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Professional Presentation | Grace Under Pressure: Maria Joao Pires

Posted by Bridget Beirne on October 29, 2013

An amazing display of professional presentation skills by pianist Maria Joao Pires.


professional presentationWe talk a lot about being prepared to deal with the unexpected when giving a presentation. Anything can happen- your equipment could shut down, your notes could cease to exist, your PowerPoint could take on a mind of its own.

Or, as was the case with pianist Maria Joao Pires, you could show up prepared for the wrong thing- yikes.

There is a common dream among actors referred to as "the actor's nightmare". Most can relate some version of this "dream"- everyone around them is doing a different play, they are shoved on stage and don't know any of their blocking (or choreography, or lines....), they run and run and can't make their entrance on time. But Ms. Pires lived it, poised in front of her piano.

Because of her unbelievable skills, she does the near impossible after the orchestra with her begins playing an entirely different concerto than the one she had prepared to play. Watch the clip, and join us afterward for some quick thoughts:



What is astounding is Ms. Pires's unbelievable calm. There's a brief moment where we see the panic all over her face (I mean, think about how it feels when your slides suddenly disappear...), but then the stops. She lets the conductor know what's going on, and then without hemming, hawing, or hysterics, she centers herself, and breathes. Rather than letting the panic get the best of her, she channels it into remembering the concerto that is being played, finding the notes that are tucked away somewhere in her incredible memory. 


How do you react when things go awry? What did you notice about Ms. Pires's skills? Let us know in the comments!


Exceptional Presentation Skills



Topics: Public Speaking, Communication, Presentations, Public Speaking Training, Public Speaking Seminar