Presentation Skills Training: What if I'm Running Late?

Posted by Blog Tipster
August 18, 2017



If early is on time and on time is late, then late must be lethal. Yet we all know that into every life, a bit of chaos must fall. This presentation skills training "What if..." is a question of timing — or lack thereof. Kerri has advice for dealing should you show up late (yikes!) for your presentation.

What if...I show up too late for a presentation? 

Answer from Kerri: I’m assuming you’re referring to being too late as a presenter, not an audience member. But just in case, if you’re late to the party as an audience member, enter quietly to an easily accessible seat. Make notes about what information you’d like filled in by the speaker, and then ask the speaker how they might be able to get you that info post-presentation.

If you’re too late as a presenter… well, that’s a tougher one. Obviously, we’re all human, and life happens. However, your audience has taken time to be there to see you. If you show up with a little presentation time still available (and if your audience is still there...), be prepared with maybe three most-important points to share with your waiting crowd.

Go out of your way to express exactly how much you appreciate their patience, how you will highlight some important information for them now, and be at their disposal (hopefully in person as well as via email) to fill in the blanks for them: “Thank you so much for your patience today as I dealt with some unexpected events. With our limited time, I’d like to highlight three major ideas of my presentation. However, before I do, let me now note my email and contact information. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time for the full picture of my presentation. I’ll also be available to discuss face-to-face.”

If you miss the presentation entirely, this is time for a big mea culpa in your request to reschedule. No need to get overly detailed – like I said, we’re all human and things happen. But do acknowledge that you took their time, and offer to present again at a time best suited to them.


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