Tag Archives: Leadership

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 info@TheLatimerGroup.com

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

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

3 Simple Changes to Give Your Meetings Fresh Perspective

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. This week our team sat around a conference table with a consultant and after half an hour, he looked at us and said, “Maybe we should pause this discussion.” It was an unusual situation; typically we’re brought in as consultants and… Continue Reading

Be the Fearless Girl. Stare Down the Bull!

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. State Street Global Advisors pulled off a brilliant coup with its surprise installation of the “Fearless Girl” on Wednesday morning to acknowledge International Women’s Day. State Street has been advocating to increase the number of women in leadership roles and sitting on… Continue Reading

Leadership Tips: When to Debate, When to Dictate

I’m working with an executive right now who has an interesting and engaging leadership style. He likes to collaborate, he likes dialogue, he wants to hear what people have to say. He allows lots of input, and seems to detest strict hierarchy. I like this style, actually, because it is similar to my own. But… Continue Reading

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