You’ve been asked to present a twenty-minute talk about your business at your networking luncheon. You’ve created a beautiful PowerPoint presentation – in fact, you’ve spent hours creating this interesting piece of art. You get to the venue early, the group gathers as you set up your computer, but the show doesn’t work.
What do you do?
- Refuse to speak because your PowerPoint is not working as planned? After all, it’s perfect and you can present at a later date when the equipment is co-operating.
- Wing it? Ditch the slide slow and speak from your heart – it’s your business so you’ll find something entertaining to share.
This happened recently at one of my networking luncheons and the speaker stated she would not speak if she could not get the show working as planned because her presentation just wouldn’t be the same. She said she would have to reschedule. I was shocked to say the least. I had a room full of people anticipating the planned (and promoted) presentation.
So if this happens to you, remember, you are there to talk about some aspect of your business – and since it’s about YOU, that should be easy. Here are a few things you can do if you find yourself in a similar spot.
- PowerPoint and videos are nice but always assume they will not work – have notes or handouts ready so you don’t miss key points in your message.
- Talk about your experience with a recent client or project.
- Ask the audience what their biggest questions/concerns are around your “field” and share answers.
- Share your story…how you became the expert you are and what struggles and joys you have encountered along the way.
Technology is a quirky thing. Don’t let your audience (or event planner) down by refusing to speak if things don’t work out. Always have a back up plan and your professionalism will shine.