How Great Speakers Display Poise Not Panic During Distractions
with Dr. Bill Lampton
1. Unexpected blunders will happen.
a. During an electrical storm the lights will blink and even go off for a couple of minutes.
b. Your PowerPoint skips a few slides, which you can tell by the confused expressions of viewers.
c. You attempt to play a video and nothing appears.
d. A fire truck’s siren blasts ear drums
e. During an outdoor event unpredicted rain falls.
Regardless of how carefully we have followed our presentation check list, surprises interrupt our presentation and distract listeners.
2. Your audiences have become accustomed to these attention shattering intrusions.
Listeners will not expect nor demand a flawless speaking situation every time you face them, because they have seen so many awkward calamities happen elsewhere–all the way from their local civic club to the highest office in the land.
3. It’s up to the speaker to establish the reaction mood when calamity comes.
Keep in mind that your most thorough planning, even with a capable supportive staff, can’t prevent one or more unwanted diversions.
4. Recall that your audience has seen and heard plenty of other speech mishaps, so they have developed tolerance.
5. Do what highly successful speakers do: show that you’re not going to panic and assure everybody – both through your non-verbal communication and your words – that you will get back on track quickly.
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