You may have equipped yourself with lots of tips on preparing thoroughly in advance to the presentation. You get excited to roll up your sleeves and create a wonderful presentation with wonderful slides, wonderful body language and wonderful interactive activities. You prepare yourself to avoid bad presenting habits and feel ever-ready to rock the whole room with your presentation. But, don’t forget that things may go wrong.
At the most unexpected moments during your D-Day, things start going wrong and get you panicked and stuck in a rut without knowing the way out. No worries now that you can now find practical ways to get yourself back on track after facing such troubles here!
You are not in the mood for presenting
This may sound ironic, yet it is not uncommon to find yourself having a bad day and losing your excitement for the upcoming presentation. You prepared so carefully for the presentation the day before that you get up late today, you hurry to the venue to find out you have left your laptop at home, then you realize you printed out a wrong version of the hand-out, and so on. It’s likely you’ll freak out and have no mood for delivering the seamless speech you’ve prepared with all your heart.
There is no way to fully avoid all unexpected situations, so the best thing you could do in advance is to make a back-up plan. Send your slides to the host the night before, set a time to sleep, try to get up 15 minutes earlier than you would normally and do everything at ease during that time. Everything should be made ready at least one night before so that all you need to do in the next morning is to get ready and have a relaxed, enthusiastic attitude for the upcoming event.
In case some things have gone wrong, it is better to have some time alone in a corner to focus on yourself, release all your tension and panic prior to the show-time. During this time, you should replace your embarrassment with positive thoughts and make sure you can deliver 100% of your energy to the audience!
Given the fact that we are more and more reliant on technology, technical issues are highly likely to happen in your presentation. Those might be times when your slide software is not compatible with the venue’s computer, the host forgets to bring a projector, or your computer crashes in the middle of your presentation. It is definitely not a pleasant experience, so you should keep in mind these tips to minimize the impact of such situations.
You should practice beforehand to be able to deliver your presentation without your slides. Instead, you could use body gestures to illustrate the visual information. You should also print out a copy of your slides and take note of the outline to keep yourself on track in case things go wrong.
In case of technical problems, make sure you have someone to ask for assistance while you continue with your speech. Don’t try to fix the issues yourself, as this is the fastest way to shift the attention away from you and your speech. Instead, refer to the printed copy of your slides to go on as if nothing’s gone wrong. A better option is to create your slides with AhaSlides, an online presentation tool that doesn’t require downloading! With this tool, you always have your slides on the go and you can even customise your slides during your speech. In this way, you can get the audience to be even more impressed and give you excellent reviews.
Your mind goes blank
Having given some speeches, there may be many times when you lose your train of thought and are left confused in the gaze of the audience. You might have already rehearsed many times and known exactly what comes next. Yet at this moment, you draw a blank and have no idea how to get back on the flow. Don’t panic and recover your thoughts with these tricks.
There is little you can do in advance to avoid this scenario but relaxing. Try not to overwhelm yourself with negative thoughts prior to the speech, since you are even more susceptible to it when you are under pressure.
When this happens, the first thing to do is to trust yourself and not make a big deal out of it. Take a sip of water and take a look at the outline you’ve taken note of and reiterate your ideas. If you are in the middle of your sentence, consider asking the audience for help, as everyone loves helping! Ask them where you are and you can even connect with them better through this.
You are running out of time
Although you may have practised several times and have an idea of how long your presentation would take, some wrong things (for example, all the ones I mentioned above) may pop up and cost your precious time. However, you should at all cost avoid dragging your presentation on for longer than your allotted time, as it can be annoying to the audience. A better option is to cut down on the amount of information you intended to deliver.
You’d better practise tailoring your presentation to different time frames, in which you don’t need to change the slides but only the speech. You should also identify the priority of every piece of information you are about to give so that you can decide which one should be covered when you are running short of time. Again, having an outline of your speech is important, that you can keep track of where you are going and have a proper time distribution.
In the worst case when you are really facing the time limit, pick out and wrap up the most important points, and if possible, skim over should-know and good-to-know ones. Do not rush through the rest of the speech and abruptly stop your presentation, because the audience will be unable to get what you want them to get from your speech. Offer your email/mobile phone number and tell the audience to contact you to get more information.
Unexpected things are unexpected! But no matter what happens, remember to keep a sound mind and find the best solution. Have your slides ever-ready is also the first step to avoid such hassles, so why not enjoying the privilege of being well-prepared with AhaSlides?