A recent episode of Shark Tank illustrated how props can impact a presentation. Two gents from Nashville were pitching a foolproof door lock. To demonstrate the ease of breaking through traditional deadbolts, they set up two prop doors side by side. Former Army pilot Bertelli kicked the deadbolt door, but it held in place. Five vicious kicks later, he resorted to using a steel battering ram, but the door stood firm. The sharks were hysterical. No surprise that the entrepreneurs went home embarrassed and empty-handed.
To avoid a similar fate, follow these simple guidelines. Unless absolutely necessary, don’t use props. Your words can describe any physical object. However, IF you use props, choose carefully when and how to display them. At the appropriate time, hold them up and then LOSE THEM. Do not keep anything in your hands while you continue to speak. Props can and will upstage you, or worse, fail to function. Years ago, David did a commercial for a garden tool, which broke in the middle of filming. And there was no back-up. Beware of prop hell. Your descriptive powers are much better, and safer to employ.