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When Bad Things Happen to Great Presenters

When Bad Things Happen to Great Presenters

You have a terrific lineup of speakers and your attendees are excited to hear them. Your session starts and everything is going well…until something goes very wrong.  The technology has a major hiccup; the mic stops working, the PowerPoint presentation on the laptop rental freezes and/or the Wi-Fi goes down.

Moreover, the speaker has a melt-down at the podium because of this. It’s like a train wreck you can’t stop. But…can you? There is a way, but it requires planning and discipline.

Ways to Avoid Problems for Presenters

  1. Set standards.
    Give your presenter a PowerPoint template to work from with directives about the maximum number of slides allowed and when they need to deliver their presentation to you. Thoroughly review the presentation and back it up on your event cloud rental. Be sure the format of the presentation matches the aspect ratio of the display technology and review whether or not they need Wi-Fi access.
  2. Contractually obligate the speaker to arrive two hours early.
    Many things can be missed when a presenter wizzes into a general session or breakout room minutes before the presentation. The AV tech needs to go through the presentation, complete a sound check and make sure the mic and advancer are reviewed. The presenter also needs to have a good feel of the stage, lighting and room layout.

    Also, it is best to understand if the presenter is speaking exclusively from the podium or will be roaming around the room. If it is the latter, your AV team will need to eliminate feedback, no matter where the presenter is in the room.

  3. Have the AV tech on site stocked with spare equipment.
    Spend the extra dollars to have the AV technician in the room and go over a plan for the technology, if any piece fails. For example, if the microphone rental goes out, have a spare one to hand to the speaker. If the projector rental goes down, take a 10-minute break to change a lightbulb or swap out the projector.
  4. Make sure everyone can hear and see the presenter from the back row.
    It is one thing to test everything and have the presenter rehearse his/her presentation, but if the audience in the back can’t see or hear them, it is pointless. Sit in various back row seats to ensure visibility and sound.
  5. Hire presenters that can “roll with it.
    You want to hire a speaker that, if all else fails, can turn to written notes and continue with their talk. The PowerPoint, video and photos are aids to help cement the message. The presenter should have the knowledge and stories to awaken and motivate the audience; potentially without any aids.

Planning = Great Presentations

It is important that you have a plan that makes your event and presenters shine. Proper time for testing and rehearsals will help alleviate problems at the source. Even if you have presenters who do not charge for their engagements, ensure they follow the standards listed above. Remember, they will not speak at your event unless they think other speaking gigs will come of it.

Hartford Has the Technicians and Technology

We at Hartford Technology Rental, have certified, experienced AV technicians that are well versed on our state-of-the-art technology. Give us a call at 888-520-5667 or contact us online to see how we can help prepare your speakers for their best presentation yet!