Links of the Week: 2014.03


This week, presentation experts have been buzzing about Michael Bay’s Meltdown.  If you haven’t seen it yet, go ahead and watch the cringeworthy onstage moment here.  Unfortunately for Michael Bay, this was an epic public speaking fail.  Fortunately for us, we can learn a lot from it.

“Five Lessons from Michael Bay’s Meltdown” by Manner of Speaking gives us great insight into what happened onstage at the Samsung press conference.  These five lessons all relate to preparation: 1) prepare, 2) warm up, 3) have a back-up plan, 4) don’t make a big deal out of the problem, and 5) get back on the horse.  Check out the fantastic article here.  I created a lesson for my students on the importance of preparation, but I also gave them practical examples of how to prepare.  Check out the Slideshare deck here.  (Again, keep in mind, this is only a slideshow designed to go along with my classroom lesson.  If you want to know more about what we discuss in class, email me!)


Nadine Hanafi of We Are Visual created a visual presentation to address the issue.  “Michael Bay’s Million Dollar ‘Whoops’ Moment: Why You Should Internalize – Not Memorize – Your Speech” is a must-see Slideshare deck.  Hanafi hits the nail on the head about how to prepare for a speech.  The goal is not to write a script and then to read that script to the audience.  As we know from Garr Reynolds’ naked presenter philosophy, our goal is to research and to prepare content that we spend time rehearsing until we are comfortable.  On presentation day, a speaker can definitely use a speaking outline or notecards with very little written down to help stay on track with our content.  But if a speaker relies on a teleprompter to feed him both words and ideas, he’s in trouble!  As we can see from the Michael Bay ‘Whoops’ Moment, if the technology fails, we’re screwed if we’ve planned to rely only on the teleprompter.  What’s more – if we simply read from a script, our delivery isn’t natural, authentic, and “naked” as Garr Reynolds advises.  We must learn the goal of speech delivery and how to embody this conversational style when we present.

For a few more good reads on the Michael Bay presentation debacle, check out Carmine Gallo’s “How A Movie Director Could Have Avoided Prompter Meltdown” and “What You Can Learn From Michael Bay’s Embarrassing Presentation Mishap” by Geoff Weiss of

What did you think of Michael Bay’s presentation, or lack thereof, at the Samsung press conference?


One thought on “Links of the Week: 2014.03

  1. Embarrassing, but nice to know that even pro’s have awkward moments. Maybe he felt like he’d already peaked in the presentation. Like George Costanza, leaving at the high point.

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