Nintendo of America President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Reggie Fils-Aime has a reputation for being pretty calm and deliberate in his presenting style. It goes with the job. But his charm and poise were disturbed when he started a recent Nintendo presentation in New York. His aim was to launch the new Nintendo 3DS and announce its critical price point and sales date to watching industry hacks.
But his teleprompter was dead. Yes, it had worked earlier, but now it was dead.
His reaction seemed graceless. It was as if he didn’t know what to do. We wondered whether his stage presence was simply about reading the prompter.
Because without it he had no plan B. With hands clasped, then unclasped he gave the impression of just keeping it together. An appeal to an aide didn’t work, so he aimed a semi-joking accusation at a financial analyst from Wedbush. It was bizarre.
He recovered the situation when the technology re-started. But this graceless introduction to an important product announcement overshadowed this presentation.
We also reported how there was a stage problem with a President Obama speech. The President’s response? Charm and courteousness combined. That’s the way to do it.
Note to industry Presidents and Chief Operating Officers. When you present with teleprompters and autocue, make sure that you rehearse with them…and without them. Have a plan, a script or some cue cards. It makes for a more graceful presentation when everything else goes pear-shaped.
You can read more about presentation technology with this skills tip. It’s part of a regular series of presentation and public speaking skills tips that we publish. You can always choose to have the tips delivered straight to your email account when you subscribe to the Telling it Straight newsletter.
The Principal Trainer at training business Time to Market. Based in Oxford, I run presentation and public speaking training courses, coaching sessions and seminars throughout the UK. Andrew Ivey on Google+
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