Peter Urs Bender   Previous Page  |  Next Page

Handling Negative Interruptions From
Your Audience

Unfortunately, for reasons which are not your fault, there are
times when you will not have the full attention of your
listeners. You might encounter a member of the audience who
frustrates your ability to present your ideas.
     There are two rules you must remember:

     First, under no circumstances should you lose your
     cool, become upset or get angry with that person.

     Second, recognize that the audience will almost
     always be your ally if you are harassed or heckled.
     Everyone will be as annoyed as you are and encour-
     age you to continue.

     Therefore, the best way to handle inconsiderate interrup-
tions is to just ignore them and keep going. If that fails, try one
of the following techniques:

Hecklers

Ignore them. Do not make eye contact. If all else fails, try one
of these lines: "Excuse me but I work alone". Ask them to be
quiet or leave. Stop your presentation until they do. If you
suspect in advance that you might have hecklers, arrange for
two allies to assist you.
     If a certain person persists in harassing you, have your
two friends escort the person out of the room to take a telephone
call.
     Outside, your helpers can politely ask the person to be
more considerate as you continue your presentation.



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