When Things Go Wrong

Topics: Toastmasters International, Comedy, Attention Pages: 1 (431 words) Published: March 19, 2012
It was 5 minutes into our Hero’s Luncheon at the Gold Coast Casino and the speaker was honoring Tim Szymanski for his lifetime of work to keep Southern Nevada safe, when… the fire alarms went off… I was scheduled to give a 45-minute speech I had spent months working on – taking an 8-hour course down to a 45-minute review was tough enough, but when I arrived, I asked the program coordinators where the educational programs were to be held – her response was, what educational programs? She finally let us have some of the tables that were set for the luncheon – the entire time the caterers were setting up the luncheon, talking and crashing dishes… Tim Moroz was giving a speech on Murphy’s Law in his Toastmasters club. On the way, he got in an accident… How many times has someone in our group prepared a PowerPoint, and that was the one week we didn’t have the big room. Toastmasters has strategies to use when Murphy’s Law takes over your speech: * Don’t blow your cool – you are in charge. When things beyond your control go wrong, the only thing you can control is your reaction to them. Accept the problems and deal with them. Show your listeners you’re a leader. Prove to them that nothing can rattle you. If you do remain calm, they will pay attention to you and not to Murphy. * Maintain your dignity. Everything that happens up here is either fixable or ignorable. If you can take care of it quickly without disturbing your speech, great. If not, ignore it. * Don’t surrender to the situation. If something goes wrong, don’t let it get to you. * Do your best under any circumstances. If things go wrong, work that much harder to win over your audience. You have to be flexible. Work your way through minor disasters and often your performance will be better for it. * Don’t refer to the problem. Most disasters are quickly remedied – so then just dismiss it. Calling it up will only draw attention to it and make a distraction. If you keep bringing...
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