Most presenters’ initial response when accidents happen is to worry. They think that there’s no way out when they make mistakes. The same things apply to business presentations.
While some presenters prepare well before they speak in front of their audience, they may fail to account for accidents or delays in their presentation.
When Disaster Strikes
You’re now in front of your prospective clients, ready to deliver your most outstanding pitch. Suddenly, your laptop shuts down, or your PowerPoint slides freeze.
What will you do?
It’s been said that “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.” This means that when certain problems arise, don’t stop. Continue with what you’re doing and focus on your main objective. When you concentrate on delivering your presentation, you’ll eventually set aside your negative thoughts and feelings, allowing you to achieve your desired outcome without being distracted.
Being mentally present also helps you to focus on your audience and avoid getting interrupted by unexpected circumstances. Here are three things to recall when you experience unavoidable situations:
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1. Your Client Understands
When mistakes or accidents happen, it’s normal to feel bad about it. However, remember that your audience feels the same way, too. Understand that this can happen to anyone at any time. After all, there are no perfect presentations.
What’s important is that you’re able to maintain your composure during the pitch.
2. Your Client Still Wishes to Listen.
The reason why your audience attends your pitch is because they want to listen to what you have to say. There may be distractions that will prevent them from getting your message.
However, it’s your job to capture their attention and keep them interested.
3. Your Client Wants You to Continue
Your audience is on your side. Even if you make a mistake, they still want you to continue.
Don’t let these negative thoughts hinder you from delivering your message effectively.
Understanding these three things will help you attain your main goal: the audience’s attention. However, these shouldn’t stop you from planning ahead. Being well-prepared and staying focused allow you to properly manage possible disasters.
When that happens, remember: don’t stop. Just continue. You’ll feel better when you do.
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Dlugan, Andrew. “The Only Thing to Do When Disaster Strikes Your Speech.” Six Minutes, March 18, 2010. Accessed June 8, 2015.