Spoiler alert: You may read things you never thought I’d divulge…
like, the time I presented with my blouse button (yes, that one) open, the time my body decided to noisily revolt to the lactose I was enjoying in my coffee, the time I packed (and had to wear) one navy blue high heel and one black high heel – both right feet – in front of 5,000 people, the time I tripped – and fell – going up the steps to the stage after a grand introduction, and the time I spit on my decision maker….
The SpeakerSue corrollary to personal injury attorney is: If personal disaster can happen, it will happen when you present. Yes. It’s true.
A blinding flash of the obvious: You gotta laugh. If you can’t laugh and make light of it – if you have to take yourself so seriously that the above mortifying situations actually mortify you – you probably don’t want to be a presenter. Especially one who gets paid to present.
Self-deprecating humor – when everyone clearly sees what is happening – is the best possible recourse. (Note: When only you know [a bad hair day, too little sleep the night before, etc], do not bring attention to it. Let it be!) I’ve been blessed to be able to be spontaneously funny. Usually. With my blue/black shoes thing, I couldn’t think of anything funny to say and I couldn’t take my mind off the fact that the people in the front row had to be thinking, I wonder if she knows… I spoke my truth and just showed them. I said something like, I bet you’re wondering if I know I have one navy..two right footed-shoes…. I know. So, is it okay with you if I just take ’em off? I think we’ll both feel better. And at least, I did.
If your strong points are elsewhere other than funny, prepare what you’ll say if… Try your “line” on friends and family. Do they laugh? Then, it’s a keeper and be prepared to use it.
What else? Don’t be drinking milk before/while you speak! Not only does it cause saliva to form in your mouth (think: spit) but it causes your body to want to “air” itself out. Drink plenty of room temperature water instead. Oh, and if you do make noise inappropriately, just keep talking! No one knows who dealt it! (For more advice on this, you’ll need to email me privately…<Sue@SpeakerSue.com>!!)
What’s your most embarrassing presentation thing and how did you recover?