Murphy's Law of Presenting With Technology

By Gilda Bonanno

Murphy’s Law states that whatever can go wrong, will.  And when you’re giving a presentation using any kind of technology, from a projector to a phone, Murphy’s Law definitely applies.  I’ve seen or experienced all of these examples, and while some can be prevented or prepared for, they are all nerve-wracking when they occur!

1.    If you are hosting a conference call on your cell phone, the call will drop at the most crucial moment of the discussion.

2.    The battery on your lavaliere microphone will die out slowly, causing your voice to break in and out - before finally quitting completely at the high point of your presentation (and just as the A/V tech has left the room).

3.    The battery on your PowerPoint remote control will suddenly go haywire, causing your presentation to jump forward and back like it’s possessed.

4.    The wireless network in your meeting room will kick you off during a live presentation, moments after you’ve been ensured that the network is stable and told your audience that there will be no problem accessing it live during your presentation.

5.    In the middle of your slide presentation, your laptop will begin downloading automatic updates and then shut down and restart slowly to fully install those updates. 

6.    The webinar software you’re using will stop working for no reason at all, but only once everyone has joined the webinar and only if your most important client or partner is participating.

7.    If you are using a wired headset to connect to a conference call, the wire will inexplicably stop working (perhaps due to yanking it one too many times, when you forgot you were tethered) and it will take you 6 minutes to realize that people can’t hear you.

8.    The mute button will malfunction on the speaker phone that you’re using for your conference call, which you’ll only realize after you’ve made a negative comment about someone on the call.

9.    The microphone will emit eardrum-piercing feedback in the first few seconds of your presentation, even after you’re done a sound check.

10.   The bulb on the slide projector will blow out during your slide presentation - and there will be no replacement bulb within a 4 mile radius.


© Gilda Bonanno

Gilda Bonanno helps you transform your communication, presentation and leadership skills so you can have more confidence, influence and success. She has worked with leading organizations, including GE, Travelers, Praxair, Assa Abloy, Wells Fargo and Yale University, on four continents from Chicago to Shanghai and Rio to Rome.

Since 2006, Gilda has delivered thousands of in-person programs, her YouTube channel has received over 1 million views and her digital newsletter has reached subscribers in over 45 countries since 2008.

Gilda has a proven track record of partnering for results with people in a variety of industries and at all organizational levels, from C-level executives to sales teams to frontline managers.  She collaborates with them to help them lead more effectively, communicate more clearly and create and deliver more powerful and engaging presentations so they get results.

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