Saturday, January 18, 2014

Riding Shotgun - the Master of Ceremonies Should Protect the Speaker

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas famous director Michael Bay was supposed to help Samsung introduce a new product. It didn’t work out as planned, and instead he blogged:

“Wow! I just embarrassed myself at CES – I was about to speak for Samsung for this awesome Curved 105-inch UHD TV. I rarely lend my name to any products, but this one is just stellar. I got so excited to talk, that I skipped over the Exec VP’s intro line and then the teleprompter got lost. Then the prompter went up and down – then I walked off. I guess live shows aren’t my thing.

But I’m doing a special curved screen experience with Samsung and Transformers 4 footage that will be traveling around the world.


Watch this video of how it went:

Lots of speaking coaches have commented about Michael’s performance, or lack thereof on this huge, unfriendly stage. On the digital magazine rack at Alltop Speaking they included:

Shari Alexander-
High-Pressure Presentations: Diagnosing Michael Bay’s Performance Bust

Diane Diresta -
Don’t Let What Happened to Michael Bey Happen to You
(and don’t spell the name of your subject wrong in the title)

Rich Hopkins -
3 Ways I Would Have Helped Michael Bay Prevent Speaking Armageddon

Jezra Kaye -
How to Learn from Michael Bay’s Public speaking Panic Attack

Nick Morgan -
Your Worst speaking Fear Realized: Michael Bay Meltdown

John Zimmer -
Five Lessons from Michael Bay’s ‘Meltdown’

In Hollywood westerns, the armed guard who sits next to the driver of a stagecoach for protection is “riding shotgun.” It’s his (or her) job to defend the driver and coach.

Rather than talk meltdown, I’ll note the emcee, Samsung’s Executive Vice President Joe Stinziano, could have saved the day but really didn’t. Joe could have pulled a copy of the teleprompter script out of his coat pocket and handed it to Michael. Or, he could have asked Michael if he thought that new curved-screen TV was an exceptional product.

Michael looked anxious and threatened as soon as he walked out, like he was going to be the Red Shirt  guy in a sci-fi movie or TV show. That’s the unimportant character who gets killed off at the start of the show, like in a Family Guy parody of Star Trek:

“Captain Kirk: 'All right men, this is a dangerous mission. And, it’s likely one of us will be killed. The landing party will consist of myself, Mr. Spock, Dr. McCoy, and Ensign Ricky.’

Ensign Ricky: ‘Aw, crap.’ ”

The image for Riding Shotgun came from Wikimedia Commons.

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