What do you do when you’re on stage and the slides that were working perfectly last night all of a sudden start to cause drama? Or what about when the last speaker before you bored the crap out of the audience and now you have to go up and present and can visibly see people falling asleep? Should you ignore what’s happening and move on? Power through the presentation and hope it’s not as awkward as you think it is?
The answer is no. There’s one key word you should keep in mind while presenting or making your videos and that’s ACKNOWLEDGEMENT.
Acknowledgement is way more interesting for us to watch as opposed to seeing you ignore what’s happening, including any awkward moments that may come up when presenting. For example, if you have a technology issue out of your control, don’t freak out. It’s okay. Simply acknowledge what’s going on in an authentic way (even more points if you can do it in a funny way) and figure out the next steps. The audience can see and hear the same stuff that you can so brushing over something obvious and hoping the audience didn’t catch it isn’t the best bet. It’s better to show your human side and acknowledge what’s going on. Also, another fun trick that standup comedians use when they walk out on stage is, they acknowledge the audience. You’ve seen when comedians get on stage and right away they’ll look straight into the crowd and pick out a couple people and ask who they are and where they’re from. In some cases they’ll make a comment about the energy of the room or “what kind of audience,” they’re looking at. They do this so that they can get on the same page as the audience and connect with them. That way, they are on the same team as the audience and can deliver their jokes from an even playing field. You can use the same trick when you get on stage or even in your videos. Acknowledge the energy in the room when you get on stage or take a couple minutes to look into everyone’s eyes and connect with them and say “thanks so much for being here etc.” For video, you can acknowledge why someone would be watching your video. What would have prompted them to click on it and say thank you to them for checking it out.
I have several other points of acknowledgement that I go into in the video above and there are more I’m sure that I didn’t think of. Keep this word in your head as your presenting and it’ll work to get you out of any sticky situations where your first instinct might be to glaze over the situation. We want to stay connected with you and not acknowledging the obvious isn’t as strong of a choice as opening up and commenting on exactly what’s happening.