There is a very popular saying in the seduction community that you should fake it till you make it with women. What they mean is that you should pretend you have confidence until you develop real inner confidence. And the same goes for confident body language, etc.
This last week I’ve been giving talks on MXit and Blogging in Durban. This is one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa and especially the North Coast where I was staying in guest house, On the Beach.
Anyway this morning I presented a Blogging seminar for a paid audience organised by ePages.net, a specialist e-business and web design company. The venue was excellent, the room was packed, the mic was there, and the projector was set-up. Just after I started my presentation we completely lost all electricity in the area. This took me by surprise for a brief moment. There has been so many power outages in South Africa for the last year or so it was not a complete shock to the audience.
I immediately continued to share some stories with the audience. Someone opened the windows so we could get some sun light. And so I proceeded, be it a bit shaken by the loss of my presentation. My instincts kicked in and I proceeded to talk. I know one thing that happened was that I spoke faster. And I ended the presentation with an hour instead of the agreed 1.5 hours. We took questions and there a good response from most the audience. The feedback I received afterwards was generally positive. In my own mind I tried my best to remain calm. There is something about fake till you make it that came into play here. Because I was really ensure how to proceed without my presentation. I think we in business have developed a unnatural reliance on visual presentations. So even though it can enhance the message being delivered, it should never be the primary source of stimulation for your audience.
The best comment I received was my Toastmasters club would be proud with how I handled the loss of electricity and smoothly moved on and continued to delivery my presentation on Blogging. So the last word here is to take it till you make it. Just continue talking as if nothing happened and your audience will follow your lead. Remember you set the tone of the engagement. And most people are going to look to you fo reassurance of some kind.