You ever experienced “flop sweat?”
This happens when you’re on stage and bombing.
Fortunately, I’ve only bombed a couple times in my career. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a seasoned pro at the time and didn’t know what to do.
The truth is, if you’re delivering a signature talk you’ve done many times before, the odds of you bombing are slim. Still, it can happen so here’s what to do if you find yourself in this predicament.
First, is what you shouldn’t do. Do NOT panic and freeze. Let’s say you’re delivering your signature talk and a technology glitch happens and you’re slides no longer work.
I’ve seen professional speakers literally fall to pieces and just stand there and chastise the AV crew. It is very uncomfortable to watch.
What you should do is keep going without slides. It endears you to the audience and shows that you REALLY know your stuff. I have done this on many occasions and it’s powerful.
But what about when everything is working but you’re just not connecting with the audience?
Your first option is to keep plowing through your presentation and get out of Dodge. Sometimes this works because you have misread the audience’s reaction to you.
I remember doing a mind reading show for a group of accountants. I barely got any reactions, gasps or laughs. I thought I had bombed until AFTER the show when people told me it was the best show they’ve ever seen. I misread my audience.
A second option is to change your energy. If you’ve been on overdrive, slow it down. If you have been slow, crank it up. If you’ve been up on the stage, go into the audience and deliver your presentation.
A third option, is to DEMAND participation. If you’ve studied my work on one to many selling, you know that getting the audience to comply is mission critical.
One way to do this is tell people to write something down. You then spot an audience member who did NOT do it. You then go DOWN INTO THE AUDIENCE, look at his notes, and say, “You didn’t write that down. Write it down!”
The rest of your audience members will see this and start doing what you tell them to do.
Here’s the bottom line: If what you’re doing isn’t working, try something else. Anything else.
Kick butt, make mucho DEEnero!
Dave “Don’t Let ‘Em See You Sweat” Dee