It was brought to our attention in the news earlier this week that famous Director Michael Bay was unable to continue his speech at the Samsung curved television launch because the teleprompter was out of time. Michael disappeared off the stage in a panic because he had not prepared for such a scenario.
Many of our speakers have experienced memory blanks or have been lost for words on the stage, however how we react in these situations is what is important and it is what the audience remembers.
Many speakers are not bothered about having a script or a teleprompter because they feel comfortable and confident speaking on the spot, however not everyone has the ability to do this and it is important to be prepared, otherwise speakers may find themselves in a similar position to Michael Bay.
What speakers must remember when they are on stage is that the world won’t stop if they pause for a moment to think about what they have to say next. The pause seems a lot longer to them than it does to the audience and it is more important that what they say next makes sense and is relevant instead of speaking to fill in the gaps.
As a speaker there will always be times when you make mistakes, mess up your lines or the teleprompter will fail. When this happens tell the audience in a funny light-hearted way, it will make it seem like you are all in it together. Have a back-up story prepared to entertain the audience and it will give you time to recompose and hopefully the tech team will have fixed the teleprompter by the end of the story.
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Copyright Speakers Corner 2019