During presentations occasionally things go wrong. When things do not go as expected the key is not to panic and stay calm. How many times have you sat through a presentation or training session and heard the line “It normally works at this point”, or “It worked fine this morning?" These lines are not what you want to hear as a delegate. As a delegate you want to see the product in its best light.
There are circumstances when something might go amiss which could have amusing connotations.
These are generally outside the presenter’s control. This small burst in unscripted humour can be both a pause for breath for the audience and for you as the presenter to take a valuable few seconds to compose ready for the next important topic of the presentation.
What we will focus on are those items that are under your control as a presenter.
Software updates are one of the most dangerous areas for presenters. Even more so in the current climate of tablets where automatic updates can be enabled, PC users will be familiar with experiencing Windows updates. These updates can have a dramatic effect if your computer connects to a WiFi network. An update can take place, which invariably slows the computers performance for a short while. More often than not this leads to the computer needing a reboot. If the reboot notification is not cancelled the computer can shut down halfway through your presentation. For that reason try to have automatic updates switched off.
Virus software can work in a similar way slowing down the computer performance whilst updates are taking place. For most tasks this may not even be noticed but start playing a video during a presentation and loading may become an issue, let alone performance. Therefore we recommend switching off these updates also.
Office connectivity provides a standard and expected way of working, with shared diaries, email, interactive whiteboards and files stored online. Presentations in offices do provide their own set of problems. Make sure during your presentation that email is switched off. The group of delegates or key business figures do not want to see a notification pop on the screen stating you have an email from a friend inviting you to a drunken party that evening, fancy dress optional. The same can be said for any active social media sites you may be running.
Upgrades in software do provide many opportunities for the presenter and trainer to fall down. Small changes in layout when you are in full flight during a presentation of software can lead to the thought of “Where has that icon disappeared too”. Alternatively new icons appear in unexpected position.
Importantly as well, do not leave it to chance that old files will automatically load. New software may prevent older file versions loading or if they do load check that they open and that the layout is as expected.
Therefore be vigilant when upgrading software, always run through and experience the upgraded version as much as possible ahead of a presentation.
By following these tips your presentations will run smoother and without any unwelcome intrusion.