As in any other situation or event you come across some challenges, the same is with public speaking. There are some situations which are unforeseen and unavoidable. In such a situation, your speaking skills alone do not make you a successful speaker. What also counts is the way you handle such unpredictable situation.
Now the question arises that what kind of challenges should the speaker expect? Your slot may be changed, the event may get preponed or postponed, the no. of audience may not be as much or as less as expected, electricity failure, lectern may not be good, speakers sound may not be of good quality, mikes may fail to work and you may see many more such situations.
How to avoid these issues?
The best way to overcome these issues or any other issue is to expect them. When you except, you would be somehow prepared to handle them too. You must make efforts that they do not occur at all but in case they do, find the solution. If you have some specific things you would need, you must make the organizer aware about the same else he may happen to miss out on few things. You may tell him how you want the sitting arrangement to be, where to place the lectern, checking the quality of mike etc.
Let us discuss how to handle some of these hazards.
- The organizer may have provided you the best lectern but it may not be good enough for you because of its height or its placement. If it is too high for you, you can ask for a podium. You may also wish not to use the lectern at all and stand right in front of the audience. Also see that the passage to the lectern should be clear to walk. If there seem to be any obstacles, ask someone to remove them.
- Check the placement of the mike and adjust it as per your needs. Also ask for arranging some extra mikes if you have question answer kind of session with the audience. Make sure that these mikes are easily accessible by the audience (cordless mikes should be preferred).
- In case of electricity failure, there is usually a backup system. It may work instantly or may take a few minutes to start up. The first and foremost thing on your part should be not to panic. Your presence of mind would be a great rescue in the situation. Don’t let it discourage you in any way. Try getting some humour out of it.
These were only a few physical hazards you may face in public speaking. But you must expect that anything can happen. Also, there may be times when the audience looses interest and confidence in the speaker. In our next post we will discuss on some of these situations.
For any situation, make sure to maintain calm and stay positive. Creating a panic would lead you nowhere. Your positive attitude would also keep the audience positive. The audience judges you not only by the way you speak but also by the way you handle difficult situations.
So stay positive and keep growing in public speaking.