Take a lesson from this very visible mishap that struck the master of ceremonies at a special ceremony in Ireland at an event honoring then-U.S. Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith. At the end of this article on art catastrophes in today's New York Times lies hidden this gem of an anecdote.
To commemorate the event, a piece of Waterford crystal was carved in the shape of an American flag with eagles. It was a big, glittering hunk of glass that would be presented by the master of ceremonies, Donald Keough, an investment banker.Sometimes the accident happens to the speaker, as you can see in Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh's post from Twitter, above. Have you had to make a quick save up in front of the audience? Share your accidents and saves in the comments. I'd like to amass a collection of quick-on-your-feet solutions--and they don't need to be grand ones, just what worked for you--to encourage speakers and presenters that we can overcome these hiccups on the way to a memorable talk.
But before Mr. Keough or anyone else could get their hands on the crystal, another speaker heading for the podium brushed past the sculpture. It toppled off the back of the stage.
Mr. Keough looked down at the remains and took a deep breath.
“Madam Ambassador,” he announced, “you’re going to receive more pieces of Irish crystal than anyone in history.”