Speaking Hiccups

Posted By on June 14, 2013

If you do enough public speaking, whether in front of an audience or a TV camera, you’re bound to run into some unpredictable glitch.

Let’s take a look at Houston meteorologist David Paul who powered through an unexpected case of the hiccups.  Whether you are a TV personality or an executive, you might face an unanticipated problem during your speaking engagement. Watch how he handles this, ah, hiccup:

David Paul’s case of the hiccups was untimely  – during his three-minute long weather report on a day of severe storms. He was quick to say “excuse me” after many of the hiccup interruptions. He also did three important things:

  • He used the speaking strength of authenticity.
  • About 30 seconds into the weather report, he said, “I have the hiccups. Of course this would happen right when we have heavy weather, but bear with me.” During a speech or performance there may be times when you need to name the challenge that you face. “I am a little nervous in front of large groups.” or “The audio doesn’t seem to be working; I’ll try to speak a little louder.” Declare what is going on in order to keep the connection with your audience.
  • He used the speaking strength of humility. David smiled a few times throughout the on-air hiccuping episode, and said “We’ve all had hiccups before, right?” We are all human and viewers could feel a connection to someone who reminds them of that.

For any of your speaking engagements, if you experience a glitch, in most cases you, too, will want to power through. Connect with your audience – name your challenge and keep it human – and be prepared to keep the stage.

Speaking for impact is not an accident it’s a skill. Share your stories of glitches and hiccups you’ve experienced during a presentation, TV or live video event.


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