It was painful to watch. Not the obvious failure of the presentation, but the look on the face of the chief of staff. It was clear from his reaction that he had anticipated it might not go well and now the worst case scenario was happening in front of a select audience of their best customers, and that it could have been avoided. The presentation was tanking and the boss was the one holding the bag.
Afterwards the chief of staff confessed he'd had little confidence in this particular segment of the presentation and had second guessed pulling the plug several times. He was absolutely devastated that he hadn't.
It didn't make him feel any better when the boss accepted his confession and apology.
"Next time, go with your gut," said the boss. "That's what I pay you for."