Speaking With Distractions

You are approaching the most salient portion of your presentation, the audience is with you and things are clicking, then… Bam! Some lady has her cell phone go off. It’s blairing the musical score of Living La Vida Loca and she is feverishly searching for it in her purse that’s the size of a volkswagen.

All is going marvelously until the guy in row three begins to cough like Doc Holliday and seems to be hacking up fur balls or his remaining lung.

What do you do when the wheels come off the wagon right in the middle of your speech?

  1. Watch the eyes of your audience and simply ignore the distraction as long as they do.
  2. Try very hard not to embarrass the offender, not matter how funny it would be.
  3. If I’m losing my audience then I usually go for the non-offensive funny. Usually something about the voices in my head making ring tone noises.
  4. Stay focused and pull the attention of your audience back to you.
  5. Plan ahead. I promise it will happen to you.
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