How to handle minor presentation glitches like a pro

Written by Matteo Cassese

“Beauty” is said to be “in the eye of the beholder”. This also applies the other way around. When we make mistakes, we can clearly see the “ugly” things we do or say even when nobody else noticed them.


I am not a very confident public speaker. Not originally, at least. I’m an introvert and I had to coach myself into gaining confidence. And I am still struggling with  common issues like speaking too quickly or draaaaagggiiiiiinnnnggg the vowels when I feel insecure.

During presentations everybody makes mistakes. My internal judge is quick to point them out and I get a an uncomfortable feeling, like a rush of embarrassment. That’s because I know that I am better than my mistake.

Fortunately I often have a recording of my talks and when I watch them I go straight to those points where I made those mistakes. What you can see from the outside is usually a small, minor glitch: the huge mistake as seen from the inside, when seen from the outside is really no mistake at all.

I optimize all of my presentations. Well, those moments are simply less polished, less fluid that the rest of my presentation.

Guess what: your audience will not notice these glitches if you are providing good value throughout your presentation. Actually your audience is with you: they don’t want you to fail. To the contrary: if you have established a positive relationship with them, they will want you to ace your presentation.

So next time you internally notice that something is not perfectly right during a presentation, don’t worry about it. Keep going on strong, don’t pause, don’t underline what happened. Chances are, you are the only one that noticed.

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