they did, but that the “Madonna” mics worked much better. We told them that we understood that, but that the presenters would never wear a Madonna style headset mic. It turns out that the Lav mics are omni directional, and I am going to have to struggle against feed back for sure.

Next they showed us the video switcher, and while it was a lot closer to being right than the DJ Mixer that they gave us in St Petersburg, it was only a two channel input switcher and we need four channels.

We asked about cables for everything and while they may have brought enough for what they thought we would need, it was clear that they underestimated what we really needed and we had to make a quick inventory on paper of what we wanted.

ReadyTalk — Conference Blunder Contest (The blunder with the most votes winds two round trip airline tickets)

We had just released our the 3.0 version of our product and had a showcase webinar. It was our largest webinar ever with 1023 people on the line. After telling everyone we would begin in just a couple minutes our CTO left his office for some water and locked himself out. He tried looking for a key and attempted to jimmy the door open, but no good. So in his best Starsky and Hutch impersonation he body slammed the door to break it down. We moved to bigger offices a month ago and that door cost us $800 to replace!

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

Ellen Finkelstein — Outstanding Presentations Workshop

Learn from the Top Presentation Experts in the World!
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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

Bookmarked: Remote Public Speaking The Right Way – CIO.com

Remote Public Speaking The Right Way – CIO.com – "So imagine my distress when I discovered how nerve-wracking a solo webinar performance can be. By the end of it, I was out of breath, twitchy with nerves and having trouble swallowing—like a 12-year-old getting halfway through Debussy's "Claire de Lune" before freezing at the keyboard. (My mother never let me forget that one.)"

The Weekly Might Have Missed List (06/21/09)

FAILBlog: Theater Fail

Theme Park Rangers: Celebrate a Dream Come True nearly washed away

I have never seen a parade disintegrate before my eyes, but that’s what happened in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Thursday when I watched the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade nearly wash away. … The princess float got stuck halfway down Main Street. I don’t know if that was because the street was so flooded or just an unfortunate coincidence, but by the time I squished down there, it was stopped dejectedly, Goofy and Donald’s finale float trapped behind it — and the rest of the parade was no longer in sight, having high-tailed it past the castle and into Frontierland. [Nicely detailed story. Includes photos.]

Webinar Wire — Webinar Public Chat: Be Careful What You Ask For

I just finished attending a webinar that at least by certain measures was an unmitigated disaster.

Backstage at BackstageJobs.com — A final thing about the Tonys and Bret Michaels

In a one-time performance with minimal rehearsal, any scene changes should be watched carefully for anyone out of place, or any scenery endangering anyone.  Awards shows and one-time events never go exactly as planned, which is why they are always more difficult than a show done night after night.  Someone should have been watching, and someone should have stopped the piece.

controlbooth.com — What to do when waiting for a show to start

I check cues, stay on headset to make sure nothing comes up preshow backstage electrics-wise, make sure that no one tries to use the internet on the show control computer that runs sound and sometimes MIDI (this has come so close to having very bad consequences before), and surfing the internet on my laptop which is next to the console.

Dave Paradi’s PowerPoint Blog — PowerPoint Tip: Reformatting a presentation

What should be easy turns into a nightmare with content moving all over the place and hours spent reformatting each slide by hand.

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