Had a moment of inconsolable crisis tonite. Our kids got helium baloons at lunch today, and despite repeated warnings, our daughter let hers go upon coming home and it rose out of reach to our cathedral ceiling in the living room. For the next ten minutes, we heard wailing, “but I don’t have a balloon!” The fact that brother’s balloon was safely tied to his kitchen chair and he repeatedly said, “well, my balloon is right there” didn’t help matters.I managed to distract her as only a father can do, with repeated tummy kisses and turning her upside down and wrestling with her. All was forgotten and well, until I turned her upside down and head over heels so that she lands on my lap facing up and seeing… the balloon. The wailing resumed at even greater volumes. All because it was sighted again. Out of sight, out of mind.Speakers do the same thing. They continually draw attention to the things they don’t like, how unprepared they are, how the wrong visual is on the screen, how their voice just cracked, how they’ve lost their place, how they didn’t get enough sleep, or how their arthritis is acting up. In almost every case, the audience doesn’t care, and it most cases, they wouldn’t even notice if it wasn’t brought up. The attention drawn to the wrong item (shouldn’t it be on your message?) can only upset an audience. They’re then more likely to find other things to be unhappy about.

You’re likely the only one who knows what’s wrong with your presentation. Don’t draw attention away from your message to the things gone wrong.

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