Sat in on a presentation today that in one short hour will likely fill the blog for weeks to come. First, there was a web element (remote attendees via LiveMeeting) to the meeting. The presenter didn’t know how to work the technology, and had to solicit help. Not in and of itself a horrible thing, though one wonders why someone would use a technology they hadn’t taken the time to learn (LiveMeeting isn’t that hard). When the backup techie gal showed up (and fixed the ‘problem’ with two mouse clicks in about five seconds) the presenter said, “If you could not look at her for a minute…“, presumably wanting the attention all on herself.So let’s get this straight. You don’t know how to work the equipment, which causes us to start late. And rather than have an engaging element to start with, you segue by telling us not to look at a person who is fiddling with the screen, which contains your entire presentation. So I’m confused. Why again are you the presenter and what am I supposed to be looking at?This horrific start could have been avoided on so many levels. First and foremost, KNOW AND TEST THE EQUIPMENT. If help must be called, have them at the ready, not delaying a dozen folks’ time. Even then, every presenter should know about the A/V mute button on a projector. This button instantly cuts off the projection beam, while keeping the unit on so that it can be toggled back into view mode with another click of the button.Lastly, asking your audience to not pay attention to something that is the center of attention is just not going to work.If you don’t have something to capture their attention over the distraction, it’s probably best to wait until the distraction can be removed.
Remove obvious distractions of every type.