25 Responses to “5 Conference Speakers That Can Kill a Conference”


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  1. I have another one for you: The Canceller: they agree to speak, but at the 11th hour remember that their anniversary is that day. Then the organizers have to run around like mad men (not Mad Men because that would be cool,) and try and find a replacement.

  2. Greg Mallek

    Related to the “PowerPoint Assassin” is the speaker who puts a bunch of stuff in a presentation, then never checks if it will work of the presentation computer! Then he spends the first 10 mintues at the podium with the tech support guy (’cause his presentation won’t open, or his videos won’t play, or his pictures are just big, red Xs) saying, “I’m not too good with computers…”

  3. Great post! I wish I wrote it. I sent my twitter and facebook people to it. What a crack up!

    Thanks for the writing dude!


  4. Dee

    I love this blog! And I’ve seen every one of these speakers! (I’ve probably been one of them a couple of times!) I also love your fun, “tell it like it is” attitude. Thanks for some good info!

  5. Still recovering (aaarrggh) from the Celine video clip but thanks for listing these 5 speakers to avoid. Now if we could just get more people to recognize them!?

  6. avishp

    Terry: Great addition – yes, the Cancellor is a giant pain in the ass. And one that most of the audience will never know about because it happens behind the scenes. I had somebody cancel on an event I was running with one month’s notice – and he was a draw we had been publicizing!

    Greg: Yes, if you are going to use PowerPoint, pre-planning, setup, and checking is vital! I didn’t attend but did hear of a speaker who was doing a session on technology spend the first ten minutes of his session trying to get the PowerPoint to work…

    Brad: Thanks!! “I wish I wrote it” is very high praise indeed. Thanks for sharing and for making my ego feel good 🙂

    Dee: Thanks – glad you enjoyed it!

    Kit: Apologies, but I didn’t want to be the only one who suffered through that. I felt I needed to share my pain…:-)

  7. I could give you one of the pointless, to-the-side man hugs right now. Great post and fab observations. I’ve got a week to prepare before giving a talk to 20 or so intellectual grads when I’m a high school drop out no hoper. Should be fun! I appreciate the avoidance tips.

  8. Laugh out loud funny – and so true, Avish! Thank you. After many years as a professional speaker, I’ve seen all of them, done all of them, and hopefully learned from all of them. For me, what really counts now is creating moments of connection that help audiences recognize the heroes they are in their own lives and the catalyst they are to the Holy Grail for me as a speaker. Mary

  9. avishp

    Amit: Thanks – I appreciate the sentiment but I’m ok missing out on the to-the-side man hug 🙂 Good luck with the talk – I’m sure you’ll rock it out.

    Mary: Thanks! I know, we’ve all seen them and done them. But that’s the beauty of experience and wisdom – we can sit back and make fun of the people who do it now!

  10. Say what you want about the Celine clip… but that air guitar slide/hop on one foot in FIVE INCH HEELS is impressive.

  11. avishp

    Thanks Dan, – I suppose you are right, Celine’s ability to hop around on 5″ heels is admirable. Which means, I suppose, that this video would be fin to watch with the sound off…:-)

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  13. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I am not sure why but I think its a linking problem. I have tried it in two diverse internet browsers and both show the same results.

  14. Well done my friend. Very well written. The only problem is the offenders never see themselves as they are. Uh Oh, I’d better be careful or you’ll add the know it all category too.

  15. Avish

    Thanks Tim! I would never make such a category out of you… 🙂

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