Presentation Recovery: What To Do When You Forget Your Place

We’ve all had the experience. You are presenting, going from your first point to your second and your mind goes blank. What do you do? How do you recover?

Here are five ways to recover and save your presentation.

1. Pause – remember a pause is a good thing (allows your audience to reflect on the information) and chances are the audience won’t know what is going on.
2. You can repeat the last line that you just said in order to gain momentum and find your train of thought.
3. You can laugh and ask the audience for help. – Keep in mind that the audience wants you to win and will be more than willing to help if you are genuine.
4. You can make light by saying something like, “I was thinking of a great point to share with you and I forgot where I was – were any of you paying attention – and if so can you tell me where I was?” ☺
5. You can refer your notes. Have a cheat sheet prepared with bullet points and you can say something like, “Let me quickly look at my notes because I want to make sure I covered everything on this point before we move on.” – then ask if there are any questions on that point.

No matter how good you are and how many times you have presented – there may be times that you lose your train of thought. Be prepared by having notes that you can refer to in an emergency and have a saver line or two ready for recovery.


2 Responses

  1. I am reminded of Marco Rubio and his sip of water. He made a joke of his
    faux pas.

    I have noticed many people repeat their last few words while thinking, or remembering their thought.

    Good commentary.

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