September 16, 2020

How to Handle Tech Surprises When Virtually Speaking

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How to Handle Tech Surprises When Virtually Speaking

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Episode 155 The Heather Sager Show How to Handle Tech Surprises When Virtually Speaking

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If you plan on speaking on virtual or live event stages, you’ll inevitably face tech issues. The question is: will you handle them in a way that adds credibility to your brand or harms your reputation?  Will you roll with the punches or waste precious time with a deer in headlights look?

Today, I’m sharing some real examples of speaking hiccups and teaching three specific steps to help you navigate them with grace, leaving your audience thinking, “dang, if she can do THAT, what ELSE can she do for me?”

Episode Show Notes:


Good content, delivery and adaptability is essential to your brand.

(09:39) You have to have good content. You have to have a level of presence about you that elevates your brand. It’s got to get people to connect to it. If you have poor delivery, it doesn’t matter how good your content is, people are not going to remember it. They’re not going to be engaged. You’re not going to hold their attention. Your delivery has to be there, but your adaptability is important too. How do you manage the tech issues? How do you manage the unexpected? How do you manage the questions? How do you manage low energy? Your ability to adapt, those things all coming together, people are experiencing your brand.

3 Steps to Navigate Tech Issues & Surprises

Navigate surprise with speaking with these 3 steps:

1. Prepare – you should almost never go into a speaking event without knowing the set up.

(15:24) I want you to think, what are some questions you could ask the event organizer before you ever get on? You should never be surprised…

(16:27) What I want you to consider is, what do you need to know to be prepared and what do you need to know to create the best experience for your audience? 

Sample Tech Qs you could ask:

  • What is the technology platform?
  • Will other people be on camera or not?
  • What’s the chat situation?

Depending on the event, you might want a tech rehearsal to test out the system (particularly for large scale speaking opportunities).

2. Anticipate – what are some of the possible scenarios that might happen? And what could you do if they did?

(26:09) The whole secret to anticipating what can happen, the whole secret to showing up as the best version of you, even when things go wrong is to anticipate it…You don’t have to wait for something to happen to anticipate what you would do.

Tip You Can Do to Anticipate the Worst-case-itis

(25:38) Create your ‘What-if’ sheet. Start a Google doc and think about tech issues or interruption issues that might happen. Write them down and then write the what if, and if something were to come up that isn’t on your list, you’ll be better prepared because you’ve already thought through how to react to navigate those kinds of things.

(27:31) Anticipate what are those go-to issues that you’re afraid of, or you’ve seen happen, or you’re like, oh! If you can anticipate them, you can navigate them…I want you to say when this happens or if this happens, what do I do? Map it out. Even if you don’t know how to, I trust that you could figure it out. The more problem solving you can do anticipating the challenges, the better problem solving you’ll do in the moment.

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