10 Embarrass Presentation Situations

Handling Embarrass Presentation Situations – What can you do?

Even the most prepared and experienced speakers encounter unforeseen and embarrassing situations during their presentations.  Today, I will share tips on how to handle some of these awkward moments.

Handling Embarrassing Presentations Situations
Embarrass Presentations Situations are sometimes inevitable. (Photo Source: Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels)

Situation #1 – You are late for the event

When your alarm clock refuses to trigger, and you are late for the session. You walked in and apologized sincerely. You may suggest giving the audience an extended break to make it up.

Situation #2 – Unable to locate your PowerPoint file on your laptop

You don’t have to tell the audience that you misplaced your file.  Conduct a spontaneous activity, follow by a debrief.  Interact with the audience to buy time.  You may get someone to email you the PowerPoint or rush home to take it during the break.

Situation #3 – Misaligned PowerPoint slides

Just ignore it.  If the PowerPoint is seriously misaligned, present without the PowerPoint and do some interactive activities.  Realign the slides during the break.

Some Medications Can Affect The Vibrations Of Vocal Folds.

Situation #4 – You lost your voice

Invest in a small mobile PA system.  If the venue does not provide you with any speakers, at least you know you are covered. Use voice dynamics in your presentations to captivate your audience.

Situation #5 – Audience looking at their laptop or mobile phone

Set some ground rules from the start that no laptop is allowed during the session.  This audience behavior is very contagious.  When one starts with the laptop, the rest will follow. Talk about something interesting to bring their attention off the laptop.  You may tell a story or share an experience.

Situation #6 – Audience asked unprepared and unexpected questions

During presentations, the audience will sometimes ask you the most obvious question. No matter what questions they ask, always thank them for any questions.  Politely tell the audience that the question is excellent. If you don’t know the answer, don’t say you don’t know. Tell them you will do some research on it and get back to them with an accurate answer. And keep your promise.

Situation #7 – Audience talking among themselves while you speak

There is always bound to be a “leader” among your audience who will start a conversation among themselves. As a speaker, you can take a leap to walk to them and stand beside them while you continue to speak. Most of the time, they will stop talking

Alternatively, you may lower your voice and pause, which will also lead to the same outcome.

Situation #8 – Audience challenging you with your points

Such an audience is usually experts in their industry. Invite them to share their ideas, and they will be pleased to do that.  Don’t reprimand their ideas.  Be polite about it.

Situation #9 – You have forgotten what you want to say next

Just move one to the next bullet point.  Once you recollect, take the audience back to the slide by telling them that you have missed a significant point earlier, and you know that the audience will benefit from it.  By doing so, the audience will be grateful for your effort.

Situation #9 – You have forgotten what you want to say next

Just move one to the next bullet point.  Once you recollect, take the audience back to the slide by telling them that you have missed a significant point earlier, and you know that the audience will benefit from it.  By doing so, the audience will be grateful for your effort.

Situation #10 – When you forget the presentation flow

When giving a presentation, use keywords to signpost the different stages. It’s a good idea to memorize them and practice using them to come to mind quickly during a presentation. For Example:

Signposts for Different Stages in a PresentationKeywords and Statements
Starting the presentation       – Good morning/good afternoon ladies and gentlemen …
– The topic of my presentation today is …
– What I’m going to talk about today is …  
Why you are giving this presentation– The purpose of this presentation is …
– This is important because …
– My objective is to …
Stating the main points– The main points I will be talking about are:    
. Firstly …
. Secondly…
. Next, finally…
– We’re going to look at …
Introducing the first point– Let’s start/begin with …
Showing graphics, transparencies, slides etc.– I’d like to illustrate this by showing you…
Moving on to the next point      – Now let’s move on to  …
Giving more details    – I’d like to expand on this aspect/problem/point
– Let me elaborate on that
– Would you like me to expand on/elaborate on that?
Changing to a different topic    – I’d like to turn to something completely different
Referring to something which is off the topic– I’d like to digress here for a moment and just mention that …

Referring back to an earlier point
– Let me go back to what I said earlier about …
Summarizing or repeating the main points– I’d like to recap the main points of my presentation:
. First I covered
. Then we talked about
. Finally, we looked at
– I’d now like to sum up the main points which were:
Conclusion– I’m going to conclude by… saying that/inviting you to/ quoting …
– In conclusion, let me… leave you with this thought/invite you to
Questions– Finally, I’ll be happy to answer your questions…
– Now I’d like to invite any questions you may have…
– Do you have any questions?
(Source: https://www.learn-english-today.com/)
Effectively prepare yourself can prevent embarrassing presentation moments.

In Conclusion

If you are well-prepared for your event, anticipate and visualize the unexpected, you will be able to go through the ordeal. Good luck!

In my coming blogs, I will cover more on business communication and presentation tips and techniques.


I hope you enjoy reading this article and if you have any feedback or suggestions, we welcome your writing in.

If you do like my posts, please feel free to share them!

Remember to also subscribe to our FREE Voice and Presentation Tips by completing the form here.

What are your embarrass presentation moments?


The Voice Room specialized in providing a practical approach to Voice, Presentation and Communication Skills Coaching. We help you develop your leadership voice, present and communicate with confidence as you grow in your career​.

Feel free to Contact Us to know more.

7 Benefits of Great Presentation Skills at Work

Presentation Skills Gaining Its Popularity

Presentation skills have seen gaining importance at the workplace in recent years. With the pandemic, corporations are taking their stand on conducting meetings virtually.

In today’s blog, we will talk about how this skill can help us achieve our career goals.

Presentation Skills At Work
In The Earlier Years, Knowledge Was Essential, And Most Education System Focuses On Scoring On Academic Subjects
Thomas Suarez: A 12-year-old app developer

Changing Trend

In the earlier years, knowledge was essential, and most education system focuses on scoring on academic subjects. 

This priority has evolved tremendously over the years. In today’s context, we talk about soft skills. 

In Institutions, even down to lower primary schools, trainers are engaged by external providers to give training to young students to equip themselves with the skills they need to stay in employment or land their first job.

“Employers/Industry is demanding graduates with excellent presentation skills.”

The essence of effective presentation skills in engineering education

Even those from the technical industries, such as engineers, start to realize the importance of presentation skills as they advance to their career path. 

Executives working in foreign companies have also faced competition for career growth, where presentation skills are crucial for not getting a deserved promotion. 

What You Need To Know

Since there is so much emphasis on presentation skills at the workplace, what do presentation skills comprise? It comprises:

  • The Content
  • Body Language
  • Visual Appearance
  • Eye Contact
  • Voice Skills
  • Articulation
  • Voice Dynamics
  • Pacing
  • Speech Fillers

Have you noticed something? The “content” only represents a small fraction of the whole presentation skill set. So, what does this tell you? It tells you that contents are important, but how you deliver the contents is even more critical.

In the 1970s, Prof. Albert Mehrabian of the University of California in Los Angeles cited that words, tone of voice, and body language respectively account for 7%, 38%, and 55% of personal communication.

Communication Skills
Albert Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 Rule of Personal Communication

What are the benefits of having good presentation skills?

Perception: Perception is about mental association. A person with good presentation skills will be perceived as confident, reliable, trustworthy, and refined.

Heighten Your Confidence: Have you been applauded after a speech? It feels good. Will you do more speeches in the future? A BIG YES!

Time-Saving: A well-planned presentation can eliminate a lot of wasted time on rambling the unnecessary.

Minimize Miscommunication: If you are constantly being asked this: “excuse me, what did you say? Can you please repeat?” Some people don’t even bother to ask you to repeat. They ignore what you just said. Good articulation will enhance enunciation, and this is very important.

Demonstrate Authority: Voice projection is about grounding the sound wave from the sound you made. A grounded voice with good voice dynamics will allow you to present as a leader. Listen to Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address. Don’t you want to sound like him?

7 Benefits Of Great Presentation Skills At Work
A Good Voice Dynamics Will Allow You To Present As A Leader.

Positive Branding: Energize your image with your voice. Double it up with your body language. People associate these elements with positive vibes. 

Better Promotion Opportunities: A couple of years back, a senior executive came to me for presentation skills training because he missed his promotion. When others constantly interject when you present, it is time for you to look into improving your presentation skills. 

In Conclusion:

It is never too late to look at your own presentation skills.  Try presenting in front of a camera, record, playback and evaluate.  How did you score in the Albert Mehrabian’s 7-38-55 Rule of Personal Communication

In my coming blogs, I will cover more on business communication and presentation tips and techniques.


I hope you enjoy reading this article and if you have any feedback or suggestions, we welcome your writing in.

If you do like my posts, please feel free to share them!

Remember to also subscribe to our FREE Voice and Presentation Tips by completing the form here.

Are you still struggling with your presentation skills?


The Voice Room specialized in providing a practical approach to Voice, Presentation and Communication Skills Coaching. We help you develop your leadership voice, present and communicate with confidence as you grow in your career​.

Feel free to Contact Us to know more.