Right on the edge of useful

And Yet Another Worst Presentation Moment

Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2006 2:13:45 PM by Kim


Hey! We have a meme going! Our worst presentation moments.

OK, I have several, including the time I reset the clock on my laptop and lost the trial software I was going to demo, as well as the time the "network guys" decided to unplug the router to the room where I was presenting to over 200 people. Oh those were good alright.

But my first disaster goes back to my college days. I was in ROTC at the time, not because I wanted to be an Army officer necessarily, but mostly to get a little $$$ to help me finish college. So, in one of our courses we were tasked to provide an executive briefing. Hey, no problem. I'm not afraid of public speaking.

In addition to ROTC I was also working in the university cafeteria in the morning, also to help pay my way through school. That tended to leave me ready for a nap after work and classes, and on the day of my first big presentation that's exactly what I did. I had plenty of time before my late afternoon ROTC class. 

Until I overslept.

 Then it was a mad dash to throw on some clothes, jump on my bike, and pedal over to the ROTC building. Whew! Just in time, and with all my notes in hand I took a deep breath, gave my presentation, and was actually quite proud of myself. It's not easy to go from a dead sleep to a 30 minute formal presentation like that, but I thought I did quite well, thank you.

At the end of my presentation the instuctor sat me down and reviewed my performance.


"OK, your speaking skills are strong, you did a good job of maintaining eye contact, and your handouts were good. You seemed to understand the topic and your research was solid. I just have one question."

"Uh, what's that?"

"Who dressed you today?"

 "Dressed me? I don't think I understand."

"Well, your shirt is on inside-out. I'm guessing you didn't do that for dramatic effect."

Sure enough, as I looked down at my shirt I could see the pockets hanging out, the seams for my shirt, and well, just about everything you'd expect to see when the wrong side of a shirt is facing out.

Yeah, I survived that one, but I still keep that experience in the back of my mind anytime I go to do a presentation. Handouts? Check! Training materials? Check!

Clothing on correctly?


Category tags: On the Personal Side

Another worst presentation moment

Posted Tuesday, August 22, 2006 12:52:28 PM by Heidi Bautista

Heidi Bautista

Cast your memories back to the early 80's when guitar music was all the rage in midwestern Catholic churches. I'm around 12 years old and not nearly as good with my guitar as my older brother and sister. Nonetheless, I get roped into playing during mass. Our priest was from the "old school." Definitely liked old fashioned organ music better. Anyway, it's spring in Michigan. In fact, it's time to spring-forward. You know what that means, right? Yeah, yeah, reset all the clocks. Not in my family, though. We always forgot to reset them. So, of course, our family gets to the church late. The priest has already begun and is singing the old fashioned organ music - a capella, no less! My parents "encourage" me to get up there and do my guitar thing. I do. Some of the people out there in the pews respond but the priest doesn't. I don't think he intentionally ignored me. But he was really old! So after a few half-hearted attempts, I slink back down to join my family in the front pew. We never spoke of it again.

Oh, and I'm still scared of public speaking. I did perform music in public again. Never guitar, though. That was it for me.

Category tags: Blogs and Blogging, On the Personal Side, This and That