I recently gave a presentation on technology to a group of gracious pensioners. My topic was Technology for Bank Pensioners – It’s a Cruise. Unfortunately, I was the one who ended up at sea and heading for a bottle when the sound equipment let me down.

Shoe story

I kid you not!

Imagine a room full of people checking our hearing aids or gaping with astonishment at a moving picture, the like of which hasn’t been experienced since the silent film era.

I had tested the whole show countless times, honed slide transitions, animations, videos and sound clips to precision. I was totally prepared with my laptop, wireless mouse (which unfortunately couldn’t be accommodated on the little table provided), books and order forms. I had left my amplifier at home, never for one moment thinking that the hotel sound equipment might malfunction at a critical point.
The show was audible and perfect until after we docked to complete a live demo of the Bank Pensioners Society website(http://www.bps-fips.co.za).

We were sailing towards my pièce de la résistance, intended to encourage all to ‘give technology a go’ by buying our book, Going Global – Technology made Simple by Penny Mitchell and Sue Trollip, when suddenly I was working ‘unplugged’.

I desperately needed my mouse. My laptop touch pad had gone for a smoke break; at least this is what I thought until it appeared to have gone into full cardiac arrest. My heart was beating enough to keep a room full of pacemakers going, but everything else seemed disconnected.

The slide I was particularly proud of (perhaps that was my undoing) was timed perfectly to the backing of Walt Disney’s Jungle Book hit, The Bare Necessities. Video, thought and speech bubbles advanced relentlessly to a deafening silence. My message was shipwrecked with titanic consequences and there was nobody to rescue me, not even my mouse.

The lesson?

Technology can be a cruise. You don’t have to be an expert to go global. Start with the bare necessities, but if you want others to follow you, make sure your sound is under your control and nobody can hijack your mouse. Oh, and contact me with any queries before you need rescuing. Not that I smoke, but a bit of cheese…

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