When I saw my son Tarun forget his lines and freeze up on the big stage at the 2011Economist Ideas Economy: Information Summit, my heart sank. I wanted to rush up and give him a big hug and say “it’s okay son, it wasn’t a big deal, don’t worry about it”. Tarun had worked day and night to be prepared for his first big talk. He memorized every word of a 12-minute long presentation. And then he forgot his lines. I won’t forget the anguish on his face.
Tarun managed to fumble his way through the talk. The moderator also came to his rescue—knowing that any 23-year old would have difficulty speaking to an audience of 400 business executives and academics at one of the most prestigious conferences in the world.
Tarun’s mistake was that had no notes in his hand and no PowerPoint to remind him of the key points that he wanted to make. He thought this would be like giving a speech in high school—which he did very well. (more…)