December 17, 2009 4:09 pm | 1 Comment
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Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” I’d like to add this is especially true of meetings.
Today, I helped pitch a magazine design to a company. The meeting started an hour late due to many problems. Ironically, we all knew better that to trust technology.
First, the laptop had trouble connecting to the big screen. Neither the wired or wireless internet would work and our presentation was stored online. A group member went to her car and brought in her external hard drive. Since she has a Mac, it didn’t work with the PC laptop. Back to square one, another member tried to save the presentation on another computer to her flash drive. The presentation was too big. At this point, we moved to another meeting room, where the Internet works, and saved the presentation on another laptop. But, the computer did not open Microsoft 2007 Finally, we’re able to present and it went great.
This presentation was a great lesson for young professionals. For my next big presentation, here’s how I plan to prepare for these technological issues:
- Arrive earlier to set up. If needed, tell the client you would like to arrive a little earlier to set up the projector and computer, if needed.
- Have the presentation in a variety of forms. Mac and PC files don’t always play well together. Also, consider the fact that some people cannot open Microsoft 2007 and Internet access is not always guaranteed.
- Prepare plan B….and C and D. If your flash drive doesn’t work, what will you do? If you e-mail yourself the presentation, how will you get it if your mail server is down? If the electricity goes out, how will you continue your pitch? Preparation is key and for my next presentation, I’d like to save my files on my flash drive, e-mail and a CD. As a last resort, paper copies of the slides also would do.
What do you suggest a young professional do before a big presentation?
For more tips on being a successful young professional, check out this interview by the author of the book “Young Professional’s Guide to Success.”