Infographic: How to recover from a public speaking memory lapse
Drawing a blank in front of a crowd is the stuff of nightmares.
It happens to even the best public speakers. Fortunately, there are ways to
recover, regroup and reclaim your momentum.
[RELATED: Get the skills you need to become a trusted advisor to leaders.]
Instead of running off the
stage and crashing through the nearest window to escape the searing stares
of your audience, remember the advice in this infographic from Visme to help you power
through temporary bouts of oratory amnesia.
The tips include:
- Say something … anything.
Remaining quiet as you fumble around for your mental keys will cause
panic and internal anxiety to rise. Your crowd will grow uncomfortable,
too, so don’t let the awkward silence linger. That’s why it’s advisable
to keep an emergency public speaking icebreaker in your back pocket.
“How about that (local sports team/weather/hot pop culture thing),
huh?” Try a bit of banter until you regain your train of thought.
- Ask the audience a question.
“Do we have anybody from Pittsburgh in the house?” “Can anyone name the
capital of Mauritania?” “How many llamas would you say there are in the
world?” Asking the audience questions keeps your crowd engaged, and
it’s also a sly way of buying yourself some time to get back on track.
- Take a sip of water.
This is a classic debate move—for good reason.
Grabbing a swig can ease your nerves and provide a few precious seconds
to plot your next move.
- Forget trying to be perfect.
We all mess up. No one has a perfect memory or an infallible delivery.
As the infographic says: “The audience is on your side. They want you
to succeed. They want to learn from you.” Keep that in the back of your
mind if you stumble.
To see the rest of Visme’s
helpful tips for recovering from a memory lapse, check out the infographic