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Phil Simon

Award-Winning AuthorDynamic Keynote Speaker
Workplace-Technology Guru • Advisor Professor

When A/V Issues Attack

Talks rarely go off without a hitch. Don't act like Michael Bay.
Jan | 8 | 2014
Michael BayGadgetFEST 2014, aka CES, is in full swing. More than 3,000 vendors are here to hawk their wares. Wearable technology is one of the major themes and there seem to be more car-related exhibits than in years past.

Much of the early buzz, though, wasn’t about a new doohickey or newfangled idea. It was about a much more mundane device. Filmmaker Michael Bay had a meltdown when his teleprompter malfunctioned:

Sometimes, fleas come with the dog. Deal with it. If you must, act like a diva later.


Anyone who has spoken more than a few times has probably had this happen at some point. For several of my speaking gigs, I have encountered major technical issues after I had already begun. I even had to restart in Houston about a year ago. Frustrating? Without question. My response has always been to make a joke and try to laugh it off. Most of the time, attendees don’t miss a beat. No one has ever thrown fruit at me. They just whip out their smart phones, tablets, and laptops.

Simon Says

Yeah, we can put a man on on the moon, but A/V problems are lamentably common. Bay should have handled it better. Much better. Sometimes, fleas come with the dog. Deal with it. If you must, act like a diva later.

Bottom line: Talks rarely go off without a hitch. It’s best to hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Know the material well enough so you can, in Bay’s owns words, “wing it.” He clearly did not–and, at the risk of being insensitive, didn’t exactly come off as professional.


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