When presentations go wrong!

Stage fright! Power failures! Projectors that just won’t connect! Vengeful IT guys… Oh yes, things can go horribly wrong when you’re presenting your slides.

In the case of the latter, CNET recently reported on an angry ex-employee, who just happened to be the IT manager, and broke into his CEO’s hard drive, adding naughty pictures to a PowerPoint presentation gave to a board of directors. Yikes! It happens.

So what do you do when things go belly-up? Ideaseed has some pointers to handle the four most common disasters that happening when you’re standing Up There.

I forgot my lines!
Good presentation practice is to only have 10 slides, and keep your talk to no longer than 15 to 20 minutes – so that’s not too much to parrot-learn. However, if you need that safety net, put the main points of your speech in the Notes section at the bottom of each PowerPoint slide so that you can refer to them if you need to. But DON’T leave the Notes section visible to your audience, and DON’T read from your slides – it makes you look uncertain and unprepared.

Power failure!
99% of the time your slide deck is stored on your laptop or iPad. Never walk into a boardroom or a client’s office without your presentation device fully charged. It’s good to hand out printed and bound copies of your slides with your audience AFTER your talk, but in this case won’t you be glad you had them on hand to give out BEFORE, just this once?

What’s with this projector?
Either invest in a mini projector to keep in your laptop case, or ask what make or model projector is in the boardroom a week before your talk. There is almost always an assistant to help you set up, but arrive 30 minutes early in case you need to do it yourself, or would like to set up the room.

You left the PowerPoint file at the office…
Ideaseed suggests you keep a neat Desktop, and put your correctly named PowerPoint file in the top right corner – so that it’s easy to find and you don’t accidentally open the wrong file in front of the audience. Also keep your PowerPoint or Keynote file on a cheap flash disc, which you can leave with the client if necessary. And to be extra safe, keep a copy in the cloud – on Google Docs or Dropbox.

What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you while you were doing a presentation?