I was suffering from public speaking embarrassment. For 20 minutes I had walked around the room greeting people. I smiled, made small talk, and burned off some nervous energy.

Seven minutes before showtime, I was slammed with an embarrassing realization.

My zipper was wide open. Have you been there? My mind raced back to the ten plus people I had talked to. How many had noticed? Why had no one said anything? Friends don’t let friends walk around with unknown wardrobe malfunctions!

If I had gone on stage with the blinds open, that could have been embarrassing. Thankfully, I caught it before I went up on stage. However, as speakers it’s very important to check our zippers, our buttons, and anything else that could be a distraction.

Not only will a wardrobe malfunction distract the audience but it can throw us off once we realize it. Every speaker has to recover from this, so don’t feel too bad.

What’s the solution? Do a full body mirror check before you walk into the room. Is your hair fine? Food on the face?

Next, as you are waiting your turn to speak make sure your zipper and buttons are OK. Tuck the shirt in. Consciously do this, so you don’t have to do this on stage. It is hard to speak and be checking your wardrobe at the same time.  

What if you are speaking and notice something is wrong? If you can discreetly fix it, do so. If the audience is well aware of it, make a joke out and keep on going. You could say, “My worst nightmare has come true. (pause for laughter)” Fix the problem and try and work it into your content.

Don’t be caught with your zipper down. Check your wardrobe before you go on stage and you’ll prevent public speaking embarrassment.

(C) Arlen Busenitz – Speakinginfo.com

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

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