Let’s assume a scenario. You are standing at the center of the stage under the spotlight, delivering a high-stake business presentation. Hundreds of pairs of eyes are looking at you. You started it with a bang and captivated the audience’s attention right from the first slide. All is going well, and all of a sudden, you encounter a problem with the internet connection, or the audio system crashes at a vital moment. What will you do? Well, if you are one of those seasoned speakers who are not immune to technical glitches, you will start manifesting negative body language, poor voice tone, rushed pacing, and nervousness.
After the outbreak of Covid-19, we have become heavily reliant on technology. Technology is an inevitable part of the presentation, which makes it easy for you to run a meeting, give a sales presentation, and deliver a speech from any part of the world. Undoubtedly, technology is bliss; however, there is one bitter truth associated with technology – it does break down. And, if this breakdown happens in the middle of an engaging presentation or meeting, it’s really embarrassing. Indeed, a sudden technology meltdown is beyond your control; you can certainly prepare yourself for inopportune situations in advance by having Plan B in place.
In this blog post, we have provided some tips to deal with tech failure that you encounter while delivering a presentation. Have a look!
1. Have a Backup Plan and Rehearse It
As you prepare your presentation online, think of what you will do if media will not be compatible with the computer in the conference room, files will not download on time, a particular chart or graph will not show up when required, or web servers will go offline. A backup plan well-prepared in advance can help you cope with such unexpected challenges during speech.
Here are a few tips:
- Email a copy of your presentation to the event organizer ahead of time.
- Save your presentation on an external USB drive, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
- Share your slides with the audience in the form of electronic files or hard copy handouts.
- Running your laptop on the battery is risky. So, back up your laptop with a power supply.
- Make your presentation accessible on your tablet or mobile so that you can present uninterruptedly even if your laptop fails on the big day.
- Get a hard copy of your notes. These notes will be your savior if you won’t be able to view your slides for any reason during the slideshow.
- Have backup audio adapters and cables if you are presenting sound on the video.
- Use your mobile phone’s hotspot to back up your laptop’s network.
Having a backup plan is not sufficient; you must rehearse it in the presentation room with the slides, mic, light, and sound system before the audience arrives to ensure everything is working properly. Get familiar with the gadget that you will be used for presenting the slides. Test your internet speed to refrain from the last-minute hassles. Close other applications and turn off noise notifications on your computer.
2. Know Your IT Contact
Get the contact number of the IT expert in advance and put it on the speed dial. Get in touch with him as soon as possible if a tech crisis occurs. The expert will guide you to overcome the issue or let you know the alternative solution. For an important presentation, you can request the IT expert to remain present in person so that you can give him a heads up if a problem arises.
3. Don’t Rely Too Heavily on Slides
Professionally designed slides with high-definition graphics and visuals are important supporting aids for a presenter, but you can also present without slides in case of any contingency if you know your story and key message well. So, go through your slides meticulously to get acquainted with your content. You can use your index cards or notes as memory aids to continue your presentation.
Useful Tip – You can offer to send the slides to interested audience members after the event via email.
4. Maintain Your Composure and Keep Presenting
If you are already nervous about your presentation and amidst this, if technology fails, you are sure to lose your cool. But, instead of getting overwhelmed, stay calm. Take deep breaths, apologize to your audience for the inconvenience caused, and carry on. Trust your own instincts; you can impress your audience even if the technology ditches you.
The Bottom Line
Technical issues happen. Don’t let such glitches stop your show! Instead of panicking, unveil your level of confidence and professionalism by dealing with tech mishaps calmly and dexterously. And don’t forget to conduct a risk analysis and keep a well-thought-out plan prepared beforehand to reduce the risk of technology tripping you up.
We have covered a few ways to save you from tech issues. Hope they will work best for you whenever you need them in the future. Share your tips and suggestions with us in the “Comment” section below. And if you find the blog post insightful, do share it on your social media handle.