Why I Almost Left the Room While Speaking at Blog World Expo

Pat Presenting at BWELA 2011I had attempted to record a dual podcast episode and video slideshow of the presentation I did at Blog World Expo to include in this post, but 5 minutes into the recording my voice went hoarse.

I guess I still need a couple of days to recover.

I am, however, happy to write a recap of my speaking experience at BWE in LA last week.

Now – you might be wondering why I would need to re-record my presentation.

The reason is because something unexpected happened during my presentation at BWE, something that on the inside, for a brief moment, made me just want to flee.

Let me tell you the story leading up to it…

Family Time

I arrived in Los Angeles Tuesday afternoon with my wife and son, and Gizmo (our dog) too. We wanted to enjoy some scenery around the city together before the weekend when they would go back home and I would stay to enjoy the rest of the event.

During the next few days we went to LA Live, The Grove, Griffith Park and Santa Monica. We even saw a taping of Extra! at the Grove and saw stars Mario Lopez and Ted Danson there.

At night when my son would fall asleep, I would go down into the lobby of our hotel and work on my presentation. I had finished my slides by Wednesday night and stayed up until 4am that night to begin memorizing my slides. When it got too loud in the lobby I’d bring my laptop into our bathroom and practice there while my family was sleeping in the other room.

I really wanted to knock this presentation out of the park. It was to be my 2nd public speaking experience, one that was 3 times as long (60 minutes vs. 20 minutes at the Financial Bloggers Conference), and come on – it was Blog World Expo! The world’s largest event of it’s kind.

If you ask anyone who saw me before my presentation on Friday, they’ll tell you that I was extremely nervous. It was a healthy nervous, like one that you get before you do something that you really care about, but yeah – I was nervous.

Crunch Time

Thursday evening my family left LA to head back home and I had planned on staying up until 4am again to run through my presentation at least 6 times, but I had to stop because my voice started to disappear.

Sleep was much needed, so that’s exactly what I did. I prepared 4 different alarms so I could make sure I woke up early enough to practice a few more times.

At 7:45am, the alarm(s) sounded.

I showered, went across the street to grab some oatmeal and a banana at Starbucks, and I came back to continue to run through the slides as much as possible.

At 12:00pm, I headed to the convention center and met up with Corbett Barr, Chris Ducker and a few others for a quick lunch. I couldn’t really eat much (my stomach was full of butterflies), so I took a few bites and just headed to the room where I was speaking.

The room was amazing. It was a large theater which sat about 300 people. Then, I was getting excited as I saw people take their seats, and at 1:44pm Mr. David Risley, the Monetization track leader for BWE, introduced me and I was on.

Oops Time

The presentation started off great! I was so in the zone and I was excited to see people respond to my opening which I had practiced at least 100 times.

As I was going, I was becoming more confident.

“I got this” I said to myself.

Then, the unthinkable happened.

Mid-sentence, I look back and do a “double take” when I see that the slide behind me that was supposed to say “Being Everywhere” instead said  “Bei Everyw”.

Apparently, the font I was using in my keynote presentation was not in the computer I was using. I thought I was able to use my own computer, but I wasn’t allowed to because BWE was recording the slides along with the audio from their own computers.

I totally messed up, and as a result any slides with text on it were messed up too:

Jacked Up SlidesNot good. Not good.

For a split second I thought about yelling, blaming someone else, or just leaving, but I said to myself “screw it – let’s just go on with it”, so I did.

My good friend Cliff Ravenscraft from PodcastAnswerMan.com actually captured the whole thing, from the start of my presentation, to my realization (and my hilarious “double take”)  that the slides were all jacked up and how I handled it.

You can watch it below or click here to see it on Cliff’s site.

I continued with my presentation and poked fun at myself and the slides along the way, which made people laugh. Luckily I had spent so much time memorizing the slides that I didn’t need to rely on them.

Here are some awesome Tweets that were tweeted during this part of the presentation:

Slide Mishap on Twitter

(thanks @gfiremark, @movielawyer, @nichole_kelley & @wickedjava!)

When the presentation ended, it was a huge relief and I was pretty upset at myself for letting that happen.

But – after the presentation was over a long line of people came down to congratulate me and everyone that I spoke to said that the slides were hilarious and actually worked in my favor.

They told me that because of what happened, my presentation was more memorable and they could see that I really knew what I was talking about because I was able to memorize what was on each slide, even though you could only see just a few letters.

A couple of people actually thought I did it on purpose because it was more engaging and entertaining. My response was, “definitely not on purpose”, but I’m really glad it worked out for me.

Two Things I Learned From This Experience:

First, if you’re going to do any type of presentation with slides, make sure they work correctly in the environment you’ll be presenting in.

The issue I had was that I was using an awesome font in my keynote presentation that was downloaded and on my computer, but not on the computer I was presenting on.

Downloaded fonts can be dangerous like that, and actually if you still want to use these non-native fonts on any computer, one really good tip someone told me afterwards was to turn the presentation slides into PDFs, and present those instead.

Secondly, and most importantly, life is going to throw us curveballs sometimes. We can plan and prepare for thing all we want – things like this just happen to us from time to time, for whatever reason.

Expect the unexpected and realize that life is really 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.

Roll with the punches, don’t beat yourself up and work with what you’ve got to work with.

Happy Time!

Thankfully everything went well, and despite what happened everyone who attended seemed to get a lot out of the presentation.

Like I said, I will be recording a version for you to watch on the blog and listen to on the Podcast once my voice recovers.

Not to toot my own horn, but apparently my presentation was the most attended, non-keynote presentation in the entire conference, and I was receiving compliments from people throughout the entire weekend. It was awesome!

Here are some amazing comments from some amazing people on Twitter:

After Presentation Tweets

(Thanks to @LeoWid – founder of BufferApp!, @JosephPutnam, @therichbrooks, @wickedjava, @vincentng, @meganstrand and everyone else who tweeted and gave a shout out about my presentation!)

After my presentation we had the SPI community meetup at the Yardhouse Restaurant in LA Live across the street and about 20 people came by to celebrate with me.

There are way too many people to thank, but I do want to give a special shoutout to David Risley, the monetization track leader who filled me in at the beginning of the year about submitting a proposal to potentially speak at Blog World Expo this year, and of course to those who attended my presentation, and to the SPI community in whole – thank you all for your support.

BWELA 2011 was an amazing experience and I hope I get the chance to speak at Blog World Expo again.

I’ll have my recording done for you soon, plus some information about what I learned in some of the other presentations too.

Cheers, and all the best to you!

  • http://marketingunfolded.com Jesus Ramirez

    Hey Pat,

    Glad to see you recover quickly, and you didn’t need the slides!

    Congrats on having the most attended presentation!

    • http://www.breakingzero.com Brian Yang

      One of the most defining moments in anyone’s lives is how they handle adversity. His ability to adapt and think on his feet combined with his determination to tackle is goal pulled through.

      People will remember how you handled the mishap, more so than they remember the actual mishap itself!

      Awesome job.

  • http://successonmymind.com Sean Davis

    So impressive.

    You played it well. It’s obvious that you didn’t want it to happen that way but you stayed focused on making your presentation and even made some fun out of it.

    You, my friend, are doing an outstanding job of not only being everywhere, but leading those who want to succeed as you have done.

    Keep it up and I hope to see you speak in person some day.


  • http://www.cobraspace.com Jesse Poteet

    Great job, Pat!

  • http://www.izwannizamruslim.com izwannizam

    the slides made your presentation ever better.nice to know you and your blog,Pat :)

  • Scott

    Way to roll with the punches Pat, nice work! Can’t wait to hear the whole presentation.

  • http://coachlisab.blogspot.com Lisa Braithwaite

    Good for you — rolling with it and not letting the mixup ruin your day. Even the pros mess up sometimes, and a major sign of a confident speaker is the ability to use a little humor and not make a big deal out of mistakes.

    You also learned an important lesson about presenting with slides that will benefit you in future presentations. So, a great learning experience, and an opportunity to show your audience what you’re made of. Great job!

  • http://www.twitter.com/teewhyare Tee

    I told you mid-hug that you did an exceptional job. The font issue was good for you because 1) you’ll be prepared for the next time and 2) you still gave a fantastic presentation by incorporating the font issue into your presentation.

    The way you dealt with it like a champ is a real testament to your commitment to your audience and your skill as a speaker.

    I was very proud of you.

    >Big hug<

  • http://www.passiveincomedorm.com Laura

    What a great example of overcoming an oops moment while presenting! I look forward to listening to your recording when your voice is back.

  • http://adsenseflippers.com Justin

    Awesome Pat…you handled the screw-up with grace, for sure…

    It’s definitely a little nerve wracking talking in front of so many people. Luckily, you’re passionate about what you do here and (from the little I saw) it was really shining through.

    I was wondering…how many new eyeballs have you had on SPI since your talk? Any really interesting in-person connections you made that you think will provide some value in the future?

    Congrats, man!

  • http://guganeshan.com/blog Guganeshan.t

    I got scared reading the title of the post! Relieved to know that everything has gone well 😀

    The double-take was hilarious 😉 can’t wait to watch the whole thing to see how you “turned” it to your advantage. It has happened to your own good Pat! cos’ now its a memorable speech!


  • http://caseygentles.com Internet Marketing With Casey Gentles

    Awesome Pat I am really product of you. I wish I was there :( Seems like you had a lot of fun too and I am glad that everything worked out well for you despite the mishap with the slides.

    You rock man :)

  • Wes

    Awesome job Pat! I’m currently preparing for a huge speech at the Supercomputing conference in Seattle. Will watch your video of the double take again to get some of the nervousness out before my speech :)

  • Luis

    I was actually in that room and even though the slides issue was unexpected, I think it was a great thing to happen. It was a great ice breaker, everyone had a smile in their face because it was a fun situation, but the best of all is you proved to everyone that you had put so much time and effort into your presentation, otherwise there is no way you would have remembered what the slides were about. I think everyone in the room saw that and felt grateful.
    You did a great job and it was very nice meeting you!

  • pete

    Pat, that’s awesome – the video of the actual reaction is great. The highlight is definitely the off the cuff comment to people walking in the room, that the slides are jacked up. Nice work, laughter and jokes are definitely a sign of sign of crowd engagement and from my limited speaking engagements, a huge confidence boost during the presentation.

    Keep it up.

  • http://www.andrewsviewoftheweek.com Andrew Reynolds

    Good example on how to deal with problems. The deal with speaking in public is that something unexpected will always happen.

    Well that’s what usually to me – things I didn’t plan for. A pro speaker knows how to adjust and still get the message across.

    and I am guess that your voice is going out today because of all the prep and speaking you did last week. Rest is the only cure for that.

  • http://www.realestatecareermentor.com Marty Green

    Great Job Pat!

    Just remember, nobody knows how it’s suppose to go. Often times we screw up and people don’t even realize. Obviously this was not your fault and you should just move on as you did, well done by the way.

    I don’t take myself too seriously in front of a crowd anymore. I am doing presentations at least 3 times a week now. Some times things screw up and some times it’s just me.

    Dr Wayne Dyer says it best, what you think of me is none of my business!!

    Keep at it Pat, love it.



  • http://www.awesomelifecoach.com Kian

    You did so well to recover and I don’t think the crowd really cared about the mishap! Seemed to enjoy it even!

  • http://7pillarsofsellingonline.com Thomas John

    Good for you Pat.

    The unintentional slide actually looks pretty cool. I bet lots of people were trying to decipher the hidden message. :)

  • http://www.nicoleortega.com Nicole Ortega

    That was a great story Pat. People always talk about how much transparency you have and I think it really comes naturally. I’m working on building my personal brand and I definitely look at you as a role model for what works.

    I’m so glad that everything worked out and I hope to attend Blogworld next year and meet you in person!

  • http://www.mymultipleincomes.com Robert

    Way to roll with the punches. That could really throw you off, but I bet your hours of practicing made it no worries after the 10 seconds of dread!

  • http://www.smartcinematography.org Austin Furey

    Your title writing just gets better and better, Pat.

    You suck me into great content every time. 😉

  • http://www.profitblog.com Raj

    This proves that even a serious minded audience likes a jolly presentation and some humor thrown here and there. Its time we used this aspect in our blog posts as well.

  • http://www.nopublisherneeded.com Jim Kukral

    Nice work. The more you speak the better you’ll get. You just have to roll with it.

  • http://www.solobizcoach.com Fred @ SoloBizCoach.com


    Your presentation was the best Blog World presentation I saw this year. You handled the slides mishap with style and grace. I noted to myself at the time how impressed I was that you did not strike out at the tech people.

    More important than your handling of the mishap was your presentation itself. You are a great speaker. Your personality and charm is so genuine.


  • http://www.commonsensemarketing.net Sarah Russell

    Haha – s*** happens :) Good for you for being able to roll with the punches and still rock it out!

  • Arun

    Pat — Kudos to you for keeping your cool and getting through your talk and making the best of a tricky situation…. and most of all, not being afraid to then BLOG about the experience and embrace what people’s reaction was. I applaud your transparency and courage. Grt Jb!

  • http://lissowerbutts.com Lis Sowerbutts

    What’s the audience at somewhere like Blogger World – are they beginners who don”t know where to look for info online? I asked – because although I really like your blog there is no way on earth that I would sit thru a 60 minute presentation with slides anymore – its such a slow way to get information (no matter how good the speaker is and you sounded good)

  • http://lissowerbutts.com Lis Sowerbutts

    What’s the audience at somewhere like Blogger World – are they beginners who don”t know where to look for info online? I asked – because although I really like your blog there is no way on earth that I would sit thru a 60 minute presentation with slides anymore – its such a slow way to get information (no matter how good the speaker is and you sounded good)

    • http://www.twitter.com/teewhyare Tee

      Hi Lis,

      People attend Blogworld for many, many reasons. Sure, some are beginners but others have years of online experience and enjoy Blogworld for lots of reasons.

      The community, being in a room of people who understand what I do and why is the reason I attended. It’s good to step from behind the computer, meet new people, learn new things, and demo new products/services.

      I learned so much about presenting myself well in public in a workshop for women speakers, I had a mind blowing experience with Jason Falls, I forged great connections with people who came all the way from Denmark, which I think was pretty cool.

      What could a brown girl in her late 20’s from Moreno Valley, California have in common with a 55 year old woman from Denmark? What was it that connected us?

      Our shared love of being a part of this online/social space and watching it evolve.

      It’s unfortunate I won’t get to experience you at any conferences.

  • http://www.creativegeniusdesign.com Otis

    Great post and enlightenment on speaking and presentation! I wish you continued success and abundance!

  • http://optima-lifestyle.com Cristina Ansbjerg

    Amazing, Pat. You rock.
    Hooray for a job well done!

  • http://adaptise.com Jeff (Adaptise)

    Nice recovery Pat! The double take was awesome, but you definitely handled it like a pro. No wonder people thought you’d done it on purpose!

  • http://www.zd.se/ John

    I think you did a real good job and I sure will learn from this.

    Congratulations on your success.

  • http://www.thefinancialblogger.com The Financial Blogger

    You did an awesome job of continuing your presentation!

    I guess that knowing your presentation by heart definitely helped as well! Something similar happened to me when I was presenting our investment products to financial advirors (the guy in charge of the presentation didn’t add all the slides and the order of the presentation was mixed-up).

    I just closed the laptop and have everybody looked at me for an hour. You better be making jokes to keep the attention when this happens!

    great job!

  • Ryan Hanley

    The double take is absolutely priceless… I rewinded the video like 10 times… You need to put the double take on loop and have that be the intro to all your presentations!

    And you still killed it…

    Great work dude.

    Ryan H.

  • http://djosephdesign.com Daniel J. Lewis

    I’m a freelance web and presentation designer and I’ve presented several talks myself. This is one of the major reasons I will never present using someone else’s computer. Fonts, animations, videos, and much more could be missing, incorrect, or not compatible with their system.

  • http://jennylouraya.com sergio

    What I find awesome about your recovery is that it applies to so many things in life where things don’t go as expected- Mind like water.

  • http://workingforwonka.com Kathy Ver Eecke

    Aww, Pat! That sucks. You recovered nicely though, well done.

    Have you heard of SlideRocket? (I’m about to sound like an endorser, but I’m not….just interviewed their CEO & found out about the product). It’s an online presentation platform that would’ve solved that prob. You’ve GOT to check it out for future presentations. Design capabilities times 10, but even better, your deck lives in the cloud, can be accessed anywhere, by anyone you chose, AND you can get analytics just like a website. Because it’s online, there are never any font or capability issues. Can’t believe BWE isn’t using it! SXSW is, BTW. (just to throw a few more acronyms in)

    I’ve been lecturing in some SE colleges recently, and started using SlideRocket last week. It rocks, check it out! end, unpaid (unsolicited) endorsement :-)

  • Yoon Hyuk

    The mishap actually enhanced the speech! Impromptu speeches are one of the toughest speeches, no teleprompter, no cue cards, no note cards, and in your case, no slides!

  • http://thehebrewlanguage.com Mark

    So inspiration. Public speaking is such a huge fear that some people would literally rather die than do it. You’re were doing it, it didn’t go as planned, and you still ended up on top.

  • http://jaredakers.com jared

    “Whatever it is that must be met, you are to either overcome it or use it.”

    Great, great recovery. Exactly why when presenting something it helps to remind yourself, “hey, this is about what I do, me, what I love. I know more about this shyt than anyone else…” and since you practiced and knew your stuff… (and in an instant you can see your realization) that it didn’t matter what was on your slides. You don’t want people really reading them anyway but it just gives you something to do with your hands.

    Just think… anything else that could ever happy while presenting from now on is gravy.

  • Cy Cawthorn

    Hey Pat,
    congrats on your successful speaking engagement! … and continued growth of SPI.
    On the speaking circuit for 12 years, I can tell you the butterflies never go away. The key is to get them flying in formation before you get on stage! Teach, Entertain, Motivate throughout your talk … and 90% of the audience will get what they needed. Mistakes can often be part of the Entertainment part :-)

  • http://www.katiedavis.com Katie Davis

    Wow, Pat, I SO wish I could’ve been there. It sounds like you rocked it! I’ve been practicing a speech I’m giving this Saturday night (to 700 people at a black tie fundraiser gala! My butterflies have already begun!), and I will keep your lesson in mind if anything happens to my slides! I usually try to imagine what would happen if my technology fails…sounds like I should take your lead and make it funny! Thanks for sharing it!

  • http://buckinspire.com Buck Inspire

    For some reason I thought the mishap was you losing your voice. That would have been almost unrecoverable. Way to roll with the punches. It even turned out to be beneficial for you. Hope to meet you at the next gathering. Inspiring story!

  • mark pinto

    This entire situation reveals your mental process and shows why your life is so successful! you over prepared, took action despite circumstances, didnt blame anyone for your problems, did the best you could with what you had, learned from your mistakes and forgave yourself! If we all can get our mind to adapt these habits, the skys the limit. Thanks Pat

  • Devon

    Know what, Pat? Don’t throw anything at me, now.

    I am sure that was really traumatic at the instant it happened. But I think that mess-up pulled the audience right into you and made them hang on every moment. Why? Because, like your blog and podcast content you share REAL stuff. People sense you are not a fake, slicked up, marketer. And that you are willing to openly share your wins and losses – regardless. BTW, this was not a loss but a definite win for you. You knew your stuff. Took a lickin’ and kept on tickin’. Congrats!

    • http://timbickers.com Tim

      Word, that’s why I started following your stuff, Pat! All the way, I’d scoured the net for info on HOW to’s regarding passive income and non of it was as practical and real life as what you do here. Thanks for sharing this video. It cracked me up and inspired me to not be afraid to continue putting myself out there—perfection is not the goal!

  • http://www.themadhermit.net Mark


    Really nice save. Sad to see you has a mishap because I know how thurough and detail oriented you are.

    With that said you, you pulled it off like a champ despite the technical difficulties.

    Proud of your recovery and your willingness to turn this potentially traumatic experience into z teachable moment

  • http://www.ronenk.com Ronen K

    This should go to the the top 10 come backs ever :) and funniest 10 double takes!!

    Being cool (or looking like it at the least) is one of life’s most important traits.

  • http://moneyinternetblog.com Galyna

    Well done Pat! And thank you for sharing this with us. Not many people have a courage to share their failures with everybody which makes them look like a robots. :)

    Great job again!

  • http://www.seanbreslin.com/mlm Sean Breslin

    The LA hollywood vibe must have rubbed off on you Pat…. Your a trooper!!

  • http://17000-days.com Cara Stein

    Fantastic recovery! Looks like you rocked it! :)

  • http://incomepanel.com Chibueze

    I love the one of going with your family :) the dog is an extra fun.

  • http://www.simplynaturalideas.com Rochelle

    Pat, you ROCK man!!!!
    I’m SOoooooo flippin proud of you.
    Totally inspired.

  • http://www.flyteblog.com Rich Brooks

    Pat, as soon as I saw your latest email I knew I had to come to the blog and tell you that I was über impressed with the way you dealt with the slides issue: with humor and humility. If it did get to you, you really didn’t show it.

    And then I see that you actually even included my tweet (@therichbrooks) in your blog post, which completely rocked.

    I had been impressed with you before this from the quality content on your blog (which is why I went to your session), but this sealed the deal.

    Plus, I was presenting the very next day at BlogWorld and had switched my PowerPoint proposal to Keynote. Because of your slide problems I decided to double-check my own slides and sure enough the font size had changed and hidden words!

    Thanks for taking one for the team. 😉

  • http://alloymatt.com Matt Jacobs

    “For those of you just coming in… Slides are jacked up.” Classic! HAHAHAHA! Great work man! :)

  • http://www.GOPCampaigner.com Jillian

    Nice save, Pat! I think I’ll check out the whole presentation soon.

  • http://www.izdelava-logotipa.si Igor

    It wasn´t so terible at all, you did good! Even better, it was funny, spontaneous, memorable :) Next time just use pictures, they don´t fail 😉

  • http://mitchellplanning.net/ Sophia

    This is such a fantastic lesson. First of all, kudos for recovering in such a graceful manner. It’s clear proof that you know your topic inside and out. Also, all the prep that you did leading up to it put you in a fine spot to make it happen. So, I think there is a third lesson here … to plan for what you can, because then you can deal with the unexpected.

  • http://internationalfilmbase.com/ Colm O’Murchu

    Hey Pat

    I made it into the room at the LA Convention Centre for the last 25 minutes of your presentation and I have to say that your presentation was excellent. One could tell that you had put your usual 100% into your presentation. The crowd loved it with a huge cheer at the end even with the final slides not working.

    I present seminars all the time around Australia UK and very soon the US Occasionally the gremlins pay a visit and technical mishaps happen. I know how it feels. When they do occur, I just make a joke about them and carry on. Inside you feel like jelly but you have to just keep the focus and never show the frustration that is burning you up inside.

    It reminds me of when Billy Crystal presented the Oscars. An iconic director from the Silent Movie was presented with a life-time achievement award. When he made the speech, the sound did not work and the whole speech was muted live to billions around the world. Pressure. For one minute there was no way of hearing this director speak.

    Then Billy Crystal quick as a flash said.
    ” Is he still doing Silent Movies. Where are the subtitles”
    The house came down with the biggest laugh of the night.

    Thanks for a great site and awesome to see you live.

    Colm O’Murchu: International Film Base

  • http://podcastlawbook.com Gordon Firemark


    You were terrific. You handled things perfectly, and being so well prepared really served you well. You could have (and essentially did) give your talk without slides. The presentation didn’t depend on them, it was merely enhanced by their presence.

    That’s an important take-away too… powerpoint/keynote slides shouldn’t BE the presentation… they should be to your content as sauce is to a fine cut of meat. Just add a little flavor, and make things “pop”.

    The font-problem made you seem very human, which I believe is a good thing, and your poise and humor were on full display. Well done!

    -Gordon Firemark (@gfiremark)

  • Olivia

    I loved that Pat , you rocked it and the humour was fantastic that came with it!

  • Chris Yates

    I think a big part of the audience looking past the slide problem is that you are such a humble and generous man. If you were arrogant or untouchable they wouldn’t be so supportive. The SPI community knows your heart and we were all pulling for you, whether we were in the room at the time.

    We are so proud of you and you deserve all the recognition you are getting!

  • http://www.joelarge.com joe

    If it had been me instead of saying “is there a tech guy out there”…I would probably said “could someone bring me up a new pair of pants.”

    You did great, you rolled with the flow

  • http://www.joanvernikos.com Joan Vernikos

    Something somewhat similar happened to me as I was giving a talk in the Convention Center in Atlantic City a few years back. Except in my case it was a power failure. I went to the front of the stage and continued with my talk and then straight through without slides after the lights and mic came back on. Not one person budged. It was great. Enyone who wants to be a speaker should know their slides and their subject. Things happen. Well done!!

  • http://www.moneycrush.com Jackie

    You definitely handled it well, and like others have said I think it even worked to your advantage. Everyone could tell that you really know your stuff. Also, I think people were pretty darn interested in every slide, because we all knew each one could be a surprise. (It was good to met you and the other meetup attendees, too.)

  • http://Selfishiving.com Joe Waters

    Hey Pat,

    As someone who witnessed your “undoing” you handled it pretty well. A great rule of public speaking is that if you don’t make a big deal of tech glitches neither will your audience, which will mimic a speaker’s response.

    I think we all felt the tension in you when you realized the slides were off. I knew there was a problem when a guy of your tech aptitude looked out at the crowd and said: “Can I get some help here?”

    But you moved on and that’s what is important. Also, remember these two things. First, you showed that regardless of your slides you really were well prepared and knew your stuff. Second, as an audience member it forced us to listen more closely to you because we couldn’t fall back on your slides.

    Lessons? Your presentation is not your slides. Expect the unexpected. Act the way you want your audience to react. Cut down on the number of slides and ENGAGE.

    Nice to finally meet you, Pat!


  • Cesar Ramirez

    Great to know that you freestyled your presentation like a pro. We’ve all experienced presentation oops and it’s the presenter that makes it or breaks it. You made it happen. Proud of you bro.

  • http://productlaunchthatworks.com Brian Kwong

    Can’t wait to listen to your presentation for those of us who couldn’t make blogworld!

  • Tom

    Well done, Pat!

    My public speaking professor used to say that you don’t need to have visual aid to be a good presenter. You demonstrated just that and mprovised some humor on the spot too.

  • http://PodcastAnswerMan.com Cliff Ravenscraft

    Pat, you totally rocked your presentation. I think your slides getting messed up gave everyone a look at the Pat Flynn that I have come to enjoy so much. It showed your personality and your approach to life that has brought so much success to you and those around you.

  • http://www.modernwarfarevideos.com Edgar

    Great Job Pat! next time make sure you use Arial font lol

  • Chris Webb

    That looks like just about my idea of worst nightmare.

    Congrats for pulling through – that says a lot more about you than the presentation probably did :)

  • http://www.therennerdalewriter.com Jennifer

    Well, you’re officially a speaker! We’ve all had those goofs. I’ve had my share of screw ups in front of 200+ people. At least 3 times I can think of. As I shared with you on FB – the key to any speech is knowing your content. Got that and you don’t need slides. The best talks I’ve ever attended had the speaker with a simple logo behind them the whole time, and nothing else.

  • http://www.twitter.com/samuelleung83 Samuel Leung

    Pat, I think the Blog World Expo co-ordinators should take something out of all of this also. Perhaps next year they will make their speakers aware of what their computers can support well before the expo starts. This mistake of missing fonts is becoming common. Not REALLY common, but when it happens it really throws people off. But glad to see you could roll with the punches. Great work.

    • Pat

      Actually, don’t blame them – blame me. Apparently, there was a speaker room where there was a computer setup that I could have tested my slides out on.

      Of course, this being my first year and not really knowing what to expect, I didn’t know that and I totally blew it.

      They got their stuff together, I didn’t. Still – wish I could have used my own computer.

      Cheers, and thanks for the support!

      Thanks to everyone!

  • Paolo Garcia

    “Do it again on the next verse and people will think you meant it.” -Chet Atkins

  • http://www.jamienorthrup.com Jamie Northrup

    Wish I was there to see it, sometimes the best things are the unintentional things, like I’m sure your presentation would’ve been great without the issue, but with it allowed you to make it even more personal and probably came across even better.

  • http://www.narrowbridge.net Eric

    You did a much better job than Rick Perry!

  • http://BusinessMindsetExpert.com Jason

    He he, still giggling after watching the video :) You handled it really well though and I think on balance it’s probably better that it went a little wrong, if you make your audience laugh you’re off to a great start.

    Excellent stuff and keep up the good work…
    Cheers, J.

  • http://www.photographie-sportive.com/ Frederic | photographie-sportive.com


    thanks for sharing, it seems that you managed that problem very well.

  • Anya

    Such a charismatic recovery Pat! It’s not your fault that it happened, and your hard work and preparation in memorizing your slides make you a role model for work ethic and the kind of attitude that gives you success. I enjoyed your speaking tone and inflection in the clip I saw. How did you become skilled at public speaking? Have you done toastmasters or something similar? Any books you can recommend for those wanting better speaking skills?

  • http://theaveragegenius.net James Hussey

    WTG, Pat – and that is one hilarious “James Hussey” impression you did (I’d screw that up and more no doubt).

    It’s awesome to see your success, Pat, and here’s to hoping my wife and I get to see your next one (or the next…or, you know…sometime!).

    The fact you even care just shows why you’re successful – i.e. you actually CARE. :)

  • http://www.novatostradingclub.com Uxío Fraga

    Winners recover fast.

  • http://www.PhilJohnsonComedy.com Phil Johnson

    Hey Pat… Congrats on getting through that. Speaking as someone who’s on stage every night, the more times you get up there, the more snafu stories you’ll have to tell. Being able to power through it with a sense of humor will take you a long way.

    Way back when I used to forget my song lyrics on stage regularly. I started making jokes about it during the show. That eventually morphed into a career as a professional comedian. And audiences are very excited by the “potential chaos” inherent in live performance. So when it happens, embrace it and milk it for everything it’s worth. It makes you memorable.

  • http://hustleandgrow.net Clint

    HA! As someone that demos software for a living I can tell you that I’ve come to expect stuff like that. But your recovery was good, and MUCH better than Rick Perry’s! LOL.

  • http://www.YoungAdultFinances.com LaTisha @YoungAdultFinances

    Great recovery! Btw, you said your dog is Gizmo. That was the name of the robot from the kids tv show Superbook. Any relation? lol

  • http://brankicaunderwood.com/ Brankica

    Pat, this video is amazing, I love it and I love how you handled it and I think this just made you even more favorite among all of us, if you can even be more favorite! :)

  • http://www.hothitmedia.com Ralph

    Like a Champ

    Nuff said.

  • http://techatlast.com Olawale Daniel

    What I am happy about here is that, you are able to finish the slides even in that awkward situation. You really rock Pat! Hoping to see you at the next edition :)

  • http://thedigitalpost.co.uk Jose Jimenez

    Don’t worry Pat, you live and learn. Your thorough preparation meant you could handle the situation like a true pro.

  • http://fitdeskjockey.com Matt

    To steal a line from your presentation, Pat you ARE so much more than a blogger…you ARE a machine. :)

    Not only did the way you handled the Keynote ambush show the audience that you’re an expert on the subject matter, it also allowed them to see the “real” Pat. Everyone that’s every used technology has been burned by it at one time or another. Whether it’s the flash drive that mysteriously self-destructs, the computer that crashes during finals, or a Keynote font debacle, we’ve all been there.

    I think that’s why we feel for people when things don’t go as planned for them, and that’s why they inspire us when they rise above adversity. It’s our humanity.

    Way to crush it!


  • Shawn

    You are so right. How you deal with unplanned events is the key. You handled it wonderfully! Cheers to you!

  • http://marketingwithsergio.com Sergio Felix

    LOL Pat,

    Your reaction when you saw the slide and turned twice to watch it again, was priceless man!

    On the other hand, what happened to you is the outcome of your excellent preparation.

    You see, being nervous was just part of the drill, when you saw the flaw you immediately broke the ice barrier with your audience and well, the rest is history.

    Congratulations on this achievement and hope your voice is getting better, I want to check out that recording, take care!


  • http://thiscrazeelife.blogspot.com/ Shelley

    Crazy turn of events…Way to go Pat!!!…You are definitely the MAN and not the MYTH!!!

  • http://www.bestsaxophonewebsiteever.com/ Doron Orenstein

    Hey Pat,

    If you’ll recall, I was at the presentation and at the Yard House, and I definitely dug your presentation, as did everyone else. I can only imagine what a shock that must have been to see your slaved-over slides looking nothing like you had planned, but I think you got a lot more out of the experience than you would have had everything gone without a hitch.

    Keep up the awesome work!


  • http://www.blogworldexpo.com Rick Calvert

    Hi Pat,

    I had no idea this happened to you! The crazy part is, I had numerous people come up to me at the show to tell me what a great presentation you gave. I saw multiple tweets saying you gave a great talk and were one of the highlights of the show. No one mentioned you were dealing with one of every speakers nightmares!

    THANK YOU Pat! Thank you for being a professional, Thank you for putting so much effort and practice into your session that the attendees got even more out of it than they would have if everything had went right and lastly thank you for sharing this experience.

    If you don’t mind I would like to add this post to a short list of links we like to send speakers. I think it is very educational and inspiring for first timers and veterans who might have gotten a little too comfortable.

    Rick Calvert
    CEO & Co-founder
    BlogWorld & New Media Expo

    • Pat

      Hi Rick, thank you for stopping by SPI and leaving a comment. That’s totally awesome of you. Thanks for a great expo and the opportunity to speak. I definitely learned my lesson this time, and am thankful I put in all of the hours I did to prepare. If invited to speak again, I wouldn’t even think twice, I’d be there in a heartbeat.

      Please feel free to share this post with whoever you wish. This site is all about people learning from my mistakes to help them with whatever they want to achieve, so this is a perfect example of that.

      Cheers, and all the best to you! Thanks again Rick!

  • http://www.exoticphilippines.info Gay Aida

    Well, that’s what we called “the show must go on…”

    You can just make a joke out of it while telling the truth or just say “okay, anyone understand this? this means being everywhere and that’s why the letters are everywhere….” but I’m glad you’ve decided to go on ..

    don’t worry about it Pat, people who attended that time will understand. :)

  • Tom Williams

    No one went to the presentation to read the slides; they went to hear YOU and you came through for them. Good job!


  • http://www.smartylogo.com Smarty Logo

    Good post and video, the reactions was very nice at your speach.
    Also if you need a logo design for your blog or for your business you can visit my website for details at http://www.smartylogo.com hope it helps in your activity.

  • http://www.successfulblogging.com/ Annabel Candy, Successful Blogging

    You made a fantastic recovery. All the prep paid off and the nerves didn’t show at all. In many ways slides are unecessary. For me they’re a comfort blanket to take the focus off me when I speak but as Tom says people want YOU and you gave them that:) Well done. Wish I’d been there:)

  • http://www.ibajardepeso.com/ Cathy Herold

    I think you should consider posting the whole live presentation. I was there and it blew me away how well you had everything memorized. I thought the slide situation added to the presentation and made it more interesting. Not many people could recover as well as you did.

  • Ed Wait

    Anyone can give a talk when everything comes off perfectly. A good recovery when things don’t go perfectly is much more memorable.

  • http://www.blogworldexpo.com/ Dave Cynkin

    Great job in a challenging situation, Pat!

    I heard lots of people raving about your preso, so this makes it doubly awesome. 8)

    As far as font default issues, changing the fonts in the template to something custom is always a risk–unless you can somehow embed the fonts (not sure if that’s possible in Keynote). I have a commercial publishing background in my past life, and font default issues were a pretty common problem. If you ever use a custom font, or one that you’re not sure is resident in the operating system as a standard (and you can never be sure), it’s important to provide the font along with your file. This goes for print output, exporting PDF’s, or in this case a Keynote file. I’m not a Keynote software savvy person by any means. I believe the presentation templates had Arial fonts used so everyone would be able to move their presentation file from place to place without font issues. For your next speaking opportunity when you may not be using your own computer, try to get your slide file submitted far ahead of time, so the techs can check it out and notify you of any issues like the one you ran into. That way, you can solve it in advance, relax, focus on your great presentation, and not worry about technical glitches popping up at showtime. Sorry you ran into that in LA, but in the end, you rocked it anyway, sounds like even more than you’d planned!

    Thank you for your great efforts. :)

    Dave Cynkin
    Co-Founder, Sleep Deprivationist & Thrill Seeker
    BlogWorld & New Media Expo

    • Pat

      Thanks for the comment Dave! No apologies necessary, it was completely my own fault, and if there is a next time for me at BWE I will definitely be ready with something that works. Cheers, and all the best.

  • http://www.startyoungfinishfirst.com Tram Tran

    Wow Pat, awesome presentation. You were so in control. I love it;)

  • http://www.sherrysnider.com/ Sherry

    LOL. I’ve told you before, Pat. It COMFORTS me when non-PC people experience technical difficulties. 😉 I hate that it happened, but since “it” does happen to the best of us, kudos for going with the flow! :-)

    • http://www.blogworldexpo.com Rick Calvert

      Haha Sherry. As a fellow PC I am guilty of that schadenfreude feeling too =p.

  • http://www.bankruptcyfraudhq.com Eddie Johnson

    That “double take” is an all time classic. It doesn’t even look like you turned around enough to see the screen before you turned away and “bam” you turned right back around. Have watched it 20 times. Great recovery too.

  • http://thebusybeehiveblog.blogspot.com/ Beelissa

    This is a great story, Pat. You handled it very well. I think another way to fix the font thing is to make a jpeg image of every slide, just like you could if you wanted to use an unusual font on your blog or website and make sure it looked the same to everyone.

  • Brock Poling

    Kudos Pat. You know what they say, genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. I am sure you were very glad you rehearsed it that many times.

  • Bojan

    I had similar thing happening to me at local blogging conference, where they barley allowed me to use my MacBook Pro. All my slides were in Keynote and they were using Windows, so I panicked once I saw that they don’t have thunderbolt to vga udapter.

    Luckily MAC community was supportive and they borrowed me the plug and I used my laptop. 

    It made me anxious and first part of my speech was messed up cause of anxiety, but people found it genuine and later on I cought up and delivered awesome presentation. People awarded that with great applause, which made my first public speaking engagement ever, the most awesome experience!

  • http://www.frugalfrancis.com frugal francis

    rock on pat flynn! you are the man. please never stop creating such great content!

  • http://www.onlinebusinesshour.com Adam Saverian

    Well done Pat. You’ve been able to turn your failure around and build up some interest in the content of your talk for those who weren’t at Blog World. I want hear the whole thing. Will you be able to put it in your Podcast?

  • http://www.calawreport.com John Corcoran


    Wow, you handled that really well. I think this goes to show how your perception of how you are doing vs. how you really appear to the audience can be very different. I thought you rolled with that stumbling block really well. I have to do public speaking often, so I’ve found the best thing you can do is prepare to be interrupted and for things to not go as planned, because it’s impossible to plan out everything.

    And yet again, you wrapped it all up into a nice lesson for your readers.

  • http://pinoymoneytips.com Miggy

    Woohoo! That was awesome Pat!! I wished I could have attended, too. But am here in the Philippines. Can’t wait to watch your presentation!

  • http://thewisebuck.com Mike

    Hey Pat,

    I can relate to what you went through. I knew how real it was for you (heck I could even feel it) once I saw the WTH look on your face. It can happen so fast.

    Everything is going well. The crowd is providing you with positive feedback from the get-go. As you said ‘I got this.’ Then, suddenly, the unexpected happens.

    It’s like being on an island with no way off except to bail (er drown). I mean you can’t even hear yourself think, right? Hello fight or flight!

    But you took a step back and said ‘WTH – I know this stuff and I know these people. Just be myself and share what’s worked for me.’ At least I think that’s what happened in about .0006 seconds. LOL

    One of the reasons I’ve always liked your blog is because it real. You’re real. Like so many other people, I can relate to this and got a LOT out of it.

    I look forward to seeing the whole presentation once you post it (assuming you do)

    Take Care,


  • Alvaro Paredes

    Hey Pat, That’s a great experience, It was very good the way you handle it, Im an Ecuadorian follower, I wanted to thank you, I’m learning a lot from you and your are helping me to develop my ideas, even Ecuador is little bit diferent market. Thanks a lot.

  • http://pisoceramicoenguatemala.wordpress.com piso ceramico en guatemala

    woohoo…that was awesome I love it, I dont know how to do that …

  • http://www.scottfox.com/blog_index.html Scott Fox

    Hey Pat,
    I was there and you did a fine job.
    I know it was stressful for you, especially after all that prep, but it didn’t hurt your presentation. You knew the material cold and delivered it well.
    I actually thought the new typeface was kind of cool – it allowed us in the audience to imagine what the rest of the slide might have been like!
    All the best until next time.

  • http://www.blogceptional.com Mike

    I feel your pain. I whipped up what I thought was a stellar Powerpoint presentation, trotted into my boss’s office and… you guessed it. Thankfully, my boss was cool about it and I had a chance to fix things prior to the group presentation… but all you can do is roll with it and chalk it up to experience. Bet you never do that again :-)

  • http://www.webvideochefs.com Amani Channel

    Pat – Things happen like this all the time. In TV prompters go down, there are things going on behind the scenes that you wouldn’t believe. The show must go on and you handled it like a pro. I may do a special tutorial on speaking under pressure on Web Video Chefs. You’re great on camera, but there’s no bigger rush than going live. The thing is, if you over memorize your script, you can actually throw yourself off. It’s better to have the general flow in mind, and speak from the heart. You know this stuff…. and you know this! Maaan.


    Amani Channel

  • http://www.WebBusinessFreedom.com Brandon Uttley

    Pat, that sucks. It happened to me once while presenting at a conference last year. There’s really nothing you can do but laugh and move on. You handled it perfectly. Next time, just ditch the slides!

  • Luci

    Your double-take was PRICELESS…and your recovery was AWESOME!!!

    And remember: Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never fail to be amused!

  • http://www.healthandwealthmakeover.com Adam Underhill

    Pat–I didn’t make it to Blog World, but I assume that people could tell you that you knew your info. Way to go powering through the the “hiccup!”

  • http://www.rachealomack.com Racheal O. Mack

    Kudos for handling that mini crisis well!

  • http://www.embark-lovethelifeyoulive.com/ Kala

    You rolled with it and yes funny and human you know people love that not all perfect and smooth. But as you said you knew your stuff so it even highlighted that. Yeah the font thing and test on actual equiptment if possible. Lets see the whole presentation soon.

  • http://www.texasmountainbiketrails.com Shawn McAfee

    Great recovery Pat, you really pulled it off well.

    Most of all congrats, you really look like you were enjoying yourself while presenting. Keep up the great work!

  • http://www.internetentrepreneurconnection.com Hector Avellaneda

    Hahaha… that was hilarious Pat but just from the short clip that we got to see I think you handled it great! You’re right. Sometimes life is going to throw you curve balls and what makes the difference is how we respond. And sometimes things happen for a reason! I guarantee you that everyone in the room will remember you and your presentation!

  • http://www.autorepondeur.org/ MaxR

    Great story with ever greater lessons learned and shared. I particularly like the way you always find a silver lining to whatever happens to you. Good lesson for us.

  • http://www.autorepondeur.org/ MaxR

    Great story with even greater lessons learned and shared. I particularly like the way you always find a silver lining to whatever happens to you. Good lesson for us.

  • http://www.handsontelehealth.com Nirav

    I’ve always found that things happen for a reason. You may look back on how you handled this and realize that it was a pivotal moment in the trajectory of your career. Glad to hear you rocked. Your SPI fans are always rooting for you.
    – Nirav

  • http://www.ninjagolego.net Dave Tong

    Improv, great job still Pat.

    Quick tip, try to get used to exporting presentations to PDF format (yes, you can do presentations with PDFs) to avoid any issues like this… PDF can do 3D etc. so you can even do this with CAD stuff like for your architecture-based audience.



  • http://www.horsetrainingchannel.com Jen

    You are so awesome! Always inspirational even when things go wrong!

  • http://www.jaysonfoxx.com Jayson Foxx

    Hey Pat,
    Just had to stop by and congratulate you on a job well done! You rolled with the situation quite well. I would never have guessed that this was only your second live public speaking appearance. You looked like you’ve been doing this for years!!

    Sorry that I couldn’t have been there in person to see it all live. Word on the street is that you most definitely killed it in LA! Again, congrats!

    PS Just lovin’ the animated GIF too…brilliant!! LOL!

    Jayson Foxx
    Founder Hippo Burrito LLC

  • http://daveworks.net Dave Naves

    I realize you already completely understand this, but sometimes it’s nice to get feedback from an outside perspective… I have to say, Pat, that what differentiates your site/brand is your unique talent to be truly transparent and human… which as you well know, in our world of successful blogging/social networking is *essential* to making money. So if anything, I don’t think you could’ve asked for a better opportunity to show this off to your massive and hungry audience.

    Kudos, Brother!


  • http://www.learnnichemarketing.com Dave Tong

    Classic case of people showing up to hear/watch YOU, and not the slides 😀

    None of the audiences gave a hoot on the slide mishap, I guess that’s why nobody informed you in the first place because they were too engrossed with what YOU had to say 😀

  • http://businessofarchitecture.com Enoch

    Pat, it takes guts to highlight that kind of gaff. But that’s why we keep coming back, and you know it.

  • http://campgroundpirateradio.com Jay Walsh

    In Graphic Design we call that a “Happy Accident.”

    Look at it this way, you were probably more engaging than you imagined. My guess is that most of the audience was paying closer attention to what you were saying to get clues to what the messed up slides were trying to say.

    Kudos for striking gold during an awkward situation!

  • http://www.declutterprogram.com/ John

    Good job! Never give up!!

  • http://www.appsandkids.com Ole

    Yeah, that’s why I am tending to opt for the PDF in presentations. Less animations, but more certainty…

    But you came out of this very well! Congrats with all going-ons.

  • Notmyrealname

    Sorry to say, but as a website builder and a bit of a computer techie that’s quite a stupid mistake to make.

  • http://inglesymagia.wordpress.com Elaine Van Staalduinen

    Pat, I loved the short video. When the audience laughs spontaneously, you’ve got them on your side. (I must admit that I was waiting to see you do a double take when the misspelled words came up…. to get another laugh.) You were so genuine and that’s what really attracts people.
    I did my first GoToMeeting session the other day (a fantastic tool to check out for those of you who don’t know about it) and one of the participants was using the speaker in his computer rather than an exterior mic. This was a teaching session for English learners so it was imperative to hear what he was saying to be able to respond, and also so that the other participants wouldn’t tune out. It was extremely frustrating not being able to control the situation until it became incorporated it into the presentacion.
    The participant was feeling quite bad and being very apologetic until (without thinking, the words just came) I said: “Actually, James (not real name) you have given us an incredible opportunity.” And then to everyone, “Imagine that James is your client and he is in another country. You can’t understand what he is saying. Ruben (not real name), what would you say to James?Suddenly, what was a problem became an important part of the presentation.
    It was an opportunity to learn some new phrases but even more importantly, it was a perfect mini-lesson that freed them up to interrupt me during the session when they didn’t understand me. I would imagine, Pat, that like me, the ‘problem’ was a great personal growing experience for you because it was an opportunity to take on a challenge and turn it into something positive… in this case for everyone. You did all that memorizing and in the end, saw that you were fantastic at ‘thinking on your feet’. CONGRATULATIONS!

  • http://www.yourbossblows.com Bryan Knowlton

    Great Recovery Pat! I could only imagine what those few seconds felt like, but you quickly overcame it and continued on with an excellent presentation! Good job man!

  • http://pacquiao-vs-marquez-3-rematch-11.blogspot.com/ Diana

    Great! you manage to deal it. Those are the things need to consider specially when we having a slide presentation.

  • http://www.jontusmedia.com Jon Buscall

    As a seasoned speaker and trainer I feel for you. But good for you. That was a great learning process.

    Always have a PDF of your presentation your computer / thumb drive / evernote for times like this if you’re not using your own machine. That way you can just show the slides with PDF view. I actually often do this.

    This is my strategy plus I take my own MacBookPro to use and a back up iPad!

    Things go wrong and like every boy scout it’s great to be prepared.

  • http://LowCostMarketingStrategies.com Scott Dudley

    Man I would have ran if that happened to me, but like you said it worked in your favour as it attracted attention and showed that you didn’t need your slides to get the message across.

    I bet you don’t let that happen to you again lol.

  • http://www.mortenpauch.com Morten Pauch

    I think this oops might have given you an advantage as this really made it all about you and your performance. Sometimes slide shows disturb more than they help as the audience sometimes focus more on those rather than on the presenter who’s supposed to bring all the good stuff (not saying your slide show wasn’t fantastic – just in general). So not only did you handle it well, you had also prepared a lot and were able to pull it off only to your benefits as I see it. Way to go

  • http://WebSalesMarketing.com/blog Neil

    Great philosophy Pat about life being 90% how you react to things.

    If ever anyone needed a lesson in the value of being prepared, this post would be perfect for them. If you hadn’t put yourself through the ringer practicing and preparing and almost over preparing, your speach wouldnt have been as good I’m sure.

    Those are my two take-aways from your experience. Thanks for that. Neil

  • http://www.sportmanagement.cc Remco

    After seeing the video, I have to give you a big compliment. You really recovered good, and quickly.
    I guess your heart skipped a beat or 2 that moment 😉

  • http://www.questforanewperspective.com Gene Jennings


    No worries! It happens to all public speakers. I’ve been speaking for almost 30 years to congregations, civic groups, and classrooms. One time when I was telling my church that the Psalms say that we should have a “purified heart” I said “purified fart.”

    I made a memory for me and many others!

  • http://www.questforanewperspective.com Gene Jennings

    And one more thing, Pat. At the church I serve, we use slide presentations every Sunday. I’ve learned to count the slides as a luxury instead of a necessity. In other words, I try to be sure that I say or thoroughly describe everything verbally and let the slides enhance the speech. Projector bulbs ALWAYS fail before or during a presentation. (Obviously, because that is the only time they are on.)

    You can’t always control technology but you can control what you say.

    Hope that makes sense!

  • http://www.birthtouch.com Kathy Morelli, LPC (@KathyAMorelli)

    Hi Pat –
    I loved this anecdote! I speak at conferences about once a year and it is always nerve-wracking to fly across the country and then deal with different types of media set-up! And then I also find I sometimes need to tailor the presentation to who is actually there….
    But it was just so great how you handled that situation…it echoes how you handled what happened to you in your life….taking a hard financial and emotional situation of being laid off and deciding to create a business work for yourself soimehwere else…online..making lemonade out of lemons! Really good life lesson…take care, Kathy

  • Felipe Garcia

    Hello Pat,

    We have all been to conferences where this has happened to a speaker. I was at a conference one time and this happened to the keynote speaker and he did amazing. He was so prepared that not having slides at all did not make a difference. Pat, you were so prepared and knew your material and message so well, that as mentioned in other tweets and posts, it actually enhanced your presentation making it more personal and engaging.

    I minor disaster like that could easily paralize a speaker who was not prepared.

    I love your blog. Keep up the great work.


  • http://freetoliveyourdreams.com Emily

    “The show must go on.” Pat, this kind of stuff happens to every live actor and every public speaker/preacher. And you handled it like a pro.

    I actually learned something from that clip, “being everywhere.” And I would never have heard it if you hadn’t messed up and put it on your blog. So see? Good came out of it, anyway. :)

  • http://www.diamondguidehq.com Richard Scott

    Great recovery. Sometimes it takes a mishap like this to show us what we’re really made of. Everyone knows technology fails, the good thing is, you didn’t. And you made light of the situation. It shows you are a true pro and we admire that.

    It could have been worse… Look at the latest Rick Perry video of him getting an uncomfortable silence in which he failed to produce the third. lol :)

  • http://www.myuniversitymoney.com J.B @ My University Money

    Love the doubletake! Sucks when things like that happen though. On the other hand it makes you look human infront of everyone and I think everyone can respect that mistakes are made. Way to keep going though!

  • http://www.chrisfrenchblog.com Chris French

    Hey Pat, great recovery! Had a similar issue pitching a venture to a large prospect when the presentation went haywire. They later told me that they were really impressed with our ability to handle that mishap on the fly and it worked for us in a positive way. Being dynamic and able to roll with tough situations speaks volumes about a person. Well done and bravo, my friend.

  • http://www.seobasicsandstrategies.com TomL

    That’s hillarious… I’ve had a similar situation happen to me during a sales call before. How you handle it is what separates the men from the boys.



  • http://Www.tesfalcon.com TesFalcon

    I’m surprised you weren’t sick from the lack of sleep & food. I’ve been working on a worse schedule than that, but it took me a year to get used to it. Now, I can go 48 hrs at a time wo sleep & 24 hrs w no food before I start getting cranky. When you mentioned lunch & nerves & no sleep, I thought you were going to talk about running off stage to puke, then came back & kept going. Seen that done before. Glad it was such a minor tech glitch.

  • http://www.familymealsandcookingtips.com Emma

    Well done for getting on with it. Goes to show how prepared you obviously were. Congratulations on speaking at the conference.

  • http://www.FirepoleMarketing.com Danny @ Firepole Marketing

    Way to go, Pat – it’s not easy to recover from that sort of a speaking mishap in the moment (it’s happened to me a couple of times), and you did a really great of it. Congrats! :)

  • http://www.elliottsamuel.com/ Elliott Samuel


  • http://www.elliottsamuel.com/ Elliott Samuel

    And maybe Rick Perry should take lessons from you!

  • Joe McCready


    Good recovery. Couldn’t stop laughing at “For those of you coming in, the slides are jacked up!” Love it. Everybody’s human and real and you showed that. That’s why we follow you, you are real and it happens to all of us. Great job. No water bottle this time?


  • http://GuitarAction.org Paul Easton

    Hey pat,
    Tech problems always part of the process. You could tell you were nevous as yuo were talking fast, (i use notes saying talk slower)

    They loved your presentation be you love the topic- coming from your heart- really thats the key, while you always stay true to yourself, you will always be a great speaker

  • http://www.dwgfx.tk Dale Wakelin

    its amazing how you started from scratch and now your a world famous blogger PAT FLYNN FOR THE WIN

  • http://brightflock.com/blog/laura-jane-koers Laura-Jane

    OMG Pat my heart dropped for you when reading this. It’s always the unexpected that gets us in the end!

    I look forward to watching the vid when I have more time.

  • http://www.blogworldexpo.com Rick Calvert

    Ok I had to leave another comment Pat. I read the post but didnt actually watch the video earlier. Your face was priceless when you turned around to see your slides. You did a really amazing job just going with it and again your practice and preparation really paid off! Great great great job Pat.

    A quick little story so you know this doesn’t only happen to you. Two years ago I landed my first paying speaking gig. It was to a group of people I knew very little about ( owners of baby and toddler retail stores). I knew I better deliver something great or they were going to run me out of the room. I worked on my slides for hours, I practiced my talk over and over and over in front of the mirror, pacing around the room, trying not to look back at my slides to keep my place.

    I get to the event a check in a day early, I get to the room an hour before my session, get everything set up and then when the moderator introduces me, the screen goes black on the projector. After watching the tech make no progress for 5 minutes, I started my talk. I was so nervous! But I had prepared and was able to pull off my talk sans slides and the crowd seemed to enjoy it. They asked tons of questions.

    I learned my lesson right then, always prepare just in case.

    You were prepared and magic happened. I am telling you right now we would love to have you back in NYC this June if you are willing to trust our techs one more time 8).

  • Mirona

    Pat, You handled the circumstances spectacularly!! :) up.. up… and away!

  • http://www.learnbloggingsecrets.com Glenn


    Even in the face of adversity you came through! :)

    Preperation certainly paid off, I know from your last presentation that you like to inject some humour – this worked again for you, albeit that it was unprepared for humour…..

    You rock, Dude!!


  • http://seleema.com Seleema

    Pat, I think you handled the presentation very well. The mishap made you look human and therefore more relatable. I’m proud of you, keep doing what you do.

  • http://www.paulcaparas.com Paul Caparas

    Very cool Pat. Looks like you had a quite interesting experience at BWE.

  • http://www.nurturedscills.com Sylva

    Wow! Great lessons:
    1. Don’t ever assume anything.
    2. Make provision for alternatives.
    3. Be strong and flexible
    4. Say focused
    Thanks Pat.
    You make me strong

  • http://www.infogenra.com/ Raj @ Make Money Blogging

    it is fantastic. kudos to you.. the video is one the best I have watched ever..

  • http://www.mommyreporter.com Desiree

    Congrats on a job well done! I probably would have freaked out… you handled it very well!!! :)

  • Mike

    Hi Pat, Public speaking can be one of the most frightening and intimidating things for a person to do, and that’s when everything works out! :) I watched the video and smiled and laughed at the mishap. In that moment it feels like you connected with the audience, you suddenly became vulnerable and human, people can universally relate to that. After that happened I’m sure the audience was much more open to absorbing all you had to say. You rolled with the punches and did a great job moving forward! Good Work!

  • http://seoduck.ru SeoDuck

    Pat you’re a cool man. Don’t take that situation so serious. Everybody was interested listening to you. Sometimes shitty situations turn out to be in your favor.

  • http://battlegroundbuzz.com Joshua Monen

    Hey Pat, I’m just breaking into public speaking myself. Good to see how you handled this unexpected event. It reminds me that emotional intelligence is far more valuable than having everything go “smoothly.” Good job!

  • Pat

    I just wanted to say thanks for all the wonderful and awesome comments everyone!

  • http://www.biggerpockets.com Joshua Dorkin

    I think everyone in the room is glad that you didn’t bail on us, Pat. You did great and frankly, I think the technical snafu added to the charm of the presentation. It was great meeting you at Blogworld, and I really did enjoy watching your presentation.

  • http://NeriumInfo.Com Steve

    I would have freaked out, ha. Good job, Pat!

  • http://mypassiveincomeblog.net/ Brendan Erofeev

    You are an inspiration Pat, keep up the good work. I always get excited when you release a new post!

  • Chris

    I like how this post’s title and headline play into people’s fears of public speaking to get them interested.

  • Tim

    Public presentations can be so much fun.
    You spend hours setting up your work but can never be prepared for everything.

    One of my best failures was while running a seminar in Perth Australia.
    I spent hours preparing my multi media and it was a beautiful thing.
    The day of setup I had a bad car accident and wrote off the car but I was ok. That evening at the conference centre in was doing my usual pre tests when undiscovered the laptop had been damaged in the accident.
    A late night and I recovered most of my work.
    Next day. The day of the 4 hour presentation I list my voice so had to croak my way through it with lots of pauses to try to get the words out.

  • http://www.magnet4marketing.net Fabrizio

    Pat, well done for putting out such a great presentation at Blog World Expo regardless, you certainly handled that situation very well by the looks of things. I’ve been looking to organise a local webinar to talk about internet marketing in my neck of the woods and have no experience in public speaking whatsoever, so I’d just like to thank you for being an inspiration.

  • http://www.winestoragebuzz.com Bill

    Great story Pat. It speaks to proper preparation and knowledge of your subject. It’s also a good lesson in not taking ourselves too seriously. I much enjoy your site, by the way.

  • wilie robertson

    Hello Pat,

    My first time at, well actually second time, at your blog.

    I was here the other eveing listening to the podcast of MJ Demarco The fastlane Millinaire.

    With regards to your article here, way to flow on with your presentation. That seaks of a real pro at his game.

    When I was a youth I played in a band and a guy came to hear us who supposedly was a promoter of some sort.

    Anyway our lead singer accidently droppped his mike while singing and about freaked out.

    The promoter spoke up and said, never ever let the audience see you sweat. If you mess up, keep going, keep the show going. He said most of the people will not even notice and many will think it was part of the show.

    I have never forgot that.

    I, years later, actually obsevred this in action by the R & B group the spinners. Their lead singer was dancing around and dropped the mike, he didn’t miss a beat. He picked it up and kept singing, it made me think back to what the promoter said.

  • http://passiveincometalk.com Steve

    Pat, really enjoyed this story. I have had a couple presentations go this way and winging it sometimes turns out the best. You handled this superbly!

  • Angel

    I’m so Inspired on how you handled your presentation. It’s awesome to realize that even big guys like you make mistakes and a perfect presentatation is not always the case. And yeah you are a “big guy” (Guru) in my opinion. I just love that your transparent on your blog and that your yourself in everything you do.
    Thanks, Pat.

  • http://www.speakingoflove.net Sally Brown

    Hi Pat,

    I wasn’t at the event, but I love the way you have presented the experience. I love how you recovered from a potentially disastrous situation. This really demonstrates your ability to respond in the wake of a very embarrassing calamity.

    I’ve really enjoyed this post. You are a true professional! Sally

  • http://genuineseo.net/ Eddie Gear

    Hi Pat, that is quite a story. Good to hear that everything went well in the end. Hey is there any possibility that you can share the presentations with us, especially for people who cannot afford to attend blog world. I would love to hear all that was discussed. Or do you know a source where I can view the blog world recording.

  • Tipjar

    “and for those who are walking in, slides are jacked up”


  • http://presentationexpressions.com Carl Kwan

    Dude! That was awesome how you handled the presentation!! Just rolling with it was brilliant.

    Anyway, all the best and keep doing what you do! :)

  • http://www.100percentforex.blogpsot.com Roland

    Hi Pat, great to read that it all turned out well in the end, and I believe that you handled this perfectly. I would love to get some cash out of this… but I won’t… but you really should check out the 48 laws of power, and this will show you examples throughout history of what you should have/could have done and the reasons why.

    It is one of the best books I have ever read (it is a self help book, but also a really good read) check it out on Amazon or the such like.

    Hope you find it interesting and it helps/entertains! :)

  • http://www.chicagolandgaragebuilder.com Bobby

    Awww, typos are the worst. It builds character I think, you will be extra mindful of your slides from now on I bet. It makes you seem more personable to the audience too, you had a mishap, you are human. I wouldn’t be reading about other people if I was perfect now would I. Thanks for sharing. Cheers.

  • http://www.venturehuntli.com Christopher Erckert

    Great recovery Pat.

  • Welner

    You plain and simple just have to much SWAG to let those little things affect you Pat!

    Congrats man!… You’re a great example to look up to!

  • http://www.johnvarghese.com John Varghese

    Pat. The reason you are successful is definitely your unfaltering dedication. You amaze me with the amount of effort you put into each and every thing you do. I was really surprised to read that you memorized the presentation and rehearsed it several times. You truly deserve all the success you get and I genuinely wish you the best. If all of us put in just one tenth of the effort you put in, the world will be so much better.

  • http://www.dwaynes--world.blogspot.com Dwayne Morris

    Cool as a cucumber! What else could you have done? Not sure if you’ve addressed this anywhere, but other than make sure you use a “safe” font, what will you do to prepare for similar mishaps in the future? I heard where this happened to Steve Jobs once and he diverted to a personal story while the Tech Team fixed the glitch. Here’s a link to a TED talk that shares this story and some research that has been done on giving great presentations: http://dwaynes–world.blogspot.com/2011/06/do-you-have-story-to-tell.html

  • http://www.alrayeswebsolutions.com Lishiel @ Alrayes Web

    I must agree when you said that “the slides were hilarious and actually worked in my favor”. Such a blessing in disguise. We can always say the character of a person depending on how he/she reacts to a problem. Nice reaction and great presentation indeed! =)

  • http://zanypost.com Sam Clarke

    Awesome job Pat! I know exactly how that feels I had a similar thing happen to me during a presentation with some HP executives.

    This just demonstrates professionalism all around and the fact that you know what you are talking about.

  • http://www.drrosedale.com fiona

    AWESOME recovery.. omg… I think i would have ran off.. you were funny, composed, real. Great job, great presentation! and wonderful tips.

  • http://www.aspire.or.gng Jovie Onyema

    using fancy fonts can be a big problem as you experienced. i’ve had a few of those problems while designing websites.

    It’s great that you were able to turn the situation around and even get people to enjoy your presentation (instead of you pitying yourself and expecting the same from the audience.)

  • http://www.aboutmyway.com Chukwuka Okwukwe Chukwuka

    Hi! Pat,

    I’m glad you recovered from the disappointment. What really matters in life is not the events or the circumstances but our response to it.

    Your response was good and you carried the audience with it.

    You’re blessed.


  • http://www.usbdrivedatarecovery.com flash drive recovery

    I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely like it.I have to bookmarked your site to check out new stuff new post.

  • http://www.appletoncriminalattorneys.com/appleton_drug_trafficking_lawyer.aspx donah@Appleton Drug Conspiracy Attorney

    I salute you for such a brave act! I love your presentation though, thumbs up!

  • http://www.londencity.nl LC

    Great recovery. I guess at such a moment your survival-mode kicks in and then it depends on a person’s personality as well how to handle it.

  • http://financiallyeliteblog.com Dwight Anthony

    Hey Pat,

    If you’re going to screw up, screw up big – good comeback though. It looks like you had the audience support so at least that was going for you. Always use a nice Sans Serif type font included with all computers / macs is what i’d say but good tip on using pdf files which are font independent for the most part.

    Dwight Anthony
    Financially Elite Blog dot com

  • Chris McKinley

    Awesome way to react and transition it Pat! Wish I were there. Sounds like it was a great presentation.

  • http://www.brockstarlife.com/ Brockstar

    Then you go and do something like that….and TOTALLY redeem yourself!

  • http://craigbooker.com Craig Booker

    Pat, I love, love, love how you recovered from this! Something that could have killed your presentation made it better. It made you seem more human. We make mistakes, things like this happen. You turned a sore spot into a way to engage the audience. Well done!

  • http://binhthuan360.vn Hana Brock

    it is very good, its not like you can do, I need to work hard

  • Gerald D. Vinci

    Hey Pat, just caught this podcast episode, Great recovery! I would have been beat red and stammering for 5-10 minutes! Totally pro. Just wanted to take a minute and show you some love. Have a great day!

  • http://www.monkeyslunch.com Spencer Goldade

    Just watched the video of the misap, Pat, and you handled it like a pro. I’ve always said that spontaneity is one of the biggest assets I have, and it seems like you may share some of that, too.

  • bardia

    Your site has a lot of fans. You are an accomplished writer
    راهبند اتوماتیککرکره برقیلامپ کم مصرفدرب ضد سرقت

  • http://leapica.com/ Lea Pica

    Superb handling of every professional speaker’s worst nightmare, Pat! Although I think this guy has you beat in terms of total technical…em…malfunction. You’ll get a real kick out of this:


  • http://remotepossibilities.wordpress.com/ Craig Hadden

    Great job on recovering from the “font fail”! Thanks to your post (and others like it) I’ve avoided going through that ordeal myself.

    I just posted about this problem, and shared Cliff’s video, so thanks for putting it out there. (In the post, you can also find a link to a list of the most widely available fonts, like Tahoma and Verdana:

    Sadly, there are only a few fonts that are installed almost universally, and they’re mostly not very pretty! But grudgingly I’ve now realised they’re the best choice, to avoid problems.

    Thanks again!