It is going to happen one day when in spite of your tireless effort, things go wrong with your presentation. Let’s look at those common presentation nightmares and how you can deal with them.

First, your PowerPoint presentation does not work or there is a technical glitch. Have your slides and notes pre-printed so you can refer to them. Start on time with your talk and consider using a flip chart or white board to illustrate your points. And never mention that your talk would have been better if you had PowerPoint!

Second, you have a low turnout to your talk. Regardless if you are speaking to two people or 2 000 people, remember that whoever needs to be in the room is in the room. If it calls for, consider having your talk voice or video recorded for others to listen to or view afterwards.

Third, you encounter numerous distractions during your talk, making it difficult to focus. These include people walking in and out of the room, your audience using their mobile devices during your talk, and loud noises coming from adjacent rooms. Your role is to focus on delivering your message. Manage people’s expectations by letting them know the duration of your talk and when the next break is coming up.

Fourth, your audience is informed of some bad news just before your talk. As a speaker you should acknowledge the sentiment of your audience. Start by talking about the event – connect with the emotions of your audience and then transition to your talk.

Fifth, you start to feel sick and have a sore throat. If you can, do not cancel your talk. Platform time is a privilege and an opportunity to both inspire your audience and implement change. Conserve your voice by speaking less. Drink lots of warm water to rehydrate your vocals. Avoid tea, coffee, lemon juice and honey as these impact on the quality of your voice: substitute with a throat lozenge instead. Your body is a conduit of your message, so focus on maintaining the vessel (your vocal cords) to deliver your message.

Author: Dineshrie Pillay CA(SA) is a business owner and public speaker trainer