10 Worst Presentation Moments

While procrastinating from finishing up my TechEd talks in my hotel room here in NZ, I came across this really funny link of a Microsoft UK employee's "Ten Worst Presentation Moments" that had me laughing out loud. 

One of my own "interesting experiences" occurred about 9 years ago at a PDC conference.  It was the first time I had ever presented as a Microsoft employee, and it was to ~2400 people.  I was doing a joint-presentation with another presenter and the plan was that he'd present the first part of the talk for 60 minutes, and then I'd do the second part of it for another 30 minutes.  When we got going he unfortunately got spooked, though, and starting speaking super, super, super fast. 

After watching this awhile I tried to help calm him down by subtly passing him a note that said "you are going too fast -- slow down".  Unfortunately he misread it as "you are not going fast enough -- speed up" -- at which point his pace (which was already so fast you could barely understand anything) really, really increased.  It got to the point where he was spending no more than 2-4 seconds on a slide (and even skipping over some to save time).  Finally he got to the end-slide of his presentation, apologized profusely to the audience that he had run so late, and handed it over to me.  We were 9 minutes into the presentation.  The next 81 minutes was a very, very long time for me. :-)


P.S. Now I need to go back to work and finish up my LINQ presentation for Tuesday....


  • Ok gotta love the tea fairy. To funny.

  • Firstly, welcome to NZ (I hope you didn't get one of those hotels where all the showers are chest height...it's an Auckland oddity for some reason).
    But anyway, what I meant to say was that the poor man was obviously caught in a temporal anomaly: and what *proves* it of course is that if you asked him he'd freely admit that for him his talk lasted at least 80 minutes.
    I've been in that position myself...I think it's closely related to how certain politicians often talk about events which are apparently occurring in a parallel universe.

  • I think I would be embarassed too if I was speaking in front of 2000+ people!

    BTW really funny Scott, thanks for sharing.

  • Really very funny, warning to everyone; never ask for a glue/superglue :)

  • Hey Scott, I hope this post doesn't mean that you are nervious about tomorrow mornings keynote!

    I hope you enjoyed the rugby last night... I've posted a couple of photos on my blog.


  • wow, specially no.3 is really funny. i think it's not sooo bad for a presentation, because it's always good when there is something to laugh :-) only for the co-presenter it was not so funny :-(

  • Wow, 60 minutes into 9 minutes ... that's got to be a record! I tend to present a bit fast and sparsely (I've got to work on how I layout my speaking notes so they actually work) ... but I've never managed that level of time efficiency! :)

  • Good job you read those after you did you're presentation...not exactly sych talk is it?!

  • Once I read that most people fear public speaking more than death itself. I am one of those.

  • Hi Scott,
    thanks for insight into MS presentasion professionality :p

    btw, your new blog design rocks, certainly better than you've got in the past (or that many bloggers have). I love it.

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