The Best Handful of Tips 7 – Handling interjectors
Handling hecklers requires care and skill. Dealing with interjections is a high risk activity. In most cases the audience will be on your side and resent interjections.
Three retired prime ministers were interviewed before writing this blog. Their advice and experiences are shared with you in this blog.
Five of the best tips on ways to cope with hecklers when making a speech
1. Answer interjections only when you can use them to your advantage
Ignoring them can be infuriating to the interjector. It is best to give a big smile and carry on.
Another way is to pause, and ask, “Do you have a question?” That usually quietens them.
If the interjectors persist, offer to discuss the issues with them. When you have finished, tell them, “Other people have come to hear what I have to say. Please let me finish.”
2. Don’t get angry and argue
Continue in a friendly manner and the audience will admire you for your control and composure.
3. Humorous one-liners can be effective
Prepare a few ‘put-downs’ just in case you need them. If you use one, return to your message quickly.
“I have a list of wisecracks for clever hecklers – but you don’t qualify.”
4. Present your facts so there is no basis for an argument
Your audience will respond to good manners if you have something worthwhile to tell them. They like new information.
Every sentence you utter should have some content that keeps them interested. Be factual and professional with your presentation.
5. Appeal to the chairman for help
If persistent interjectors, or questioners keep annoying you it is the chairperson’s role to deal with the situation.
Always remember if you are using a microphone you can have it turn up and gain an advantage over the heckler.
“Don’t tell people what they already know. Tell them something new to keep them interested.”