Let Michael Bay’s flop at the Consumer Electronics Show (#CES2014) be a lesson to anyone who takes any stage. If you haven’t seen it yet, watch it now.


Here is the basic gist of the problem. Bay’s teleprompter failed on him. So, valiantly, he decided to try to wing it. He crashed and burned worse that any disaster he’s created on the big screen.

He was being asked to speak about his action scenes. His work. His style. He couldn’t deliver a simple message regarding his own artistic vision. How is this possible?

There is a very easy answer to that question. He didn’t prepare adequately. If you are going to be speaking in front of a room of people, especially if you’re being paid to do so, you must prepare. Write, rehearse, memorize and internalize your message. It’s not hard, but it does require time and focus.

Proper preparation for a presentation does several things for a speaker. First, it lessens stage fright and jitters. If your message is rehearsed, you already know precisely what you’ll be saying before you watch on stage.

Second, it eliminated the need for a teleprompter. It’s one thing to have a few notes on a screen to help you remember to hit specific points. That’s normal and safe for presenters to do. Being completely reliant on that script is not acceptable, nor safe, as illustrated by Bay.

From an audience point of view, we don’t want to hear a pre-choreographed presentation that is reliant on script. We crave truth and boldness spoken directly from the heart of an artist. Why? Because that is all too often lacking in our world today.