Sunday, September 26, 2010

ARCHIVE : How to fail in a product presentation

How to fail in a product presentation

1. Have a massive technical problem

Say for example, use a laptop that freezes even after several dry runs. One that fucks up when you really need it not to. If you are in an actual presentation it would be best that you have a back-up for this. In the event that technology takes a back seat, it's best to use charm to cover up the boo-boo to make sure that your audience's interest doesn't flank. Make sure that you keep good eye contact, being shifty-eyed during this time adds to the image that you are incompetent.

2. Get the most nervous wreck to be your presenter

Most people do not like to be the one in front of others. So if you need to have someone do it, then it should be someone who can stop the shaking of their hands and the chattering of their teeth. Finding someone who won't bat an eyelash in answering a difficult answer is essential. It should also be someone with excellent grasp of grammar and has the most neutral or American accent. (This would depend on the audience of course. It's best that the presenter does not fail in this part since this is the bulk of what the audience would here.) It physically hurts to hear words said incorrectly. This would distract the audience from the message so it's best to shake the nerves and local accent off your presenter before you let him or her in front of the dogs.

3. Do not have the correct numbers drawn up

If you are asked for a figure that you don't know. It is best that you know it. So the moral of the story is, even if it's not in the graphs that you made, make sure that you have the math down so that you don't have to magically come up with a calculation when you don't really have time to verify it.

4. Ask for an audience participation

In a seminar this works. But in a product presentation, it's best to make sure that your audience knows when to ask or interject. This would help with the flow of your presentation. If the rules in the meeting are not established, this might lead the to a lot more confusion at the end of the presentation.

5. Go on and on about some kind of trend

Go direct to the point. What is the trend that influences the making of the product? Say it in less than four sentences. If you have a long introduction, the audience would insist that you just say what you want to say. Time is precious to these people. Every second counts so the longer your introduction, the lesser time you have talking about your product. And that is just not right.


This is a rant blog. Some of the points are true but most of it is just me being pissy about the presentation we made for a business class uptraining for work. We are supposed to train new students who are mostly businessmen and women. There would be a book regarding business english so they tried to gauge the skills of the teachers with this exercise.

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