The On-the-Spot Ostrich

Those networking events. That sponsorship occasion. The facilitated strategy session.

Things are ticking along nicely.

You’ve made some strategic one-to-one connections; collected some business cards; provided a decent contribution to a small group discussion.

And then it happens

A rogue event organizer goes ‘off-script’ and starts to head your way brandishing a microphone.

The room starts to feel verrrrrry small.

You refuse to make eye contact.

You step back.

You figure you’ve got about 0.3 seconds to throw the person next to you in front of the onslaught, feign a heart attack, quit your job and move to a new country.

Before you know it, you’re holding the mic and being asked to ‘share something about yourself with the crowd’.


What were they thinking? Why would they do this to you?

You mumble and fumble and stumble.

You turn red. You laugh nervously.

You get through it but you have no idea what you said.

Oh, the horror!

If you’re in the ‘I hate public’ speaking brigade’ an experience like this can make you want to go ‘ostrich-style’, bury your head in the sand and avoid all on-the-spot public speaking scenarios for ever after.

But if you do this, you’re doing yourself a disservice.

While you’re down there getting grit in your ears, you’re missing the opportunity to confidently, authentically and consistently promote your brand, spread your message and connect with your cohort.

I mean, ostriches – they’re fine birds, and I’m sure they have a lot of redeeming qualities – but I’m yet to meet one that’s made it very far in business.

Let’s leave sand diving to the birds and work together so you can spread your message as well as any pigeon, present it as well as any peacock, and fly as high as any eagleeven when you’re put on the spot.

Become a master of the on-the-spot response and you’ll never need a bucket of sand again.

(I promise I won’t fill our session with bird analogies…that would just be ‘hawk’ward)