The moment I walked on stage for a recent big speech, my microphone died. No sound. Yikes.
How can you over-deliver for your client if the audience can’t hear the speech you flew 2,000 miles to deliver?
Always have Plan B ready, to keep your listeners engaged. That way, you won't get flustered, and they won't get bored.
In this case I said:
“Don’t worry, I’ve been trained in MIME… and I’ll be delivering the entire speech in interpretive dance.”
By the time the laughter died down, my new mic was ready to go, and the speech went on to a standing ovation!
Sometimes the situation doesn’t go according to plan. Here are 7 ways to create a solid plan B.
Innovation: Improv is where you thrive. Start off with a witty joke.
Trust: You’ve probably encountered problems before. Think back to the best methods you used to solve them.
Prestige: Think of past success stories. If you can't access your presentation, be sure to know the highlights.
Passion: Get your audience comfortable with a friendly back-and-forth. Take some questions from the crowd.
Mystique: Don't give away that anything is amiss. Confront the situation calmly and deliberately.
Alert: Take preventative measures such as doing a dry run before the presentation.
Power: Take command of the situation. Have go-to opinions of authority to captivate and lead the group.
What are the ways you’ve salvaged a plan gone wrong? Let us know in the comments.
Nice ways of the Failure, I like this post and really need to these things. Thanks for sharing the 7 ways to face the situation. If want always prepare for this. Trust is main factor when we are doing businesses with china. Also analyzing the business where the our business starts. Also monitor what are the upcoming problems we are facing. For how to do the business with china Or how to do the china market research I have refer one book that is doing business with China. It’s really interesting and it’s suggestion was awesome.
As an English as a Second Language instructor, I normally had a Plan B. Once though, I'm not sure why, I had an idea that might not be enough. I made a bunch of "If not this, then that" plans and got down to Plan F before I was able to carry it out. This worked beautifully because I wrote Plans A to F on the board as I explained why A to E had failed. The students enjoyed it and knew that I really cared about giving them a good class.
A few years back, I was very active on the political front. Being an elected leader with a vow to make considerable changes, the pressure was always on to not only perform but also deliver. In politics, plan on something going wrong, especially in public. Self deprecation and leaving them laughing cured many a mishap.
We call Plan B the "fallback plan". In the days when we used overhead projectors with bulbs that could burn out, I always took two spare bulbs with me. Not one. And also a pencil in my pocket, to help remove a red-hot burnt-out bulb. I had prepared a presentation for our Chairman to give to the national Trades Unions...it was a key meeting. Very shortly before we were due to start, he decided there was something on one of the slides that he couldn't say, and he said the slide had to be changed, because of altered circumstances. The director said it was too late to make a new slide, it was impossible. The Chairman said to him "when I want something done, I don't take 'no' for an answer". I picked up a pair of scissors, punched a hole in the slide, and cut out the sentence that the Chairman wanted removed. He gave the presentation; the senior Trades Union officials could see that something had been removed, it was of course visible from the hole! But they simply accepted that, because they knew that things change. So the Chairman got away with it. The director - who had kind of defied him with his negative attitude - left the corporation quite soon afterwards. In my experience, the Fallback Plan is vital, but there are so many things that can go wrong, one has got to be able to improvise somehow and find a solution. It's not always easy to do that!
I often use asking the audience questions as my backup when something goes wrong; or I just continue without a mic because it fits my business/presentation as using your vocal power and breath to project your vocal sound just like actors do, who do not use mics in most theatre performances. The audience got a first hand example of my voice power techniques actually work. Earlier in my career as a Drama instructor and director when the power went out completely in our performance of a musical production, I had the cast come out and sit in front of the audience who were sitting in the dark except for emergency side lights so everyone would stay calm and the actors/singers lead everyone in a song together until the power was restored and we all laughed together and the play continued. Improvisation techniques are also great tools that can come from anyway within you or your environment when you need them.
This was a killer, just great. Sometimes it takes a plan B to let us see what you are really made of. Oh i still smiling at the true story. lol
Good question Michael, If you've already had a positive response on Facebook then I'd suggest you continue doing what works. Keep your audience updated on your steps to fix it. And assure them that you're reliable. Using humor to alleviate the situation is a great way to keep your clients calm. If you aren't worried, they'll be less worried.