It can happen to the best.
I sat in on a webinar today hosted by a veteran professional speaker. For the first 10 minutes there was no sound. (Actually, there was some odd background noise, including a cell phone ringing.)
Eventually the presenter realized he had a problem (perhaps from the person calling), corrected the issue, and restarted his webinar. (He didn’t say what the issue was. Perhaps there was a momentary glitch with the webinar software.)
I’m sure he felt awful, but he knew how to handle himself. After all, he’s encountered problems during keynote addresses and other presentations since he started speaking professionally more than 10 years ago. He’s done this before, so he knows how to conduct a webinar. Perhaps he missed a step while starting today’s program.
This problem brought to light an issue that is unique to webinars. It is possible to engage the webinar without the presenter knowing that he can’t be heard. If you offer webinars, always query your audience at the start about your audio. Doing so will allow you to take correction action as quickly as possible.
If you speak often enough, eventually you’ll face a calamity. Keep your cool–a sense of humor helps–solve the problem, and move on.
For related reading, see “Don’t let gaffes trip you up” and “How to give a presentation when disaster strikes.”
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