What do you do when things go wrong during your presentation?
Things will go wrong. Remember Murphy's law. And the more you depend on technology for your presentation - the more likely things will go wrong.
Microphones screech, lights blow and computers sometimes act like teenagers. And it's all a plot to make you look bad. At least you might feel that way at the time.
What should you do?
First pause, breathe and smile. Every one will be amazed at your apparent composure.
Appear to be in control - even if you don't feel that way.
Then deliver your line.
That line doesn't need to be clever or funny - but people will usually laugh because they will think that you are so clever that you were calm and the line will relieve their tension.
After Ronald Reagan was shot, he said to his wife, "Honey I forgot to duck." It relieved her tension. Reagan was a master at delivering a line on cue. That's why he was called "the great communicator. He had been an actor so he was almost always prepared with a key line.
You can learn from that.
Always have a line ready to use in case you need it.
There you are on stage and the equipment is sabotaging your presentation. What do you say? Never blame anyone or anything. Remember to smile.
I suggest that you memorize a small collection of lines from movies, TV or entertainment that might fit some future presentation disaster.
Here are a few suggestions:
"Houston, we have a problem."
"Scotty, beam me out of here."
"Resistance is futile."
Or twist a common expression:
"Well, that computer is shovel ready."
The next time that you watch a movie look for lines that you can use in your presentations - when thing go wrong.
Speech Coach for Executives
Presentaton Skills Training for Sales Teams
Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives.