You have prepared thoroughly for your company presentation. And then something happens in front of the audience that was not intended. Something is not working the way it was planned. How do you react? If such an event catches you off guard, it can ruin your entire presentation and even your reputation. If you include possible mishaps in your preparations, you will be able to react confidently in an emergency.
Here are the most effective ways to put the audience at ease so they can continue with the presentation:
It is the nightmare of every speaker: The microphone goes on strike, a video sequence runs without sound, or the speaker has suddenly lost the thread. Even true professionals experience minor or even major breakdowns in their presentations from time to time. Sometimes the technology fails, or a slide is sorted incorrectly. A joke comes out wrong, or the speaker realizes that his audience doesn’t understand what he means. Errors also quickly creep in when compiling the individual slides. A numerical error produces an incorrect result, a prominent personality is misquoted. Even with the best preparation, there remains a residual risk that something has been overlooked, or simply doesn’t work properly. As long as the audience doesn’t recognize the mistake, it’s not a problem anyway. Of course, if the audience points out a mistake to you, it can be quite embarrassing. In the worst case, the audience will react angrily to your mistake.
Here are the best tips to prepare for mishaps. This will allow you to reassure the audience and continue with the presentation:
Tip 1: Have your company presentation cross-checked by at least one person you trust.
The best tip is to control your presentation even better beforehand. Rather, have a colleague or friend take a critical look at your business presentation. All slides should be checked again in detail. Also check your technical equipment thoroughly for possible sources of error. If possible, check the image, lighting and sound again before the auditorium arrives.
Tip 2: Practice in front of a test audience
It is best to practice your presentation in front of a test audience. Do your punchlines hit home? Are the individual slides logically built on each other? Is something missing, or are individual contents perhaps superfluous? Are you really understood? Presentation agencies offer interesting training opportunities for this purpose.
Tip 3: Check immediately for irritations during your company presentation
If you notice that your audience is getting restless for any reason, address it and ask if anything is unclear. Always try to clarify the situation. You may have just made a joke that was completely harmless in your eyes, but triggered a negative response from your audience. Or you made a promise and didn’t realize it. You should definitely get to the bottom of irritations.
Tip 4: Take criticism of your company presentation constructively
If you are accused of making a mistake from the audience during your presentation, remain friendly and polite. Don’t try to deflect criticism with a you-have-no-idea attitude. Make your point without being arrogant. Sometimes the facts cannot be clarified immediately. In that case, promise to research the point later and provide the correct answer.
Tip 5: Apologize for mistakes
If you make a mistake, respond confidently and acknowledge the mishap without excuses. Apologize and thank you for pointing it out. This usually calms the situation even in the case of serious errors.
If errors occur during your company presentation, it doesn’t have to be a disaster. The decisive factor is the professional handling of the problems. Honesty, courtesy, and good preparation will help you get through most slip-ups without negative consequences. Presentation agencies can act as good sparring partners and identify potential mistakes in advance.
For more tips and tricks on presenting, sign up here to our newsletter.
Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Informatiker Matthias Garten as the expert for multimedia presentations and professional PowerPoint presentations knows about the art of professional slide design. He is an entrepreneur, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), multiple book author, presentation coach (presentation training), member of the GSA and Club 55, organizer of the Presentation Conference, Presentation Bootcamp and Presentation Rocket Day. In addition to PowerPoint and presentation training, he inspires and advises companies to present themselves even more effectively and thus stand out from competitors. He is the business owner of the presentation and PowerPoint agency smavicon Best Business Presentations and with his team has created over 10,000 professional PowerPoint presentations for over 150 industries since 1993.