Find us on Google+

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How to Deal with a Technology Glitch, ala Steve Jobs

Lifehacker highlighted the presentation prowess of Steve Jobs. At the iPhone 4 launch he hit a little snag when the phone wouldn't connect to the wi-fi network. But instead of ruining his presentation, he took it in stride and just kept going. He used humor and his relationship with the audience to defuse the situation and things went on.

I have had mixed results at this in my experience. Sometimes I get distracted by trying to fix the problem or I talk about the problem and end up drawing attention to it when most people wouldn't have noticed. I need to develop in this area.

There are a few things that Jobs does that help him. First, he practices his presentations until he knows them flawlessly. These are meticulously scripted events that he appears to be delivering impromptu. Next, move on if possible. There are several occasions where Jobs has just skipped the glitchy part and moved on and the audience barely noticed. If you need to make this point, take a second to collect yourself. If you are silent for a short time while you look into the issue, that will work far better than stammering as you fiddle with your laptop. Finally, remember that you are the presenter. It's not your technology or your PowerPoint (er . . . Keynote) or your video clip. A good presentation is only possible with a good presenter.

How do you deal with tech problems when you preach?

No comments: