Public Speaking Course:
Improvise Your Flipchart
At a speaking engagement recently, I broke my own rule from my public speaking course. I did not follow a preplanned checklist like I should have, Oops!
It was two minutes until my presentation was going to start and I realized that I had no flipchart in my room. I nearly flipped out because I had no flipchart.
Uh oh!. I had to really think fast. I was not using an overhead projector during my presentation, so I could not simply write on a blank transparency. Now with one and 1/2 minutes left . . . . I thought, "Never let 'em see you sweat." So, I went into the hall way to sweat instead.
I saw a flipchart in an empty room awaiting the next speaker and quickly took a piece of the flipchart paper and went back into my room to get ready.
Now there was one minute left. I put the paper on the floor still not knowing what I was going to do with it. So I got on the stage and began the program. Thirty minutes into my presentation was the moment of truth. Luckily I had another marker in my prop box. Ok so far. I had masking tape too. . . . but I had no place to put the piece of paper that would allow both sides of the room to see it.
It was time to incorporate some fun so I asked for three volunteers
to BE my flipchart. I also requested that one volunteer needed to have
a black shirt (incase the marker leaked through the paper). This got a
We had so much fun! The three audience members were laughing. The audience was laughing. Ad-libs were flying. The black shirt person was getting tickled with the point of the marker. And I still got the point across that I had planned all along. Now everyone was involved and participating and having fun. I kept my cool and used what I teach in my public speaking course to still make an impact.
OK, I'll admit I messed up by not making sure I had a flipchart before speaking. However, if you are willing and able to stay flexible in the face of the inevitable challenges you will face as a fun public speaker, adversity can turn positive very quickly. Making lemonade out of lemons is part of using what you learned in your public speaking course.
Copyright © 2005 All Rights Reserved