We have just finished our amazing tour of Australia with Presentation Secrets and I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed connecting with you in person. It was so touching to hear your stories of how attending a Presentation Secrets event has helped you to make some great changes to your life.

Speaking and running events is like any other business in that from time to time and despite the best planning and intentions there will be times when you will encounter a problem at an event;

  • maybe nerves overcome you,
  • your tech lets you down
  • or there is a difficult audience member who is distracting the rest of the group.

How do you deal with these kinds of problems and regain control of your audience? Let’s look at what kinds of problems may arise at speaking events


Nervous SpeakerEven experienced speakers can suffer with stage fright occasionally. I always take some time before I go on stage to calm myself and get focused for the presentation. Make sure you can take ten minutes to yourself for quiet time beforehand…tell your crew you need time alone and ask that they deal with anything that crops up without disturbing you.

Nerves can also be brought on by lack of information or organisation. If it is your own event, make sure your events manager is fully briefed of how you want the day to run. If you’re sharing the stage at an event organised by others, ask for as much information as you need before the day and check in with the events manager again on arrival in case of last minute schedule changes.

Tech failure:

Computer FailureNEVER rely on your presentation to prompt you along. If your PowerPoint won’t load or your laptop won’t connect to the projector you’d be in trouble if you had no ‘Plan B’. I’d always recommend you have either speech cards or a hard copy of your presentation ready to use as back up if the worst should happen.

Problem audience members:

Occasionally you will experience an audience member who is working to a different agenda to you. They might appear disinterested, maybe behaving disruptively…returning late from breaks or they could be the ‘smart alec’ who disagrees with everything you say and thinks they know better.

Having one of these types in your audience can be really disruptive for the rest of the group. It is counterproductive to try and deal with this from stage so when this happens at one of my events, I ask one of my crew to have a discreet word with the audience member outside during the next break.

Bored StudentDon’t be confrontational; you can say something like “I feel that you seem unsettled and wonder if there is something troubling you that I can help with” which may get to the bottom of the problem. It could be something unconnected to your event; a personal dilemma perhaps but knowing what the issue is will help you to take the best course of action to resolve it.

If I feel the best option is to remove the person from the room then I ask one of my crew to collect their belongings to avoid them returning to the group angry or upset which is going to upset the dynamics for the rest of the day. If they request a refund, give it to them no questions asked. There is little benefit in getting into an argument.

Last week, tickets for our 1-day Presentation Secrets London events went on sale and are already proving very popular. We have several dates available in May so be sure to take a look at the link below and see which date suits you best.

Click Here For More Info About Presentation Secrets London

Have you ever experienced any problems at events you’ve organised or spoken at? How did you manage the situation at the time and in hindsight, would you do the same again? Please comment and share your funny or disastrous story and tell me what happened next?

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