What You Can Learn From Michael Bay's Embarrassing Presentation Mishap 'Transformers' director Michael Bay abruptly walked off stage in Vegas yesterday after his guest spot during a Samsung product intro became fraught with teleprompter issues.
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Perhaps Michael Bay should stay behind the camera.
In a humiliating turn, the Transformers auteur totally botched a live Samsung presentation at the 2014 International CES on Monday touting the tech giant's forthcoming 105-inch curved UHD televisions.
Bay--notorious for his short fuse on set--arrived onstage visibly nervous alongside the Samsung executive Joe Stinziano, flubbed his introduction, and then couldn't seem to recover.
"The type is all off--sorry," he grumbled in response to teleprompters that had lost sync due to his premature remarks. "But I'll just wing this."
After several heavy sighs and awkward non-sequitors, Stinziano attempted to steer the conversation back to the much-hyped product at hand. "The Curve?" he said. "How do you think it's going to impact how viewers experience your movies?"
Upon which Bay turned and walked offstage.
While technical blunders and communication gaffes are somewhat inevitable during live presentations, the show must--as they say--go on. Here are three of our favorite tips for keeping cool in the face of the unexpected:
Don't rely solely on technology
Although scripts and slides can serve as great assets to any presentation, it is crucial to know the material through and through beyond any multimedia resources at hand, writes communication specialist Shari Alexander.
"To keep your audience engaged," she says, "you have to be able to seamlessly continue on while the tech gods fix the problem."
Have saver lines locked and loaded
"If you panic, your audience will panic," Alexander writes. That's why it's crucial to have a backup plan devised in the event of a worst-case-scenario.
If a joke flops, for instance, she suggests this line: "When [executive name] told me during lunch that that would be a funny line, I believed him."
Turn the blooper into a lesson
Sometimes, what we perceive to be weaknesses can actually turn into strengths. Mistakes can transform into opportunities--when perceived as such.
Alexander writes of a presenter who not only acknowledged an insurmountable technical delay, but turned it into a teachable moment by incorporating the error into the presentation itself.
Related: Richard Branson on the Art of Public Speaking