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What to Do When Everything Goes Wrong

I hope you are doing well and getting ready for a fabulous Christmas.
I was once presenting at ANZIIF's Women Succeeding in Business lunch and...

EVERYTHING went wrong!

1. The food service was so late that my speaking slot got shortened and my 45-minute slot got reduced to 25 minutes
2. Rain suddenly broke out and was pounding so loud on the roof that the MC's introduction was completely inaudible (not a single word of the glowing bio I wrote about myself was heard!)
3. Five minutes into my presentation, chaos broke out when the roof sprung a leak and soaked an entire table.

All of these are completely unavoidable on the day, but your reputation as a speaker relies on how you deal with them.

So, be prepared for the 3 Ts...

Timing: design your presentation in modules or chunks so that when you get robbed of your precious speaking time, you can navigate a meaningful short-cut through your content

Technicalities: plan for the worst and be super-confident that you can deliver even without powerpoint or a microphone. A good tip is to be alert while the MC is speaking so you can anticipate issues like volume, flat spots in the room, or static close to speakers.

Trauma: unexpected circumstances can wreck your presentation - the most important thing is how confidently you appear to deal with it. Develop a strategy for this before it happens. A good tip is to acknowledge the distraction rather than fight it, add some humour, and gently but firmly invite the audience to return their fullest attention to you (if they want to be successful that is ;)

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