What to Do When You Forget Your Line During Speech Delivery?

All right, you are delivering your speech, suddenly something came into your mind that is totally out of the topic, and then you are lost.

You forgot the next word to say! What are you going to do now?

Are you going to stop and go back to the backstage and cry?

Many eyes are looking at you this time, they are waiting for your next word, but you forgot what to say…

You messed up!

Many actually did that, they forgot their line, people started to cheer and they completely lost it, and then ran to the backstage crying while the audience was left wondering what would happen next.

I do not want you to experience this, it is not a good feeling and it is so depressing.

Eventually, you will hate public speaking for the rest of your life.

I want you to become a successful and confident public speaker.

So here are some powerful, practical guidelines that you need to master in order to avoid embarrassment on the stage.

Scenario 1:

If you are in the middle of your speech delivery and suddenly you forgot what to say, here is what you should do.

  • Pause for a while.
  • Get off the lectern or podium if you are right there.
  • Walk a little bit on the stage with grace and composure.
  • While walking, try to remember your training and rehearsals so you can recall the words and lines that you have memorized during that time.
  • Do not lose eye contact with the audience.
  • Walk back to where you were, try to recall the next word that you want to say as fast as you could.
  • By this time, you should have remembered your word.
  • Go back to your original position, breath; continue your speech with courage and confidence.
  • Finish it with power!

Scenario 2:

After walking back and forth, and still, you did not recall anything and you went completely blank, here is what you should do.

  • Forget about your speech and talk about the same topic in your own words.
  • Deliver an Impromptu Speech (unprepared speech) and continue where you left off.
  • Sometimes, the best speech is the unprepared speech because it comes out of your mouth naturally. No fancy words, just your everyday words and the audience could relate far better.
  • End your speech with a bang!
  • Say thank you.
  • By this time, the audience is standing giving the best applause they could ever give to someone who forgot his speech but managed to come back and finished it until the end.
  • You yourself will feel vindicated and you could say to yourself

“Yeah,” I did it!

  • Never apologize to your audience!

In public speaking, any form of apology is not accepted. No matter how messed up you are in your delivery, do not apologize.

As my grandpa used to say

Be a man and stand your ground.”

Apology is not an option!

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