It happened again yesterday. In the middle of my presentation, the laptop just had to "hang" ...
Does that mean I had to "hang in there" too?
My events management experience said "No!"
My acting background said "Never! The show must go on!"
Having the audience to wait, watching you fix the laptop/ situation is a "Big, Big Sin", as far as presentation is concerned.
What to do if such thing happened?
Step 1: Take a deep breath! If you can inject humour, you can say something that, "Oh! I have forgotten to give my laptop the vitamins for the day, thats why! <and shakes head looking at the laptop>" This is actually to "buy" time to think what to do next, yet the audience is still engaged with you!
Step 2: Switch on improvisation mode - ie look around in the room and see what can you do/ use to facilitate and continue the presentation. For me, it was back to basics: Grabbed the marker and looked at the empty whiteboard.
Step 3: Recall your notes. If we are presenting, what ever presentation we are giving, we should have our content with us already, and can "vomit the content out" anytime ... That is why, there is a saying, "Content is King". And I would like to add, "Embrace the Content, and you'll look like a King." Audience will appreciate you more.
Step 4: On the whiteboard, draw mind-maps of the topics you are presenting; or write the topics in point forms - whichever way you are comfortable with etc. That will serve as a "visual aid" for the audience; and also to "buy" time (again! but who cares, coz you are STILL engaging the audience!) for your mind to structure the "alternative" way to present.
Step 5: Continue Presenting!
Hope these quick tips help! It had definitely helped me!