Handling Mistakes in Public Speaking | Anurag Aggarwal
communication skills, personality development, presentation skills, public speaking


We may plan our speech well in advance, we may rehearse it to our best but still mistakes during the final presentation will always occur. Mistakes are a part of human life and thus also of public speaking.

What matters is how we handle these unexpected and sudden happenings. This is what would make you an outstanding speaker.

Let us see a few common speech “bloopers” and how you can handle them in a positive way.

ERROR #1- Your Microphone stops working.

This is one error that happens with all public speakers at least once in his career of public speaking. At this time, if you are addressing a group of 100 people or less then it may be quite possible for you to continue your speech even without microphone but if you are speaking before a huge audience then you just cannot continue without a mike. And there is no way out but to wait till someone fixes the mike or arranges for another one.

At this moment, it’s necessary not to lose patience, stay calm and relaxed. There is nothing to be embarrassed. If you would appear balanced at this moment, your audience would also act in the same way.

ERROR #2- You say something inappropriate.

You might have just used some wrong words before the audience or might have said something you did not want to say or used foul language. The best way to handle this situation is to apologize the audience instantly without a second thought. Another way could be to make fun of your mistake. If you are creative enough, as is expected in public speaking, you may opt to tell a joke out of it. React spontaneously.

ERROR #3- You are not getting the right word.

While speaking, we are sometimes unable to recall the correct vocabulary that could be used for a particular thing. This is also very common in public speaking, generally if the speaker is nervous. In this case when you are temporarily lost for words, you either take a brief pause or insert “ah” “um”. These filler sounds should be avoided and this is possible only when you have a good vocabulary and when you practice your speech extremely well.

ERROR#4: You forgot to get your notes.

There are hundreds of things that need to be remembered on the day of your speech and so there are many chances that you forget a few of them, obviously by chance. And one of these could be that you forget your notes at home.

If anything of this sort happens, you must try contacting someone who may help you to get them. If you do not have enough time to contact a person, then try writing down the required outline of your speech just then. If you practiced your speech well, you would surely be able to recall most of the part of your speech.

ERROR#5: The audience is not as you expected.

As we know, the audience plays a vital role in public speaking and thus it is very important to know and understand the audience. What if you prepared your speech keeping in mind a particular kind of audience but when you started your speech, you do not find your speech suitable for the audience? Here, it will be very important for the speaker to change the speech, speech delivery quickly as per the need and understanding of the audience (without changing the entire topic) so as to grab the interest of the audience.

ERROR#6: You got the Wrong Handouts.

If you got the wrong handouts with you that are not for your current presentation, don’t get disturbed. You can just avoid talking about the handouts while giving the presentation. The audience should not come to know that they were to be given some handouts. This is not something big to deal with.

ERROR#7: You Stumble, Hiccups, Sneeze…

We humans may not perfect in the ways we do things.  We may stumble, sneeze, or may have hiccups over the microphone by chance. But it should not be the end of the world to you. You just have to come out this not so embarrassing moment as soon as possible. The audience will surely forget about the incident.

As a public speaker, any of these can happen to you any time. As an outstanding speaker, you must know how to overshadow such situations by your wit and intelligence.

At ‘Anurag Aggarwal Institute of Public Speaking you are provided training in Public Speaking, Personality Development and Presentation Skills. In this course you will be trained in all those things which are stopping you from growing in your career. This is the best course for people have problems regarding their communication skills, interacting with people and in presenting themselves in front of public. For more details on the course, visit www.anuragaggarwal.com
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