3 Tips for Preventing Technology From Ruining Your Presentation

A hard day at work

It’s happened to all of us: the presentation has been meticulously rehearsed, the PowerPoint deck is cued up, the audience is waiting patiently, and then the webinar connection drops or the computer suddenly dies. It’s a nightmare, but it’s one that’s possible to recover from. Here are three ways to prevent a technical snag from ruining a presentation.

Prepare for a bad presentation, not a good one

Blogger Heather Armstrong once described how she prepared for her young daughter’s piano recital by being as loud and distracting as possible while she practiced. The theory, presumably, was that if she’s prepared to play a piece in a loud room, she’ll certainly be prepared to play it in a quiet recital space.

Preparation alone won’t prevent technology glitches, so it doesn’t make sense to only plan and prepare for your presentation to go exactly as planned. Have a clear plan for what you’ll do if the computer freezes or the livestream fails.

Know how you’ll win your audience back

Shari Alexander recently took a creativeLIVE course taught by Joey Coleman. Describing her experience, Shari writes on Entrepreneur, “On day three of the seminar, the live feed cut out and people watching online were not happy…Brilliantly, Joey turned what could have been a nightmare into a fantastic teachable moment. He tied the problem into lessons in his speech.”

A technical problem integrated perfectly with the material in Joey’s course, which covered customer satisfaction, but even if you aren’t able to directly tie your audience’s frustration into your presentation, there are other ways to win them back. Shari goes on to explain, “Then, he graciously offered additional content and a bonus webinar as a way of saying ‘Thanks for sticking with us.’”

Rely on your content

Bells and whistles and technological enhancements can undeniably strengthen a presentation and keep an audience more engaged. But at its core, each presentation is a simple delivery of information to your audience. If that content is clear and engaging, technical issues can’t wreck a presentation continue.

Before you go into a presentation, make sure you know your content — and make sure you’ll know how to carry on if something goes wrong. It might be as simple as making sure that you have a physical, printed copy of the outline for your presentation or your powerpoint slides.

Sources: Entrepreneur, Dooce


Lauren Hoffman FOLLOW >

Lauren Hoffman lives and writes in Seattle, Washington. By day, she's a freelance writer and editor; by night, she's at work completing a book-length non-fiction project, Up High Down Low.