Lost for Words

Lost for Words
14
Jan
2014
  • Nadine Dereza
  • 0 Views
  • 0 Comment
  • No tags

At the risk of being called Luddites, whenever a client asks us to teach them how to use technology to enhance their speaking, we tend to start with ‘What to do when the technology fails, as it most assuredly will at some point.’ So you won’t be surprised to learn that Michael Bay’s autocue mishap had us sharpening our quills and straightening our periwigs. Here’s the link to the Samsung product launch in question: http://youtu.be/R4rMy1iA268

It would be easy to poke fun at Michael Bay (and most people have), but if you’ve ever had a client paying you a hefty wedge of cash to talk about their brand, you want to get it right. Throw in a product with technical specifications that you have to be absolutely precise about, and you might feel a touch of sympathy for Michael’s decision to crash land rather than try to wing it. As Mark Twain once said, ‘It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech,’ and if you’ve ever been briefed by a message-conscious brand manager, you’ll be familiar with the feeling that the walls are closing in. Whatever you read into Michael Bay walking off the stage, it looked like panic to us.

The mistake here was to script what otherwise seems to be a soft and informal interview in the first place. The questions aren’t exactly probing, so he’d probably have answered them fine if someone hadn’t decided to micromanage the event down to the last comma. It’s not that he fluffed his words, and it’s not that he walked off: the thought that sticks is that there is something fundamentally dishonest about scripting an interview – unlike, say, the Golden Globes, which we all accept is scripted, and which had a teleprompt mishap to trip up Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie: http://youtu.be/vLMYdV8J7GA

A Special Award should have been hastily conferred upon the runner for getting that bit of paper to them at lightening speed – and staying out of shot.

Will we remember 2014 as the year the machines began to fight back? These autocue fails could be the opening salvo in the war of the machines against their human overlords (disappointing, we had our money on self-service checkouts). If there are any humans left this time next year, Michael Bay could make a noisy action film about it.

Still, let’s look on the bright side: if the aim was to tell the world that Samsung have launched a big curved TV, they’ve achieved it. It’s hard to get a marketing message to go viral. If only Samsung had planned this, they could have won an award for it.

When a client asks for coaching on the latest technology, we always tell them that it’s a great bit of kit, but then everything is when it works properly. Don’t fear it, we say, but do have a low-tech back-up. From personal experience, it’s good to know where the paper script is, because ink never runs out of batteries.

This article also appears on http://www.presentationskillsprogrammes.co.uk.  PS Programmes deliver presentation skills, TV and radio media training and crisis media management, tailored to the needs of our clients.

Selected clients

We use cookies on this website More information, please

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on this website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Nadine Dereza website. Just click accept to continue as normal, or read on and we'll tell you more.

A cookie is a small file which asks permission to be placed on your computer's hard drive. Once you agree, the file is added and the cookie helps analyse web traffic or lets you know when you visit a particular site. Cookies allow web applications to respond to you as an individual. The web application can tailor its operations to your needs, likes and dislikes by gathering and remembering information about your preferences.

We use traffic log cookies to identify which pages are being used. This helps us analyse data about webpage traffic and improve our website in order to tailor it to customer needs. We only use this information for statistical analysis purposes and then the data is removed from the system.

Overall, cookies help us provide you with a better website by enabling us to monitor which pages you find useful and which you do not. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us.

You can choose to accept or decline cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. This may prevent you from taking full advantage of the website.

Close