Category Archives: #FriendsandFamilyFriday

To Be a Better Presenter, Prepare for Floods (or Anything!)

A recent office flood reminds us to prepare for ANY eventuality when we speak or present!

This post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group

Last week, we narrowly escaped a technological catastrophe… We had a total flood in our office. Gallons of water rained down from the ceiling directly above the desk in our webinar presentation space.

We’d only been in our new office space for a month when we heard the sound of running water. Upon investigation, we discovered water gushing through the ceiling, directly onto the computer, monitor and phone in our webinar room. A leak in the office above ours had caused a sudden flood of water to burst through the ceiling and into our office.

The computer was flooded, the desk was drenched, and the seat soaked. The water showered down in the exact spot I had been sitting to deliver a Webex just hours before. After we salvaged the brand new computer equipment, we reflected on the situation. “What would you have done,” my colleagues asked, “if you were teaching a Webex during the flood?” I burst out laughing—“Imagine if it were a video class? I almost wish it had been!”

In our workshops, we teach people how to keep their cool and be prepared for unexpected interruptions when they present; PowerPoint failures, ringing cellphones, and late arrivals can serve as major distractions to a presenter. We teach people how to command executive presence and demonstrate confidence in all sorts of situations. Regardless of the distraction, it pays to be prepared and expect the unexpected. What would we have done if the flood had happened while we were live with clients? If it were an audio call, it wouldn’t have been obvious to the listeners, but I would have had to acknowledge the sudden downpour. We could take a break and resume the workshop from a colleague’s desk down the hall.

We can’t ever predict every eventuality, but we can think on our feet and try to maintain our cool. Remember that the audience will take your lead on the situation. If you’re able to continue your presentation without skipping a beat, they will likely dismiss the distraction and stay with you. If you need to address the situation, do so quickly and return to your agenda. If you find yourself suddenly soaked in the middle of live call, after the initial shock, be honest.  We’re all human and life is unpredictable— your candor will win you credibility with your audience.

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at

Sheryl Sandberg and the Value of Sharing Your Story

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. The media maelstrom around Sheryl Sandberg’s latest book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy stirred up almost as much public attention as it did emotion for me. First a friend sent me the link to a television interview,… Continue Reading

Your Colleagues Will Build a Statue in Your Honor

In nearly every workshop I teach, I ask a question that sounds something like this: “How many of you attend too many meetings that run long?” Nearly every hand goes up, every time. “How many of you get too many emails that are too overwhelming to read?” Nearly every hand goes up, every time. “How… Continue Reading

Exploring Your Personal Brand

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. Last week I had the pleasure of teaching personal branding at a Women’s Leadership Conference for one of our clients. It was an incredible event—women from across the country gathered to share experiences and learn together at an annual retreat. Like… Continue Reading

To Change the Minds of Others, Change This About Yourself

Some of our most popular blog posts lately have been about how we communicate with each other, and the divide that’s so often formed when we’re faced with an opinion or viewpoint different from our own. And while there are plenty of examples we’ve written about from our President on this subject, it’s certainly not limited to… Continue Reading

Kathrine Switzer and the Boston Marathon: A Lesson in Empowerment

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. This week was the 121st running of the Boston Marathon. Boston is unlike any other marathon; the course, the crowds, and its history make it unique. This year was especially significant– it was the 50th anniversary of the first woman to… Continue Reading

United Airlines: Every Day is a Job Interview

Like many of you, I watched the video of the United Airlines passenger being dragged off a flight with horror and sadness. It was an awful scene, and for those of you who have not heard the story, here are the basics… passengers had boarded a flight in Chicago, bound for Louisville. It was a… Continue Reading

4 Communication Missteps Men Make in the Workplace

Earlier today, I had a LinkedIn conversation with a good friend named Bryan, who also happens to be a member of Latimer’s Board of Advisors. Bryan had read a recent blog post of ours about the language mistakes some women make in the workplace. And Bryan’s request and challenge to me was now to write… Continue Reading

What Happens When “The Plan” Falls Through?

“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” – Mike Tyson People love to plan. Everyone has a plan. You can’t do anything in today’s world without a plan. But having a plan is only part of the equation… and I would say it is the easy part. The harder part of… Continue Reading

Authenticity, Confidence, and Executive Presence

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. By now you have probably seen the hilarious BBC news clip of the Political Science Professor being interrupted during a live television interview. His children barged into his office—the smiling toddler in yellow, followed by an enthusiastic baby in a walker.… Continue Reading

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