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And When Technology Fails? – The Importance of Studying the Presentation

And When Technology Fails? – The Importance of Studying the Presentation

On March 2018, we attended a conference on Augmented Intelligence, called CONVERGE, which took place at the Kirchner Cultural Centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The event was attended by many speakers coming from various areas and from different industries. Speakers from companies like Amazon, Google, Telefónica, among others, were present and made their presentations. Everyone, without exception, counted on the precious help of a PowerPoint or a keynote presentation. They were, in general, simple slides, which resorted in particular to images and key concepts, as we always recommend in Slide Lab.

However, what led us to write this blog post were not the simple slides, or the presentations that went well, but a presentation that at some point was let down by technology.

One of the first presentations was made by Martín Migoya, CEO of Globant, the company that created and sponsored the conference CONVERGE.

Martín was five minutes into his presentation and his entire speech was illustrated with the images and visuals that were appearing on the giant screens that were behind him. The images and visuals made his message clearer and helped to explain and transmit more immediately everything he wanted to share.

But against all expectations, especially in an event of this magnitude, where the audience full of directors and managers expected the best of the best, the technology failed. Suddenly, some technical error caused all the screens to go black, showing nothing.

And when technology fails… what do you do?, we thought – and so did all the people present in the audience.

Martín looked back and realized that he no longer counted on the visual support of his presentation. In an improvised (but almost planned) way, he took the flash cards where he had written down the general outline of his speech and carried on with his presentation. The audience continued to see their speaker go on with his presentation, almost as if nothing had happened.

After a few minutes, the screens turned back on, the PowerPoint was on display again and Martín, put his cards away and finished his presentation brilliantly.

From this story, from this real life example, we can draw several conclusions:

1 – The importance of studying your presentation well

The first of all is, in fact, to do your homework. Always, always prepare for your presentation in advance and know your speech well.

2 – Do not rely on PowerPoint to make your presentation

In order to do this, practice your presentation with and without the support of PowerPoint. As we have seen, technology can fail, and it does fail, even in the most inconvenient times. So, it is important to know how to continue with our presentation without resorting to any technology.

3 – Make flash cards of the general ideas of your presentation

That way, if technology fails, you‘ll always have a plan B to rely on.

4 – Always expect the unexpected

Even when you have practiced, tested, and checked everything, something might fail – let that not be the end of the world. Be prepared to carry on even when everything else fails. For this, it is important to go on “stage” relaxed. There are relaxation and concentration exercises that actors do before entering a scene that can help you. For example: take a deep breath several times; close your eyes and visualise yourself making your presentation in a brilliant way…

Therefore, when technology fails, a well-prepared presenter continues the presentation and manages to achieve their goal, to pass on their message effectively to the audience.