It’s great when a business presentation goes to plan. But sometimes, it’s even more satisfying when things go wrong, you’re moments away from disaster, and you pull it together in time. My last trip to Bristol was one of those days.
The Best Laid Plans
I was up there to present design ideas for a client’s exhibition booth. The meeting was in the afternoon but I took an early train from London so I could include some images of local buildings in the deck.
After taking a few photos I found a fun coffee shop near the cathedral and sat down on one of the beat-up sofas they had upstairs. I booted my laptop and immediately spilled coffee all over it.
I grabbed napkins, mopped up as fast as I could and for a few glorious moments thought I’d gotten away with it. Then the screen went blank.
Things go wrong
I tried the old ‘press every key frantically’ trick. Nothing. I tried more mopping. No joy. Shaking the liquid out? No. I realized I might have to present the design with no computer and no images.
I calmed down enough to use my phone to Google ‘laptop repair’. Amazingly, there was a place just round the corner that provided walk in laptop repairs, I gave them a call, explained the situation, and a very understanding lady told me to bring the laptop in and she’d take a look.
An Anxious Wait
Ten minutes later and I was sitting nervously in a sunny office clutching my laptop like a sick pet. The woman I spoke to earlier, whose name was Jane, appeared and assured me that a wet computer is not necessarily a dead computer. She took the wounded machine to a back room.
An agonizing twenty-minute wait and Jane returned. She was smiling! The laptop screen was on and my presentation was showing. She charged me £90. Considering it probably saved me thousands in client billings, that’s the best investment I’ve made in a while!
Jane kindly hired me a local taxi, I finished the remaining slides in the car and arrived at the client’s office with a minute to spare.
It All Works Out
The presentation was a success! They loved the ideas and really appreciated that I’d included some local images. They had no idea how close I’d come to disaster just moments before.