When Things Go Wrong

Do(s) and don’t(s) for when the mike won’t.

When things beyond your control go wrong, the only thing you can control is your reaction to them.

Just as the sailor at sea is at the mercy of the elements, so is the speaker. The sailors batten down the hatches in rough weather; what does the speaker do in when the microphone won’t work? Or when the lights malfunction? Or when the music in the next room is too loud?

The following article from the Toastmaster magazine, written by Bob Hope’s Emmy Award winning head writer Gene Perret, offers examples of intrepid speakers who rode out the sometimes stormy seas of the speaker’s podium. Among his dos and don’ts:

  • Don’t: Blow your cool.
  • Do: Maintain your dignity.
  • Don’t: Surrender to the situation.
  • Do: Your best under any circumstances.
  • Don’t: Continually refer to the problem.
  • Do: Keep your sense of humor