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Chapter 15. Making a Presentation > Handling Unexpected Problems

Handling Unexpected Problems

What can go wrong? Nearly anything. You could lose power, or your computer could lock up on you. You might have someone break a chair and fall on the floor. You might be interrupted by jack-hammering outside the presentation room’s window. You can practice and plan all you want, but you can’t avoid everything that might go wrong.

What you can do, however, is have a backup plan ready to go. A short anecdote or joke can help diffuse tension that comes from interruptions. A visual handout could help in the case of a loss of power. For the most serious interruptions, you have to decide whether it’s worth continuing. If you’re not in charge, the decision might be made for you, but if you are, you should consider postponing or pausing until the source of disruption ends. It’s hard enough to communicate when you’re in control, but fighting against outside disturbances is a losing battle.


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