This is the podcast of “Opened Dawes” Live, which runs weekly as a live video show on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn at 11 am on Tuesday mornings so that we can throw open the doors and welcome you in for a relaxed sharing of information, tips, thoughts, and answering any questions about public speaking and presentation/communication skills you may have.
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This week’s show looks at the impact of things going awry, how you manage it, and how you minimise its impact.
Considering public speaking is stressful and nerve-wracking enough for most of us, the impact when something fails or goes off-track can be debilitating! But we can be like swans, looking serene on the surface whilst paddling furiously under the water. There is also a point when you must stop trying to resolve and making the best of the situation. We look at the best ways to stay calm and carry on. Join in the chat with your own experiences and how you dealt with it or would do next time.
This show can be watched live (and previous shows recorded) from the following locations:
www.youtube.com/channel/UCnwlPiWylgEDLrwemI8ZZjw (or search YouTube for Open Dawes Training and click subscribe to be notified)
Thank you for listening to the Opened Dawes Live podcast. This is actually the audio taken from our weekly live video show that you too can get involved in or watch past episodes back by going to Facebook, YouTube or LinkedIn and searching for Open Dawes Training. That's da w e S. For other ways to connect with us go to Open Dawes training.co.uk forward slash Connect. There you'll find ways to communicate with us free downloads and information about our training programs, whether that is face to face online, or a blend of the two, all designed to help people grow in confidence, willingness and skills to communicate in public. Whether that is giving presentations or speeches, providing training, having great presence or communication skills in meetings, or just having those difficult conversations effectively. public speaking is a soft skill that gives your core skills of voice and can open doors that you may not even know exist yet. But for now, let's dive into this episode of Opened Dawes Live. Good morning. Welcome to Opened Dawes Live free time again, big shout out to Hodges net. Great guys they've been helping me with with setting up the online training and, and all of the marketing to go with it. Thanks, guys for all of your hard work. So it is Episode Six, I can't believe that episode six of Opened Dawes Live. And the title for this is to stay calm and carry on. And it's one of those ones that genuinely is from experience. Things happen, things don't go according to plan. And it happens a lot. And you got to try to make sure it doesn't define what you're going what you know what you are doing and about to do and with the enthusiasm and the way that you're feeling about it. It's really not the end of the world. But we paint it to feel like the end of the world that we had. And I know that feeling, especially as a sufferer of anxiety is that I really, really can struggle with it, where I'm just kind of like, Oh my gosh, it's all gone wrong. But that the way you react is the way that will make it really look and feel wrong. And it will make you ironically feel even worse. So it really is about making sure that you you do stay calm and carry on. Please do put if you're watching put comments in questions, your own experiences, as we start talking, if it sort of resonates with you, and you can really link with it, you know, please do add it, we're able to put them up on the screen, if appropriate. And it'll be great to hear from you. But there's kind of two distinct areas that that we cover quite a lot with people is that there is how to protect yourself from unfortunate situations or the unexpected arising. But there's also how you deal with it if something does go wrong. And I'm going to start with that one in reality. I mean, it's fairly obvious with what I've already said, where I'm going to go with this. But all sorts can happen, whether it's that your presentation suddenly fails, the projector, the screen, your laptop itself, completely fail, you've lost your notes, you've spilt coffee over your notes, you suddenly walk in and you're about to have this training session this meeting or you're going to give a presentation or speech and there's builders drilling through a wall, that suddenly means you've got that noise. There's this kind of what I was gonna say it's a fine line, it's not really a fine line. But it sounds like it would be is that what you don't want to do is leave it as the elephant in the room is just you try to ignore that it's even happening. But don't make an excessive fuss about it. Apologies, that's probably not a fair word to say. But you don't want to make a big big deal that suddenly makes everyone else kind of go Oh, gosh, wow, that's that's really bad. That's really, really unfortunate. Instantly, by the way, if if it is clear that something's gone wrong, don't forget there will be empathy for you. People react better to human beings, they can certainly put themselves in your position. So don't lose sleep about it. If it hasn't gone exactly to plan. This isn't a production that's going out on on TV or the big screen or something where it's got to be absolutely perfect on the nail. It really isn't people will kind of accept that something's gonna happen. But if you suddenly go are are no are this is all gone, or this are this is terrible. I can't believe it. This is ruined everything. Oh, I'm sorry that you're sorry, I'm so sorry, I've ruined it all for you. It's not going to go down? Well, there's no need to make it that much of an issue. Equally By the way, don't sit there spending half of your time or even more trying to resolve an IT issue. Or, you know, a physical issue, whatever it might be, don't try spend an excessive amount. If you try to resolve whatever the issue is. And within a handful of minutes, you become clear that this isn't going to get resolved. Switch your thinking from How can I get this resolved? To How can I do this without what's gone wrong? So can I do this presentation? Without the slideshow, for example, just as the most obvious one. Can I do this without a microphone because the microphone is not working? Right? I need to now make sure that I'm project you know what, instead of sitting on standing on this stage, the whole time, I might come down in amongst people, I'm gonna make sure that people can hear me one way or another. You change the way that you project. Rather than be mindful that you're on a mic. I suddenly go. I'm really sorry that the slides aren't there. I'm going to be able to work through and I'm going to speak to in a minute about how to protect yourself from from situations. I want to get everybody's email address at the end This and I will send the slides through to you or I'll send a handout to you or you've already got a handout or whatever, don't panic, it's verbally going to be delivered. Just as a couple of simple examples that could go awry. Equally, it might be that your laptop on the slides are working fine. But the screen it's supposed to be on isn't. So they can't see it. It is what it is just just go with it. My advice, acknowledge it and go all I'm ever sorry, appears like we've got a problem with the screen or with the mic. Give me a second. I'm just gonna see if I can sort this one out and have humility during it go. Typical, isn't it no matter what we do? Get people on side. I'm sorry, we're waiting there. But it's always me, it always got a good. Let's have a look. Let's see, if we get we got experts in the room by any chance, you know, just make it part of the show, is my honest advice. That's what I tried to do inside is, you know, as I look out the lake, out my window from my office, is that and in fact, it's gone now. But there was a swan there a moment is the perfect metaphor. look beautiful, don't say nice and serene, as they're going across. Their feet are going like this. That's me, always, it's me. You know, you're trying to look like you're in control, you're trying to give them what they need. But you're probably gonna that will try to keep it that way. But remember, they know they can put themselves in that position, they're going to feel empathetic, sympathetic, all of the above. But you don't need to drag it down. So just acknowledge right? I'm ever sorry, this is it, make it part of the show, try to resolve it. If you can't resolve it, just take a deep breath and go, right. It's no good. I'm ever sorry. No matter what preparation I've put in, we've lost that one. So we're going to have to make do without that. So let's go on this journey together. With without all the tools I was expecting, right, I will get it through to Okay, let's go. And then Off you go. Now, some of you may be sat there thinking well, if for example, it's my slides is the exam is what you experienced, that you've lost the ability to use them or show them or whatever it might be. That's one of the areas that I would recommend in terms of keeping yourself prepared for the unexpected. And that is, print out your slides. print them out not to give out just one copy will do just print out your slides. And, and have it in your bag, just in case, you still need to refer that if you're not a person that's referring to the slides at all, then obviously you don't need to worry. But my point being is have something there, if you are going to show something on screen, have it there available in hardcopy so that you can still refer to it hopefully, and I've had times when, when I've given repeat presentations or training is it's sat in my bag, and it's never come out. It's probably got doggy isn't everything and it's still in my bag. But I am relaxed knowing that if I found myself in a situation, and especially if you're relying on somebody else's hardware, if that situation arises, I'm okay. I don't need to panic about it, I can switch it. And that is a big way that I live all of my commentating my my presenting of any type, whether it's the camera, whether it's on a stage, it doesn't matter what it is, I will over prepare when I'm hosting awards nights and I've got you kind of have a bit more of a script with that one than then the bullet points that I like to do for presentations, you have more of a script. And I will have I tend these days or very Bonnie to do short anyway, on the on an iPad, you know we stand with the iPad for like the Sky Sports Center or something. And, and I'm able to go through it there, I will still have two printed copies of it. One will be in my tuxedo jacket inside pocket. One will be up in my hotel room. So that if I need to because I'm now there with however many hundreds of 1000s of people dependent on the the the event of their I'm okay. I'm going to relax I'm going to get on I'm going to do this as it's supposed to be done. And I'm going to enjoy it. And if that happens, I just go off note that the iPads failed, right? Let me bring out the piece of paper. There we go. And I've just got everything I need to refer to. Other things that I would suggest in terms of protecting yourself is some basic things. Get yourself there early. Honestly, I try I tend to get to a venue certainly at least half an hour earlier than I actually need to and I don't mean half an hour before I'm due to start but if I'm there saying you know what? I need half an hour or maybe an hour if it's a bigger event to set I'll actually get there an hour or an hour and a half before. Because I would rather go through everything, set it all up, everything's fine. And then have to go and kill time and have a coffee. I'm now decompressing. I'm now running through in my mind everything else. But if I turn up late, or with minimal time, I'm on edge before I even start, if you think that panic feel I need to quit to get this done. Oh my gosh, now the TV's not working, or the project is not working. My laptop's not working, I can't open the slides, whatever it might be, on now panicking. And I don't know if you've ever done this, if you ever been desperate for the toilet, when you arrived back to your house, and you try to get that key in your keel. You just can't get it in, can you because you're panicking, I've got to get in, I've got to get in. It's almost like the panic makes it impossible to do anything. So remove the panic, get yourself there nice and early, get yourself set up, and then relax. If you use all that time, it's fine. I've given myself that extra time to do it. In terms of things like the presentation, I've already said about having multiple hard copies. I also have a memory stick with that presentation on as well. So it means that not only if I suddenly need it on my laptop separately, but what about if I'm suddenly using somebody else's laptop or computer? Or mine fails? Completely? Right? Yeah, can we use your laptop? Great, let's plug that one in. Bang meme, excuse me memory stick in. And I'm now able to get going with that presentation. Because I've copied it over. And I've always by the way recommend just in case you weren't aware of this is that quite often, you'll find that it's better if you actually copy that presentation over onto that laptop rather than trying to run it directly. They are better these days the access rates. But I find it a lot better just copy it over so that I'm doing it all locally. I would also say if that happens, open it up before you project to anything, open it up, start presentation and go through it make sure that it behaves on that person's laptop, as well as in the same manner as it would on yours. They could have a different version of Microsoft Office or something else or whatever it might be. You want to make sure it behaves how you expect it to pay. The last thing you want is the googly thrown at you midway through your presentation that goes that was not what I was expecting. Just go through it, make sure. Another side point, by the way is that when you finished it, delete it from their laptop. That's your intellectual property. That's your presentation as your training causes whatever, get rid of it, move it off there, that's not theirs to keep unplugged your memory stick, put that back in your bag, job done, you've done everything you needed to do, and you're off and you're running. And by having that in my bag again. I think I might have you I have used it once. But it still sits in my bag with whatever. So I've created whatever presentation whatever material I might want equally any videos or, or anything else that might be a part of my presentation. It's on there. And I go, you know what, it's not a problem. If my laptop fails, or whatever else. It's not an issue, I've got another way to do this. So I'm going to relax, I'm not going to worry about it. Just stay calm, explain what's happening, move on with it, don't spend all the time worrying about it, move on, get going. If you suddenly find that another issue that can happen is that you start running out of time. So whether you are over running, maybe legitimately that people aren't as good interactive session, and they're getting involved and you suddenly go wow, you know, I've got to finish now. I always am aware before I do anything, okay. I'm going to run out of time. And by the way, it could also be an unfortunate one that the person before you has overrun. And it isn't always the way that you still get your allotted time move there because they kind of go I'm sorry, you need to you need to lose 1015 minutes off of yours. What? Okay, work out beforehand, what can you lose from your presentation, your speech, your training program? What can I lose? And I would always try to have something most obviously towards the end that I can get rid of. But also within the middle or possibly a little bit earlier, go right? You know what, I'm just going to suddenly skip over that. And I'm not going to do that. Or I'm going to do an abridged version of it. So it could be that as well. You still do it but a very abridged version to buy yourself back a little bit of time. If you know in your mind, you know what, worst case scenario, I can lose or a bridge that that and that. If you don't have to then happy days you just deliver what you're delivering. But if I do have to get rid of those bits. I'm not bothered if someone goes Chris, I need you to lose 510 minutes. Yeah, all right. No problem. Do this. Everything's right. And it's all about making yourself stay calm and carry on. And I know that's probably a patented sentence. And I'm not trying to negate it is literally as it is you just stay calm, and carry on and do it. If there is an organizer for your event, and you're traveling to that event, I would always also say, have that person's contact details available. Now, that could be it's on your mobile phone with an easy way to suddenly do it. It could be it's on a piece of paper, you suddenly get held up in the car, on the train on the walk between one you know, between station or whatever, whatever happens if you can just relax and go, yep, no problem, right. I'm so sorry, I am on my way, I'm going to be three minutes late. Please. Keep them warmed up, keep the crowd warmed, I will be there. If I am driving, and I'm suddenly held up and I'm like, ah, their contact details are on my laptop. And I now need to pull over either on the hard shoulder shouldn't really do or off and onto some lanes or into them the service station or something like that. And then fire up my laptop, right, there's inflammation right now phone, I've now just wasted another 510 minutes easily. And I've added to my stress, everyone accepts things happens as long as I've given myself that extra time. And I've still lost it because of this. I'm happy. I know, just stay relaxed. And those people no going I'm ever so sorry, I've been held is a nightmare. I don't know what's going on, I actually left myself an extra hour. And yet I've just it's all whittling away. Now. Of course, we come back to my comment about give yourself that buffer. And you're relaxed, it is all about making yourself feel relaxed and in control, look relaxed and in control. So it is very much about what you do beforehand to remove some of your concerns. Your be as in control of the uncontrollable as you can be preempt some nightmare situations, it will enable you to just go It's okay. It's not a problem, if I haven't got it. If that goes wrong, I've got this that I can fall back on, I'm allowing more time so that if that happens, I'm still going to get there on time, I'm allowing myself more time to set up in case something goes wrong or isn't a plan. I mean, that's the said before talking about, you know, making sure you've got the right equipment, you know, I take spare leads and plugs and all sorts of things. I'm not going to go into detail, we go into that a lot more in our in our training courses, but it's you know, making sure you're in control. But if something still goes awry in front of your audience, you're human, they're human, don't make an X an over song and dance about it. But don't leave it as a hollow elephant in the room, acknowledge it. Try to resolve it for a limit. If you're suddenly going, this ain't happening, there's no way around it, even with the caveats that I've put in place to help me overcome this. Nope, it's not happening, right? I'm ever so sorry, I think we're gonna have to call an end to that one, I'm going to have to do it without this or instead this way, or whatever it might be. and off you go. Because remember something, if you are there speaking, it's the words coming out of your mouth that are more powerful than anything else, everything that you're using outside of it, think of them as aids, if if they're more than aids to you, then you've got it the wrong way around more often than not, you need to be able to, you know, if they needed to see something on the screen, describe it, when you would normally be speaking you wouldn't necessarily describe it, because it's there, it's on the screen, you can see that. So I'm going to now refer to this, if it's not on my screen, through a technical fault, or whatever. I will describe it to them. So what would normally be up on the screen is that we'd see a photo of this. And there will be this show in here and this show in there. And what that shows us is dead. And then I'm able to bring in and weaving the content. So they are aids they should not make or break whether that is presentations, images, videos, equipment, including microphones, if you think about it, microphones are there to make it easier to be heard. So it is an absolutely vital and so therefore you can go Hello JP good to Good to see you, mate. Thank you for the like it's you're able to carry on. And as soon as you are able to kind of go Yeah, do you know what i can? I know what I'm talking about. I've got a piece of paper that goes remember this, this, this, this and this. And you'll have if you've watched any of the other lives and bits and pieces that we do, I'm a massive believer is stepping away from scripts and just having content to go oh Want to remember to mention talk about this, this, this and this, that I know, and how I flare it up the sizzle, I give it the humor, the the engagement that will change every single time I talk about it. So I don't need to write anything down equally, therefore, I don't need anything there. I don't need anything there. I'm going to deliver it in a way that works. If they do need to see it afterwards, I can send it through to them. All right. So that's, that's my advice. I hope that that was useful for you or you've been acquired a bunch this time and I know that varies from from time to time, do jump onto Open, Dawes training.co.uk forward slash Connect. The reason why it's the forward slash Connect is really good is it's a landing page that's just got a whole load of buttons that are different ways that you can connect with us. There's free downloads that you can get that can help you with different elements. There's some of the courses there's the YouTube channel, the Facebook page, subscribing to the to the the monthly newsletter, which includes tips, articles, and things like that. All sorts of bits and pieces that are there. Hello, Jordan. Hello, mate. where's where's the rocket gone? He's not there watching Jordan. Hi, Ben. Good to see you watching thank you mate for the like. But go and have a look. There's loads there as well as our paid for courses that these days as you will have seen from the little ad at the beginning, as well as face to face training. We've also got online training that includes videos, audios, and face to face training, ongoing mentoring, download keepsakes, mentor groups as well, where we actually do the peer assessments from each other where you can do presentations, we'll go into details about extra things. There's an academy group, that members become part of an equally we've also got people that do whether it's one to one or group face to face training are also able to have the online training. So it's all sorts of things. Hey, guys, you're all rushing in Dave Rogers, Jeff Kendall. Greetings, guys. So thank you so much for joining in with us. At Jordan says, I guess I've joined at the end you have made but if anybody does that, don't forget, once this is finished, and it's uploaded, you can watch it back afterwards. They're all there. And you can still ask me questions or make comments. It's not a problem that this is designed to be helpful for you. They have subjects next week, for example, there every Tuesday at 11 o'clock. By the way, if people have a suggestion that the 11 o'clock isn't great, and there'll be a better time, if I see a number of people suggesting an alternative time I'm open to having a look at it. But next week, I'm going to think I'm going to do the one that's going to be titled focus on the snow, not the trees. And by that I mean for dealing with nerves is it's all about where you we focus too much on what could go wrong. You know, we're talking about the stay calm and carry on here. But it's all too easy to focus what could go wrong. And if you're scanning through the trees, and you're going don't look at the trees, don't look at the trees, or you can see the trees. But if you look at the snow, you can see your route through it. So it's a big play on that one. There's something you know, I still get nervous. I've just the commentary team for American speed fest at Brands Hatch was an amazing event with limited but we still had 4000 each day and terribly nervous, terribly worried about what could go wrong, you know, jump into engaging with the crowd. And of course, it could all fall flat. But it's like tough, don't think about what could go wrong. Let's think about what could go right for them and for you and all of that sort of stuff. So that's next week show. please do join us once as soon as I program it up, hopefully you'll get notifications that set a reminder because it will ping up to tell you that we're going live at 11 o'clock. And you know that that's the plan to keep those going but go to as I say Open Dawes Training dot code at UK forward slash connect and see all the other ways that you can actually engage with Open Dawes Training, multiple different ways that you can get what is as well we're CPD accredited. For those that that's important too, as well. But thank you so much for joining us everybody. Much appreciated. And I look forward to seeing you next Tuesday. Hopefully, cheers. Have a cracking week. Thank you for listening to Opened Dawes Live. I hope you enjoyed it and it was useful. Remember, go to Open Dawes training.co.uk forward slash Connect, to find out more about how you can interact with us and how we can help you