Presentation Disaster: The Five Most Embarrassing Situations During Presentations and How to Avoid Them

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At this very moment, some 1.25 million presentations are being held worldwide. Unfortunately, listeners rate almost 90% of all lectures as bad, boring, or time-consuming. This is partly due to the content but also problems with the technology create disturbances—the sound is not running, the WLAN connection is on strike, or the adapter is missing.

In this blog post, we list the five most embarrassing technical glitches that can happen during presentations and how Parallels Toolbox can solve them:

1. “Hey, what’s so funny?”

Don’t let the joke be on you. An important customer presentation, all eyes on the presenter and the slides behind them…BING! Mid-presentation, a chat window pops up on screen: “Hey, this meeting is so boring!”

The solution: Just before presenting, one simple click on the Presentation Mode tool in Parallels Toolbox prevents such disasters. Notifications including emails, texts, calls, and other alerts are blocked. The Hide Desktop tool, on the other hand, instantly hides untidy desktop chaos—including distracting, confidential, or embarrassing files. After the presentation, your desktop is returned to normal in one click.

2. “Media not found.”

The speaker announces a great video—but the sound doesn’t work, or the video won’t play at all.

The solution: There are several Parallels Toolbox solutions to address this. It’s possible to download videos for the presentation in advance and save them in several formats. This means that the presenter is prepared even if the WLAN connection doesn’t work or the page won’t load. In addition, annoying buffering can be avoided.

Especially when it comes to a digital product, live demos look more professional than screenshots or photos. However, they are often associated with dependencies and variables that can kill a presentation, from no Internet connection to misplaced content. Therefore, it’s recommended to practice and record your full-screen presentation in advance using the Record Screen tool. This tool films all processes that take place within a selected area or window (or on the entire screen), uses the audio source you select (computer, input microphone, and more), and saves the recording in the desired video resolution. If the live demo fails to work, then your recorded presentation is at your fingertips so you don’t miss a beat.

3. Screensaver lockout surprise.

You take time to answer enthusiastic questions during your presentation—and your screensaver kicks in, turning your PowerPoint or Keynote slide into a distracting private photo or black screen. You anxiously mistype your password several times trying to login. Your great presentation is derailed by images that can’t be unseen or blackout disruptions.

The solution: Simply click on the Do-Not-Sleep tool, which prevents sleep mode and screensaver interruptions throughout your presentation. Turn it off with a click when you are done.

4. Your restroom break is broadcasted live.

During longer presentations, training sessions, or workshops, participants often leave the room after a while for coffee breaks or visits to the restroom. A horror scenario: You forget to  your microphone or can’t find the setting in the conferencing application. Your microphone live-broadcasts audio of your break to all attendees.

The solution: Don’t worry about knowing how to mute the microphone in every application you use. One click on the Mute Microphone tool, and the built-in microphone is blocked from use by all of your applications until you click it again to unmute.

5. Running out of time.

Good presenters know how to pack engaging useful content into presentations without running over the scheduled time. Other “timeless” presenters tend to digress and often forget the length of their presentation. Audiences dislike being made late for other scheduled commitments—and nobody likes being bored into a coma by excessive slides or talk. A snoring audience member doesn’t sound as good as applause.

The solution: Always have a great “time” when you present by using the timer in Parallels Toolbox to stay on task with your scheduled presentation.

Whether you use a PC or Mac, PowerPoint or Keynote, Parallels Toolbox is a useful suite of tools that simplifies common computing tasks with just a single click. Download videos from YouTube, clean your hard drive, Make GIFs, free up memory, resize images, and much more. It keeps getting better because new tools are added every few months. You can even click on an in-product menu to suggest new tools and features that you’d like to see added next.

Download your free trial to check it out, discover your favorite tools, and let Parallels know what tools you want next!

What are the most embarrassing presentation moments you’ve witnessed or experienced? Share your stories in a comment, or reach out to us on Facebook or Twitter.

As a communications manager for Parallels in Munich, Beatrice spends a lot of time in the social networks and is always up to date with what happens in the technology world. After having lived in Spain for four years, she misses the good weather but enjoys the beautiful Alps.

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