Monday, November 05, 2012

The Entire Audience Walked Out on Me


How to handle things that go wrong in your presentation
What could be worse than losing your entire audience? Imagine no one showing up for your presentation. I experienced the one and almost the other.

While promoting my first book, Secrets of Power Marketing, I arranged short presentations along with a book signing at book stores. They were never a good place in which to present because they were not set up for presentations. Usually the audiences numbered between six and 10.

On one memorable book store visit there was only one person waiting for my presentation. That was ego deflating. I checked the signs and my calendar. We both had the date and time correct so at the scheduled time I started my 20 minute presentation. I was hoping that more spectators would arrive or that my standing and speaking might attract some curious book browsers. Five minutes into the presentation the woman’s cell phone rang. She dug it out and asked me to hold. Naturally I stopped speaking because my entire audience stopped listening.

After a short call she put the phone away, looked at me and announced, “That was my son. I need to pick him up. Bye.”

My entire audience walked out on me. Ha! I can laugh now but I didn’t at the time.

I forced another smile, bade goodbye, packed up my things, signed the books from the shelf, then left.

Since then I don’t mind if people leave part way through my presentation – as long as some remain.

When you present there are few things you can control and some things you can influence. And there is everything else that is beyond your power. Focus on what you can do and accept the randomness of reality.


Learn how to deal with 17 other presentation disasters and come out looking like a hero. Download the free eBook here - Turn Presentation Disasters into Presentation Success.

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