When people are confronted with a sudden emergency, they have two possible reactions. They either try to solve the problem, or they try to escape from the problem. When you prepare to give a presentation, your mind is fixated at that particular task. You’re trying to not think about all the things that could go wrong. But, if something did actually go wrong, what would your reaction be?

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Giving a Presentation When Life Is Unpredictable

During a presentation, you might face a problem with the equipment. Maybe something in the room stops working; maybe a device malfunctions; maybe a member of the audience causes a disruption. Any number of things can potentially happen. At a time like this, you will probably react according to your instincts. This can work in your favor, but if you want to be prepared, then there are some things that you can do.

Be Prepared For Possible Occurrences

The only way to prepare and respond to problems like these is to make a list of how things can go wrong. Think of every scenario you can, and come up with a solution for it. There should be some way to minimize or prevent the problem from occurring. This includes problems like the weather, and things that you have no control over. A plan for rain would be to always keep an umbrella and carry plastic bags to keep your papers from potentially getting wet, etc.

Be Prepared For Worst Case Scenarios

These are very rare problems that don’t usually happen at all. But if they did happen, the presentation would fail for sure. These problems would stump a normal presenter. These problems have a solution, but it might not be very clear when the problem suddenly happens.

For example, the projector’s bulb goes out, and a replacement projector or bulb cannot be made available in the time that your presentation is scheduled. In a problem like this, you would do away with the projector, and use your speaker’s notes to narrate the presentation. Do this while using visual and descriptive language to describe things that you would have shown.

Ask people who have given a presentation at that venue for a heads-up on possible issues.

Image Courtesy:

Earth Day Presentation by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center [CC BY 2.0] via flickr