For the past few months I’ve been collecting real-life horror stories for my upcoming book on career-limiting presentations. And there is one theme that is coming through loud and clear: technology-related fails.
From presenters tripping over wires and exploding projectors to email alerts popping up on screen throughout, technology seems to be a common problem. But there are plenty of measures we can take to ensure technology works for us, rather than against us.
Of course, there are cases where technology fails are out of our control (if it can happen to Steve Jobs). The best thing you can do? Keep your composure. Having an ‘in case of emergency’ anecdote prepared and practiced will allow you to keep your cool until the problem is fixed. In the meantime, your audience will be behind you 100%. You should always have a hard copy too, so you can carry on even in case of complete technology failure.
There will be plenty more in my book, but for now, here are a few simple pointers to think about before presenting:
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Think about the speakers you admire, and you’ll notice that they share a common trait: they have all mastered how to use effective pauses. The humble pause is often overlooked, but it really shouldn’t be …
The presentation is your chance to shine. You are away from the constraints of just answering questions.
“What’s your X-Factor?”
Treat it as your opportunity to show others what makes you unique.
Recently we ran an event for the 40 members of the global sales team of a multi-national, working with them to ‘Tame their Public Speaking Monkeys’ and help them increase their confidence when presenting.