Bad news: you don’t have any.
You THINK you have the right to all of this stuff:
- A working screen for a projector (as opposed to one that’s hung up in the ceiling and won’t come down)
- A working projector
- A functioning bulb in the projector
- A stand for the projector within cord’s reach of the podium
- A cord for the projector with inputs that match your laptop’s outputs
- A working laptop (and by that I mean your own)
- A laptop that doesn’t crash mid-session
- A remote pointer with a laser
- Charged batteries for the remote pointer
- A current version of your presentation
- An electric outlet near the podium
- A podium
- A whiteboard
- Markers that aren’t permanent
- An eraser
- A comfortable room with working heating & air conditioning
- A lack of noise from outside your room
- In big rooms, a working microphone and speakers
- An accurate introduction
- Attendees who show up on time and don’t talk over you
But the reality is you’re not entitled to any of that stuff. Oh, sure, if you’re lucky you might have some of it – but after speaking all over the world, I can guarantee that you’ll probably never have all of it.
If you blame the event organizers, you’re doing it wrong. It’s your responsibility as a presenter to have backup plans. You’d better not pack it up like a diva if the projector doesn’t work. You’d better not throw a hissy fit if your opening act botches your name or your company. Your heart rate better not rise if there’s no working electric outlet for your laptop. You have to own your success as a presenter, and the very first part of that is to put the audience and the organizer at ease.
When – not if – you don’t have something you expected at the event, remember the real presenter’s bill of rights.
You have the right to get bad surprises,
and the obligation to deliver great surprises.