A natural disaster is a scenario that no one ever hopes for, especially someone who is addressing a large audience. And while no one can fault a speaker for a natural disaster that occurs during his comments, how he handles the situation can speak volumes about his leadership.
That's why preparation for dealing with natural disasters is as important as anything else that a speaker plans for.
The first rule for a speaker to remember in dealing with natural disasters is to not lose its composition. A natural disaster is like any other problem in that it is important to stay calm and demonstrate a sense of authority in dealing with the situation to help relax audience members who may panic.
Dealing with natural disasters includes actions both before and during a speaker's comments. Prior to his comments, a speaker should take the time to:
· Know where emergency exits are located in a room where he is speaking
· Familiarize itself with emergency and evacuation procedures used by the venue where he is speaking
· Check the latest weather reports if there have been predictions for thunderstorms, tornadoes or other serious problems
· Make sure someone knows to contact him immediately if conditions outside worsen
Dealing with natural disasters during a speaker's comments once a problem arises include:
· Telling audience members, without any hint of panic in a speaker's voice, that he has just been informed that there is a fire in the building, that a tornado is approaching, etc.
· Calmly working to direct audience members out of the area in which he is speaking
· Having a contact person who is either a representative of the group to which he is speaking or employee of the facility who can quickly find out what is happening if a large explosion is heard, a minor earthquake occurs, etc.
An audience may be concerned if they do not yet know the severity of a situation. That's why dealing with natural disasters demands that a speaker immediately assess the problem and relates that information to the audience. This may come while he is still at the podium, once everyone is outside, or after the audience has returned to the area where he was speaking.
A natural disaster does not have to cause panic among an audience or for that matter the individual addressing them. The way to overcome situations involving disaster is to remain calm, be aware of emergency procedures and subsequently convey both that sense of calm and knowledge to an audience.