radio studio broadcast-boom

DJ’s, Techincal Issues, and your presentation

This morning I dropped my daughter at school and was driving to the office. I had the radio on, listening to the second largest breakfast radio show in Sydney.  The presenters (Jonesy and Amanda) were talking away (as radio dj’s tend to do too frequently) and were about to play a Michael Jackson song. Unfortunately, for them, there was a technical “glitch” and their computers froze and the music wouldn’t play…

Radio hosts are masters of following a script and delivering it in an entertaining, conversational manner – making it sound spontaneous (anybody else recognise this as the way to deliver a great presentation??). For Jonesy and Amanda this morning the technical gremlin forced them off script. For those of us in the audience; there was an obvious scramble and tension in the studio. Their voices changed as they went “impromptu”, and their style was different for the few minutes whilst the gremlins were ushered out of the system allowing the Michael Jackson song to start playing. They were unprepared for the technical issue and they struggled to find things to talk about on air.

If a major radio station can encounter failures, with the significant dollars they invest in “fail safe” systems what chance do you have delivering your presentation with a simple laptop and projector?

It is not IF you will get a technical failure it is WHEN you encounter a technical problem.

How you handle it will determine the success of your presentation. You can’t rely on technology in a presentation. You must be able to deliver successfully without it.

If your presentation crashes with the technical failure your reputation and credibility will be severely diminished. If, however, you deliver a confident speech (in spite of the technical difficulties) your reputation, and the reputation of your organisation will be elevated in the eyes of your audience. More so than if you had simply delivered a polished presentation with no technical issues.

Jonesy and Amanda struggled to improvise in the face of adversity as technology forced a script change on them. You must be able to deliver a polished presentation – even when a script changed is forced upon you.

Mark Kyte
Mark Kyte is a public speaking mentor and founder of the Public Speaking Skills Academy. Mark loves helping clients achieve dynamic results that help them increase their influence and get more clients. Read more of his blog and if you like what you see check out the mentoring programs.