Monday, November 14, 2011

The OOPS Factor

TV presenter Dennis Norden used to front a show which featured clips of things going wrong on TV and in films. On one occasion, he mentioned the "oops factor", which he defined as "Objects Only Perform Sometimes". I believe it's a corollary of Murphy's Law, which states "If something can go wrong, it will" (to which I will add Stevens' variation "especially in front of an audience"). In short, you need to have a plan B. 

It's impossible to anticipate every possible cause of problems on stage. There may be technical issues, venue problems or external factors that cause disruption. However. you can greatly reduce the chances of embarrassment by taking some simple precautions in advance.
The best advice I can offer is to stay calm. Your audience will understand that things can go awry, but as long as you deal with them with patience and a little humour, they will forgive you. In fact, you can make a huge impression on them by taking problems in your stride and not panicking. Here are a few things to reduce your oops factor.

  • Take spares for everything - batteries, bulbs, memory sticks
  • Rehearse every use of technology
  • If there are handovers between presenters, rehearse those too
  • Establish what happens if audio or video fails
  • Practice in the same place, and with the same equipment you will be using "live"
  • Bring spare stage clothes in case of spills or damage
  • Always be prepared to give or finish your presentation without any technical aids at all
  • Smile. These things happen

1 comment:

very good service said...

Good piece of advice, how many times have we seen people caught out with any of these mishaps. Liked the Ooops law...