Unfortunately distractions in the form of interruptions arise frequently when in public speaking. Here are some common interruptions and suggestions on how to deal with them:
The late arrival or a sudden departure – these should be overlooked
Nuisances that continue such as a noisy fan or airconditioner – someone in the audience should attend to it. If no one volunteers, the speaker may stop their speech and start to attend to the offending noise. This gesture is generally enough and someone nearer at hand will be quick to quiet the sound.
Outside noise – a siren or airplane roar – are best ignored unless the sound is so loud it interferes with your communication. In that case, pause until the sound has abated.
Someone in the audience creates a disturbance – let someone seated near to the offender quiten the nuisance. A personal appeal on your part may backfire as it did for the speaker who was disturbed by a man who kept coughing, sneezing and blowing. Finally the speaker asked politely, “Don’t you think a few minutes out in the air might help your cold?” And the afflicted listener replied, “This ade no code—I’b just allergic to baloney.”
Hecklers – hecklers are best ignored. If you do not interact with the heckler the audience will normally come to the rescue. They will recognize that you are an invited guest and you are to be protected. The speaker must maintain his dignity and not lose their temper at all times.
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