What To Do When Your PowerPoint Presentation Fails


What To Do When Your Powerpoint Presentation FailsSo many presentations these days rely on either Power Point or Keynote to compliment the message and to delivery key points and to drive engagement with the audience. But what do you do when your Power Point or Keynote presentation fails?

Disaster has hit, but don’t worry. There are some things you can do to overcome this and to still deliver a great speech and a great presentation.

Here are my tips on what should you do when your Power Point presentation fails?

1. Don’t Work On It Yourself

Have someone else work on it in the background if you can, but do not work on it yourself. One of the quickest ways to derail your speech and to derail the audience engagement is to be begin trying to fix your Power Point.

The audience has now gone from trying to consume your message to watching you fiddle with a computer and truthfully if I wanted to watch someone bash a keyboard I could just open my computer in front of my one-year-old son and he would start banging away on the keys.

People don’t want to watch you try and fix something, and that is the perfect opportunity for them to get their iPhone out, to get their Samsung out and to start reading e-mails and you’ve lost them completely. So, if you can have someone else work on it in the background.

2. Have a Way To Deliver Your Message Regardless

If you can’t get someone else to help you then I recommend that you have a way to deliver your message without a Power Point presentation.

I do a lot of trainings as part of my role and alongside the trainings we have Power Point presentations to support the message and support the trainings and they can be very helpful. But we will always have times when our computer dies or we don’t have a projector or there will be some issue where we can’t actually use the Power Point presentation or it fails.

So, I have practiced and I have found ways to deliver my message without a Power Point presentation.

In a smaller one on one training that might be things like using a pen and paper or just talking to them and engaging their interaction, but have a way of delivering your message without any back up and even though it may not be as 100% as good as if you had the presentation you can still delivery a great result.

3. Prepare Handouts for the Audience

Prepare handouts for the audience in case this happens. So, this is some preparation you’ll want to do in advance before you deliver your presentation

Now, your handouts can be as simple as pictures of the slides if you need that, and you can direct them to look at slide number one, slide number two, slide number three and so forth. Or it can be a handout specifically designed for Power Point presentation failure.

So, it can be specifically designed for use rather than having the pictures of the Power Point you can have kind of like a workbook or a sheet that kind of highlights the things that you want them to be able to see whether it be pictures or whether it be bullet points or whatever.

4. Use Audience Interaction

Use audience interaction or to get someone to share their story. If your Power Point presentation dies then engaging the audience by getting them to interact with your presentation is a great way to deliver the message as effectively but without any visual cues.

Or if you want to buy yourself some time so you can fiddle on your computer then get someone to share their story or their input into your presentation but don’t get them to share it to you. Because if you’re asking them about their story and they’re talking to you, you’re not paying attention because you’re on the computer.

What you want to do is get someone in the audience to start talking to the group about their experience and start getting them to share and this could buy you some time to quickly fix the problem if it is just a quick fix.

5. Have a Workshop Element During Your Presentation

If your presentation has some sort of workshop element or element where the crowd needs to do something by themselves then bring that up as quickly as possible to buy yourself time or create something that they can do immediately to buy yourself time.

Let’s say we’re giving a presentation on goal setting and we’ve got our awesome Power Point, which has pictures and moving parts and it’s awesome. It just delivers the message perfectly, but oh dear it breaks or the projector blows or whatever.

You want to at least have a go at fixing it in a couple of minutes. So, what you do is you keep going with your speech as if nothing has happened and you say, “Look, one of the really important things about goal setting is writing down your top goals and a great way of doing that is just write down all of your goals immediately in no order and then we’ll go back and look at them in order. So, let’s do that right now. Let’s write down every goal that comes to your mind. Let’s just brainstorm. Don’t put it in order. Don’t filter it. Just write down as many as you can. I’ll give you two minutes to do that.”

Bam. You just bought yourself two minutes to tinker on your computer and try and fix your presentation.

There you have my 5 tips of what to do if your Power Point or your Keynote presentation fails. As you can see these are very effective strategies to use and the audience will be none the wiser. They will think you had it planned all along!