Presentation Skills Training: What If You Lose Your Co-Presenter?

Posted by Blog Tipster
February 10, 2017


Here's another great presentation skills training "What If..." asked by an Ovation reader. Imagine you're tasked to present with a colleague, and last minute (for whatever reason) they can't present. Don't go into panic mode! Take a look at Kerri Garbis's response: 

What if...a key stakeholder drops out last minute?

Answer from Kerri: Losing a co-presenter (especially one who’s a key stakeholder) last minute can be one of the most daunting “What Ifs” when it comes to presenting. If you feel comfortable stepping into your co-presenter's content, do! But be sure that you can rehearse the content, even if it’s just a quick Talk Through before you go on.

If you can’t rehearse the content, and you DON’T feel comfortable presenting it, take it out. Especially if your presentation will hang in without the information, what the audience doesn’t know won’t hurt them.

Remember, there’s also no need to apologize for their absence. In fact, you may not even have to acknowledge it at all! If your co-presenter's appearance happens to be written on a slide, or a handout, you can say “Unfortunately, ________ can’t be here with us today” and then jump right in. If not, let it go.

Your audience is made up of people. They understand things can happen that are beyond anyone’s control. Give the best presentation you can with the content that’s comfortable for you.

Has this ever happened to you? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments!

Presentation Skills for Managers


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