Dopers , how will you react in this situation ?

You are the Sr VP making the final sales presentation to a customer hoping to win your largest contract ever.

You had 3 meetings starting from middle level executives of client organisation , to the VP level and this is the final stop. You have been briefed that client CEO can swing it in your favour.

Now you are in the meeting with their CEO and 4 of their VPs . You are making the pitch with 2 assistants to help you with data etc.

But you find that the CEO is napping halfway though your presentation :eek:

How will you react ? Why ?

You don’t react. A true pro keeps going. Anything else embarrasses the CEO and you’re dead at that point.

What he said. Maybe make a little extra noise (a tap on the table, a slightly raised voice) but only if you’re natural about it, like you think you aren’t projecting properly or you’re emphasizing an important point. Don’t look in the CEO’s direction while you’re doing it; preferably look at the screen. Address the VPs and completely ignore the fact that the CEO is napping. He’ll ask the VPs for their opinions later and work off that.

Yup; I would keep going. Maybe try to be a bit louder, and a little more charismatic if possible. Make sure it doesn’t faze you. You want to win over the people who had the courtesy of being awake.

The CEO should be embarrassed, (not by you, but for being so god damn unprofessional).

I’d keep going and remark to the others that they might want to fill in the CEO later.

Keep going as though things were completely normal.

This actually works in your favor. The CEO is unlikely to be willing to admit to his subordinates that he wasn’t paying attention. In order to save face, he will be more likely to defer to their judgment.

Far worse would be pitching to a CEO who hung on your every word and questioned every detail of the plan. That sends a message to his subordinates that the boss is wary and will cause them to pull back even if previously they were in favor of hiring you.

Sneeze. Then if he’s still asleep, carry on as if everything is completely normal; for the reasons enumerated above.

Fortune favors the bold. As soon as you realize he’s sleeping, pretend to slip and fall, bouncing heavily off the table on your way down. Yell “oh dear God!” as you’re falling, but then lay on the floor for maybe 3-4 seconds doing nothing but quietly moaning. After which you should spring back to your feet and go on with your presentation like nothing happened.

Repeat multiple times if necessary.

Giraffe’s proposal made me laugh.

Silly Camelopardalis!

Take your lead from the VPs. Either this happens often and they habitually proceed without him (in which case someone will gesture you on,) or it’s never happened before and they’ll be at a loss. Most liekly one of them will immeidately be shown as the leader, as the others will look toward him/her. Either way the key is that it’s not your problem, it’s theirs, and you are looking to them for guidance, with a gracious lack of judgment. None of this is spoken, and it takes about 7 nanoseconds.

If they are all indecisive, ask if the group would like to take a five minute break. They will gratefully agree. Then leave the room and go to the bathroom. Come back after 3-4 minutes and when everyone is settled, thank them and continue as if nothing has happened.

Never mention it again. Ever.

This is why I always bring a bullhorn to presentations.

Like most CEO’s they don’t know shit likely depends greatly on their underlings input. Keep going pretend he’s not even asleep.

Funny I’ve seen people in meetings konk right out and because of their positions no one says anything.

Stop what you are doing and immediately leave town. You’re in Gotham City, and that just can’t be healthy.

What he said except with better grammar.

This means your Power Point needs more sound effects.

Whooooosh!!! Zzzzzzpow!!! Booooooinnnnnnggggboiinnnnngggg!!!

Snap a picture of one of your assistants in a compromising pose with the CEO - her skirt hiked up and blouse unbuttoned while sitting on his lap, or his head in a male assistant’s crotch.

Point out to the other execs that if they were to sign the biggest contract in your company’s history you might become so excited that you’d drop and break your camera phone.

Or, if they are devious, that you might get so caught up in the details that you’d accidentally leave the photos in their hands (if one of them displays the drive to be the new CEO).

How about this ?

"Let us take a break for 5 minutes ". The veeps are sure to wake up the CEO during the break .

You are diplomatic and you achieve the intended result.

Continue giving the presentation, but sit in the CEO’s lap while you do it. Speak as if you were at the front of the room.

which is wonderful, because it tells me who is the person I need to convince. Other than switching my focus to be a bit more intensely on that person than on the rest, I just go on as normal. I’m not hearing any snores, are you?

There have been other situations where I’ve told people to “cut it out with the ‘happy smile while you’re mentally elsewhere’ trick”, but they weren’t clients and it wasn’t the final pitch in a sales sequence: they were employees from my own company, it was the first of many meetings to come, and we needed them to be awake in order to answer our questions. And I knew that it was culturally acceptable (I asked for my American coworker’s permission to switch to Spanish before delivering the “guys, your tricks don’t work on ME, we went to the same schools” message; delivering it in English would have been both less effective and more shaming, while switching to Spanish without asking for permission would have been terribly impolite).

Scrunch up a few bits of A4 paper and piff it at him. Bonus marks if you get him right on the noggin.