What to do when things turn UGLY

So what do you do when everything goes wrong during a presentation?

Well, that's exactly what happened to me during my first two presentations at the GKIC SuperConference this week. On Wednesday, I'm scheduled to do a bonus presentation, before the official start of the event,  for people who bought a certain product When I get to the room, there are peeps waiting for me but no AV setup. Since my presentation was supposed to be visually based, this was somewhat of a problem.

The AV scurried to try and get it set up and they did. But, uh, oh, they had an older version of Keynote on their computer and it wouldn't play the version I was using. You'd think a professional crew would keep up with things like that, especially when I told them ahead of time I was using Keynote. So my planned presentation was not going to happen.

Yesterday morning was the official opening of the event. I'm not only doing four presentations but I'm also the emcee so I'm opening the show. After the AV crew had trouble getting opening video to play, I got on stage and got the entire audience to participate in a cool, mass group magic trick. Now it's time for me to show my slides.

The crew assured me they updated their version of Keynote so there wouldn't be a problem. And they were right. There were no problems with Keynote BUT the damn remote clicker was malfunctioning. Click. Click. Click. No slides advancing, no animation on the slides. No nothing.

So how did I handle both of these situations? In scenario one, I just winged it for 90 minutes. Because I knew my subject manner inside and out, I gave a kick-ass presentation with no slides. I went with the flow and the audience loved it.

In scenario two, I improvised and made light of the situation which in turn made the audience laugh. Let there be no doubt, I was pissed but never let the audience see that.

When you run into issues, you have two choices. You can stamp your feet, get frustrated, let it ruin your performance and your audiences experience or you improvise and go with it. I have seen "professional" speaker after speaker totally lose their cool, get flustered and crumble under the pressure of problems instead of going with the flow and simply doing the best they can.

My little tale of woe really is a life lesson, isn't it? There are times when unexpected things are going to arise. Things you can't control. But there is always something you can control…your RESPONSE them.

Kick butt, make mucho DEEnero!

Dave Dee

P.S. The mind map that illustrates how you can magnetically attract a flood of your best customers, clients or patients is flying of the shelf. You should get you one, if you haven't already.