It’s not uncommon for people to lose their train of thought when speaking. Even public speaking experts also face these moments. It doesn’t mean you failed because you didn’t express your ideas correctly. Besides, you still have the chance to make it up. Here’s what you need to do if faced with this scary moment.
Pause for a few seconds
There’s no harm in pausing to gather your thoughts before you continue talking. It’s not a sign of weakness. It also doesn’t show how terrible your presentation is. You would rather pause to think about what to say than deliver incorrect ideas. Then, once you have found the right words, return to where you left off.
Refer to your slides
It’s an excellent idea to use visual aids when presenting. It helps the listeners stay on track during your presentation. Besides, not everyone will grasp every word that comes out of your mouth. Some people will use these slides as a guide to avoid getting lost. The good thing is you can also use your slides to determine what to say next. It’s even better to have a ceiling projector mount in the meeting room. Projecting your slides is easier, and you don’t have to worry about using visual aids during your presentation.
Crack a joke
Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you’re at a loss for words, laugh at yourself. Crack a joke about that moment and be honest with the listeners. They wouldn’t be frustrated if you gave them something to laugh about. After talking for several minutes, this icebreaker will be favorable to you. Of course, you must know the line. Be sensitive with your jokes, and don’t do it at the expense of others. Don’t be mean and blame other people because you don’t know what to say next. Drop some self-deprecating jokes related to your inability to gather your thoughts quickly.
While pausing for a bit is okay, you can’t do it forever. Time is precious for everyone in the room. Move on to the next idea, and don’t stay long to the part you can’t remember. As you continue the discussion, you might remember what you forgot earlier. Go back to it for a few minutes and insert those ideas casually. No one will know that you forgot these thoughts. Again, you and your staff are the only people who know what’s in your presentation. Everyone in the room won’t know that you dropped some parts of the discussion.
The last thing you must do is panic. It won’t help you during the presentation. It will only worsen the situation. Breathe for a few seconds if you feel like you’re about to have a panic attack. Then, think of a happy thought and allow yourself to return to a more positive vibe.
Learn from this experience, and you will be better at presenting next time.