One of the biggest sources of distraction has to do with
something every meeting room has and that is a door.
Doors
squeak, they slam shut, and they allow people to walk in the
audience’s line of sight. According to Tom’s Law of
Presentations, these three things are only allowed to happen
at the exact moment of your best punch line or most dramatic
statement.

Doors are very easy to deal with if you can gain access to
the room early. The first thing I do is check to see if the
doors squeak. If they do, I call maintenance or find a
little oil can and oil the hinges. If it’s an old hotel,
this probably hasn’t been done in 30 or 40 years. Then I let
the door swing shut on its own. This tests the closing
mechanism. If it is hopelessly weak and allows the door to
slam shut, I either ask for it to be adjusted (which no one
ever knows how to do) or I have someone stand at the door to
open and close it for latecomers. The latch of the door can
make lots of noise to, so you simply tape the catch
mechanism shut.

Door location can also be a pesky problem. Sometimes the
room is set so there is a door behind or very close to the
stage area. If someone would enter this door during your
presentation, it would be very distracting.

You can usually tape up a “Please Use Other Door” sign to
help with this. When you know you have any kind of door
problem, try to alert the planner or recruit people from the
organization to police the doors for you.

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