Transformer's Director Michael Bays made a brief appearance earlier this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (#2014CES) on behalf of Samsung to launch the company's new 105 inch curved ultra high-definition television.
The scripted segment was quickly interrupted after the teleprompter failed and Bays lost his focus, leaving the stage and leaving Samsung's Executive Vice President Joe Stinziano by himself to recover and re-shift the focus back to the product launch. Despite his efforts to help Bays by asking him a questions and trying to lead the answer, Stinziano was left to recover Samsung's reputation as to what would be reported from CES following that session.
Film directors generally have the vision to create a solid film and should be able to piece everything together to visually tell an artistic story. This includes ensuring the actors know their lines. The key to a solid presentation is to know what you want to say, get to the point quickly, try to inject humor, emotion or find other ways to connect with your audience and tell your audience again what you want to say -- ending with a good story or call to action.
If there is a teleprompter, the key is to use it as a guide and only reference it if you get lost in your discussion. A speaker should never rely on a script, particularly if you are representing a company to launch a new product at a major industry event.
If you are prepared and can visualize your presentation, like a good movie, everything should come together. The audience will know you are genuine and speaking from your heart or your gut. Bays was not prepared. He can blame his publicists, Samsung's PR team or himself, he left Samsung with a memorable launch but one where people won't remember the product, just the person trying to promote it.
Bays later recounted what happened on his blog saying he was so excited to talk about the new product that he skipped over Stinzano's lines and threw everything off on the teleprompter. His excitement never showed, but his nerves did. He should have been more prepared to talk about himself, the movies he has directed and how they will look on the new television.
In the end, perhaps Bays should have relied on an old fashioned teleprompter and should've jotted some notes down on his hand with a pen to reference. Bays says that he is not good with live performances and that is true for many of us, including many well known performers. We all get nervous but with good practice and lots of prep, those nerves quickly go away. To recover, Bays should appear on Letterman, The Tonight Show, SNL and other programs, to poke fun at himself and to continue to provide Samsung with additional free PR for their new 105 inch curved ultra high-definition television.