Tips to Avoid a Presentation Nightmare

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Delivering important information in a presentation or teleconference and suddenly........
              -Your mind goes blank
              -You forget what to say
              -Your computer freezes
              -You run out of battery power

You are not alone. Famous celebrities have their problems too. Just ask Michael Bay. Around a year ago he was delivering a key-note speech for Samsung and suddenly his tele-prompt froze. After a minute of looking very embarrassed and awkward he ran off stage. Click here to watch video

Two pieces of good news;

  1. Mistakes make you look human

Delivering a presentation is a high pressured event. Most people understand this and can be forgiving. It is more a case of how you handle the situation. You may even be able to turn a mistake into a win (read on)

  1. Not all mistakes are picked up on by the audience

By stopping and constant apologising you draw attention to a problem or issue. In some situations the audience hasn’t even realized there is an issue.

Some tips to avoid the nightmare:

Before the event:

  1. Don’t use a scripted speech. Go for a more free-style approach (which is rehearsed). Break your presentation into bite-size chunks and know your main points. Try to allocate 33% of your total preparation time to rehearsal.
  2. Use a written memory jogger. This is a piece of paper which the audience cant see which you can refer to if you forget information. You may not need it but subconsciously it will put your mind at ease.

During the event:

  1. Don’t blame someone else – doenst matter who is at fault – there is a problem. Try to fix it or continue.
  2. Smile. Never forget the power of the smile.
  3. Try a little humour or a quick story. Can alleviate tension. If for example you are delivering a presentation to a large audience and a technical problem occurs you could say something like  “Proof that this speech is live and not recorded”  (ho ho)

Steve Jobs once had some problems with his animation and then went on to deliver a story about technical problems at Apple with Steve Wozniak. Click here to watch this video (on You Tube). 

In summary, nightmares can strike at any time. Try to prepare for them as much as possible. It is also very possible for you to make a "save" from one of these scenarios. After all look at how much publicity Samsung received from this event.