I recently attended an event and it was in a very disruptive environment. It was actually in a playground of a function centre. It was very noisy and there were kids everywhere. There were also other people meaning it was a shared space. The organisers did the best that they can. But what was important was what the speaker did and the speaker inspired this blog.
So here are 10 P’s to being an effective presenter even when the environment is disruptive:
This particular speaker was being positive in a very disruptive environment. If you say to yourself that everything is going to go wrong then you project that. It will be written all over your face. Be positive on what you can achieve rather than on all that is going wrong.
Being poised means being calm and on point and keeping your cool. No matter how disruptive the environment is, if you stay poised that’s going to help you navigate whatever comes up.
In this instance persistence means the speaker keeps going no matter what. We are not talking ignoring fire alarms. But being persistent means being there for your audience in a disruptive environment and being able to deliver your message. It’s about focusing on your message and your audience rather than the chaos around you.
What is your focus you are there to deliver to the audience? Even in a disruptive environment, you are there to deliver a topic. People have turned up because they want to hear you. You have put a promise out there on what you’re going to deliver. So it’s really important that you are purposeful in delivering that to stay really focused on your message and really focus on your audience.
This particular speaker knew her stuff inside and out. She was prepared in what she was going to cover. And that’s really going to help you when you find yourself presenting in a disruptive environment.
6. Plan ahead
As a speaker you are not always going to anticipate that things are going to go wrong. However you should have some level of thinking that something could go wrong. It could be with slides or there’s no clicker, no microphones etc. Plan ahead of how you can handle that. This particular speaker did that well. She’s used to presenting in disruptive environments. She had some things on handouts thinking that it might be a bit hard to hear her or she might get disrupted.
If you are passionate about what you are talking about you will cut through the noise so easily you will have people eating out of your hands. If you are passionate about what you do your audience won’t be able to turn away. Even in a disruptive environment if you speak with passion you will deliver your message and engage your audience. Your passion might come through in an extroverted kind of way or an introverted kind of way. Either way it will help to cut through the disruptive environment.
Project your voice so it hits the back wall. It does not mean yelling but using your voice correctly to project with power. This is particularly important in a disruptive environment.
Stay in the moment. In a disruptive environment it is too easy to get distracted. If you get distracted you will take your audience there too.
Stay focused and concentrate on delivering your message to the audience.
Even in a disruptive environment remember to stay professional.
At the end of the day you are there to do a job. You’re there to present a message and engage that audience. Professional is relevant to what you do and your audience. What’s applicable in one environment is not applicable in another. But there’s still a level of “I’m here to do a job. I am here to deliver a message to the audience.”
So they are my 10 P’s on how to present in a disruptive environment. And it does happen. Things aren’t always going to be perfect. In fact perfection doesn’t exist. Comment below on your own experience. If you’d like to work with me to become a better, more confident, more engaging speaker drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the video