Friday, February 25, 2011

Public Speaking - Humorous Acknowledgments to Tough Situations

There will come a time when you will either be in front of a hostile audience or a hostile question will pop up during a relatively calm presentation. This is a tough situation at best and you have to handle it with kid gloves. Humor can save the day and maybe even help you become President. When a hostile situation arises, you have to be especially careful that you don't antagonize the questioner or group further by making a flippant response. You can use humor to distract the antagonism, but you should always make a serious reply to the question at hand.

Let's say you are speaking at a stockholder's meeting and you are telling them about all the wonderful new products that are coming out. Then someone yells out, "What about the supreme turkey of a widget you came out with last year?" Now you are on the spot. If you ignore the question you will look like you are hiding. If you use a comeback that attacks the questioner or makes fun of him or her you will turn the rest of the group against you. So what do you do?

Use a prepared one-liner or some mildly amusing admission of guilt and then immediately go into a serious response to the question.

"We are donating all those widgets to the Navy because they have a shortage of boat anchors this year [pause for laughter]. But, seriously folks, based on all the available research we had at our
disposal the widget looked like it would be a good solid seller for us. Then when the gizmo industry took a big hit, we no longer had a market for the widgets. "

Then get back to your agenda.

Learn to make big money as a public speaker!

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