The famous idiom says it well, “To err is human”. This is also true for PowerPoint presentations. No matter how well you plan a presentation, chances are that you might slip up on something and make a mistake. Maybe you got a date wrong, maybe you  wrote an incorrect name. The question is, “What do you do when people notice the mistakes?” Here we will talk about mistakes in a PowerPoint presentation, and how to handle them. Don’t worry, it happens to everyone.

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The Nervous Breakdown

It can surprise people to have their mistake pointed out to them while they’re on stage. Many people get rattled by the sudden realization that they’ve made an error and start to get really nervous. Don’t be nervous. When you realize that you’ve made a mistake, just relax. Take a moment to confirm, and if you’ve really made a mistake, then say “sorry”. Apologize to the audience and say that you’ll check your data. Remember that if people are asking questions about the presentation, then they are really paying attention to what you’re saying.

Handle it With Tact

Mistakes happen to everyone, so there’s no reason to be worried or nervous. Ask your audience to point out the error. Ask them about the error and tell them about the error. This also increases audience engagement with the material and helps them understand it better.

Handle it With a Bit of Humor

If you really made a mistake then admit that you accidentally made the mistake. Try to smile or laugh and keep a light atmosphere around the problem. Look at the mistake, correct it, and deliver the correct version to the audience.

These mistakes can happen to anyone, but the way you handle the mistake can change the mood of the audience. Since you’re the person on stage, you have the power to influence the audience. Use it to bring the presentation back on track.

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By user [CC BY 2.0] via flickr