Recover after a terrible speech

Rather than becoming deflated after botching a speech, recognize and fix your mistakes to become a stronger speaker next time around.

Start by analyzing your technique. Objectively review a recording of your failed speech, or ask a trusted colleague who heard your presentation to give honest feedback. Scrutinize body language, vocal tone and energy level. Identify words that needed more emphasis and ideas that needed more explanation.

In addition to noting what you did wrong, note what you did well. Build on your effective techniques and find a way to use any bad habits to your advantage.

Example: If you utter too many filler words, “ums” and “uhs,” practice pausing and being silent instead. That will make you appear thoughtful.

— Adapted from “How to Recover From a Disastrous Speech,” George Dixon, Presentation Magazine, http://www.presentationmagazine.com.

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