Surviving swallowing a bug and other presentation mishaps

You might not have an unexpected insect snack during an on-camera interview, but plenty of other stuff can go wrong. Here’s how to keep calm and carry on when mini-disasters occur.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

During an on-camera interview, a bug flew into the mouth of Costa Rica President Luis Guillermo Solis.

He swallowed it and laughed as he matter-of-factly declared, “I ate it; I ate the wasp.”

Solis took a drink of water and continued the interview as if nothing happened.

You might never have a bug fly in your mouth during a presentation, but you are likely to encounter a mishap every now and then. After all, no matter how much prep work you do, there might be a technology failure, you could trip and fall on stage, a fire alarm might go off, or as Solis experienced, you could end up ingesting a wayward critter.

The measure of a great speaker is not being perfect nor miraculously avoiding unexpected situations. Things can (and often will) go wrong. The goal is to respond with grace and humility when they do, as Solis did.

His response provides useful guidance to all public speakers:

1. Don’t panic.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.