I was going to speak about marketing, 150 people looking at me, waiting, not saying a word, not making any sound at all. I walked from the back of the room, passing everybody. I could see their heads turning.
“There’s the marketing guy”. I could almost hear them talk. If they had said anything, I guess that’s the first sentence they would have said, each and every one.
I entered the stage, opened my backpack and found my MacBook Pro.
I was ready.
I looked at the audience, they looked back at me. They looked excited, ready to listen to what I had to say, listen to my thoughts and the ideas. I was ready, and I was excited as well.
But then, I heard the question that changed my focus.
“Where’s the adapter?” she said. The man from the hotel entered, yes, “where’s the adapter?”
I had received several emails where they told me that they would have an adapter to the projector, and that all I had to bring was my MacBook. The people in the committee was frustrated, I could see it and I could feel it. They said that the people at the hotel had promised them that they would have an adapter ready.
A woman asked me if I could do the presentation without using the projector. I hesitated, I had worked hard for days with the presentation, and now, talk to 150 people without anything to show?
She made a quick decision. “Let’s have a 15 minute break, until we can sort out the technical issues”, she said into the microphone.
At the same time as people walked out, I made a quick decision.
I remembered the Apple store (not an official Apple Store, but Eplehuset, a Norwegian store selling products from Apple) just a few blocks away. I figured that I could run to the store and back in about 10 minutes. I decided to do it.
I ran to the store, found the adapter, and ran back to the hotel. As I entered the stage, all sweaty and out of breath, I discovered that they guy from the hotel had found the adapter.
I wasn’t sure what to think.
I was just staring at it for what seemed to be hours. Most likely it was just a few seconds, because just after I arrived I heard the bell and people started to enter the room once again, ready for my presentation, but probably not as excited.
Friedrich Nietzsche was right; what doesn’t destroy me, makes me stronger. I felt more relaxed after the incident than before.
Have you experienced something similar?