Technology failure during presentations closest thing to Murphy’s Law in Adland.
March 29, 2013
Once again, I was in a huge meeting when technology let us down. A video failed to play with its accompanying audio. As one of my colleagues desperately tried to sort out the problem the rest of us awkwardly sat on our hands. As you might imagine, few things suck like watching a video about “how we work” that doesn’t work.
Yet, I’ve almost come to expect such moments. I suspect we all have. Video without audio. Audio without video. Bizarre and inexplicable prompts from the monitor. It doesn’t matter that you’ve practiced beforehand without experiencing issues. These fails have a way of owning the moment. The boardroom flat screen works just fine for the interns watching March Madness. But bring a CMO in there to view his or her new campaign and nada. You end up showing the woman her million-dollar campaign on a laptop in the office kitchen. Total. Effing. Drag.
Why are ghosts in the machine so prevalent? And how come they have such impeccable timing? Does this only happen in Adland or do other businesses experience the same problems? I wish these questions weren’t so rhetorical because I’d really like answers.
Technology changes (BETA/VHS to DVD to DIGITAL) but it still fucks up in the same old way. It doesn’t matter which agency you work at either. I’ve worked at four wildly different places and have gotten the same result. It’s a cruel joke.
And so I take as many moving parts out of my presentations as possible. I’m not advocating cardboard. Those days are over. I just want everything in one format playing off of one device. And even then I cross my fingers.