Public Speaking Can Be Fun

Free Public speaking skills tips, techniques, and advice by presentation skills expert Jacki Rose, Top Performance. Follow me on Twitter:

Monday, September 08, 2008

Being Prepared for the Public Speaking Unexpected

Three years ago after a 45 mile bike ride driving home on the Mass Pike, I felt a thump. I looked in my rear view mirror and witnessed my bike flying down the middle lane. The bike flew off my roof rack!

I panicked, called 911, and pulled over to the break down lane. Except there was no breakdown lane, so I continued to drive and luckily came upon the State Police. I pulled in, frantically ran through the door, and they told me an officer went out to retrieve the bike.

Minutes later the officer came back and said there was no sign of the bike. Someone must have snatched it up. I don't blame them. It was a $1500 Cannondale Road bike.

This experience was traumatic for me and it took me a couple of days to get over the whole ordeal.

This past Labor Day, I was driving home from Cape Cod and felt a thump. I looked in my rear view mirror and this time, it wasn't just the bike flying down the highway it was my entire roof rack.

My reaction this time was very different than the one I had three years ago. I remained calm, I immediately pulled over to the median (remembering last time about the breakdown lane), and I called 911. I got out of my car and started walking back towards the bike and rack. Some good semaritan took a risk and stopped in the middle of the road and picked up my bike and pieces of rack and tossed them to the median. The police came, helped me get everything in my car, and I was able to savor the bike this time, but of course the bike rack went on to bike rack heaven. The manager at the bike shop said the rack was toast. That was an understatement, it was more like crumbs.

So why do I tell you this story. There may be times when you speak in public when the unexpected occurs. The more experience you have with public speaking, the more you will be able to handle an unexpected maybe even traumatic situation. Because I had experienced something similar in the past, the next time it happened, I handled it with so much more calmness and control. The more experienced you are the more you will be able to take control of a situation.

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