🤦♂️ The internet died on me during a crucial presentation…
I was on stage sharing a live demo of an online tool to create free artwork for social media and other purposes to my audience of 100 people, including top-level leaders.
In one of the steps, I was typing in “poster” in the search box to showcase the platform’s range of available artwork ready to go. Then as I hit the enter key, the loading circle icon started rotating… and rotating… and rotating… never-ending.
It felt like hours passing by like a hundred pairs of eyes were staring at me standing on the stage, fiddling around with my laptop in hopes that the internet would come back… there was a deafening silence in the room — you could hear a pin drop.
I was saying “hmmm..” and tried laughing it off, but the silence from the audience continued with no response both from them and the internet.
I could hear the tick of my watch, the second hand ticking by beat-by-beat, and feeling its pulse against my skin… with every tick, the energy of the room dropped a level, and another, and another.
Then when all the tinkering on my laptop didn’t work in God knows how long. I finally got out of my head and thought hey! I can connect to my phone’s hotspot!
But sh*t! I did not have my phone on me! Then I remembered, my team member was holding on to it to capture videos and pictures of the event.
I immediately called out to him over the mic and speakers to bring my phone on stage, and he rushed from all the way at the back of the room to the stage and passed me my phone like a relay racer passing a baton.
I switched on my hotspot, connected my laptop to its wifi, refreshed the page on my laptop, and boom, the screen started filling with beautiful, colorful images and templates of posters!
Immediately the energy of the room started picking up, and we were back on track with the demo and presentation. We managed to salvage it and ended the session on a high!
When I finished the session, I found out that that whole debacle only lasted 3-5 minutes, but it felt like forever to me.
If you’re a presenter or trainer, you understand that the stakes are high. A 3-5 minute shift in energy and attention can easily make or break your presentation.
So it’s essential to be able to keep your cool, think fast on your feet, have a backup plan, and be thorough with your fail-safes to protect yourself from these kinds of situations. Know that sometimes what seems like an eternity, is just a few minutes passing by, and you still have time to save the situation.