‘O’ is for ’Oops’

While we are editorial independent and recommend the best products through an independent review process, we may receive compensation if you click on links to partners we recommend.

Sections of this topic

    Why did I say that? ‘Oops’ what did I just do? What just happened? When doing a presentation, what do you do after an ‘oops’. You could have gotten too wordy and lost focus, or you went off script and are now lost, or you are experiencing technical problems, etc. So what do you now do? –Well for one thing, do not say,’umm’.

    The following are a few tips that I have learned from my co-host Gail.

    Be Adaptable – yup, you definitely have to be adaptable and easy going, and be quick, like Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over the candlestick. Be flexible to any change in your environment and work with it.

    Be Brilliant – use your imagination and correct any problems you encounter; including your ‘oops’ statements or technical mishaps. How? Be prepared and have back up plans.

    Be Courageous – have confidence in yourself that it’s ok that you fumbled or that something went wrong. Things happen, so just continue and don’t let the incident stop you.

    Be Dynamic and say – ‘Wow that was a mistake!’ – This is the time to engage your audience or say, “Oops, well that’s embarrassing” and smile.

    Be Energetic – show your energy and interact with your audience. Ask them if this ‘oops’ ever happened to them?—and what did they do? This will break the ice for a bit while you gather your thoughts and then continue on with your presentation.

    Be Focused – on your next move, not on what just occurred. Take a breath and smile and continue and ask for assistance if need be.

    Be Gracious – smile and say “Oops, I just made a mistake.’ There is nothing wrong in saying that. I feel this is an acceptable time to apologize.

    Be Humorous – have a backup humorous slide as a backup for any ‘oops’ that might occur, or a story if there is a technical issue. This will occupy the audience while the problem is being worked on.

    Be Yourself in an Introduction – during an introduction, if an ‘oops’ occurs, say something amusing, i.e. ‘ ‘So that must ruin my knowledge and reputation in this field…hehe’ and laugh.

    Be Joyful – you love learning and teaching so show them the joy you have in presenting even after an ‘oops’.

    Be strong and Kill the rise or drop in your voice because of the ‘oops’. Don’t let the audience know you’ve lost confidence. Instead, stay calm and say that there will be a short break if needed.

    Be easy going and Laugh with your audience – they are the ones who want to communicate with you. Let them know you are just human and as such, will make mistakes. If you can, make a joke out of your mistake, or just say, ‘well that wasn’t correct, was it?’….and let it go.

    Reword, restate, or rework your Message on what just occurred to make it right. Give the audience the right message you meant to convey to them.

    And mostly, Never stop believing in yourself.

    Why, because ‘oops’ happens to all of us.