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How to Handle Speech Glitches

by | Jul 24, 2018 | 2 comments

Presenting @ Cavett Institute at National Speakers Association Annual Convention

You are not only one of the keynote speakers, but you are also The Chair of The All-Day Event.

This scenario happened to me last week.

  • Event: National Speakers Association Annual Convention.
  • Program: “Cavett Institute” for 100 aspiring speakers. 8am to 5pm.
  • Chair: National Dean of Academy for Professional Speaking – me.
  • Location: Large hotel meeting room.

Put on your seatbelt. It’s going to be a bumpy ride as I share the mishaps (some of which I could have avoided…) and how we overcame them.

Why does this matter to you? Whether you are the speaker or the event organizer, these issues can and will happen. The trick is how to keep the show moving forward.

Glitch #1: Audio/Visual Nightmares.

I arrive at the Wedgewood Room in our hotel at 6:30am and meet up with the A/V guys, Ryan and Logan. As I hand them my computer Ryan says, “Thanks. We have all the wires. We will take it from here.” I sighed and respond, “You guys are the best. Thanks so much!”

Half way through my presentation the signal goes away and my PowerPoint disappears. Problem: my computer ran out of juice. Yes, they had the wires for the LCD projector. No, they did not have the computer adapter. Stupid mistake even though they said they had it all covered. Easy fix. My wing-person found my cord and plugged in the computer. Another challenge – the remote clicker also stopped responding.

Solutions for Glitch #1:

  1. Schedule to meet your A/V team at least one hour in advance of Delivery Time. Your best friend at any speaking event is your A/V support team. Remember their names. They will save your derriere.
  2. Have a wing-person. Thank you Lorri Allen! @SoundbiteCoach. And thank you Ed Gerety! @EdGerety.
  3. Plug your computer to the electrical outlet. That’s on you.
  4. Use a remote clicker for your PPT and make sure you put in a brand new fresh battery before any and all speaking events.
  5. Be prepared to speak without visuals. Know your material and share your knowledge with gravitas and without grumbling to your audience about the A/V glitch.

Stay tuned for more glitches and how to handle them. The event was a huge success but the behind-the-scenes nightmare continued!

© Karen Cortell Reisman, M.S., author of 3 books and President of Speak For Yourself®, works with decision makers on how to speak with gravitas. It’s all in how you speak for yourself. Karen also speaks about her cousin, Albert Einstein, in a message about hope, resilience and brassieres.

Read more at www.SpeakForYourself.com/blog.


  1. Michael Gallant

    What a cliffhanger. Can’t wait to hear more.

    • Karen Cortell Reisman

      You will have to wait till next week to see what else went wrong!

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