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What if a Baby is Crying in Your Audience? | Media Training | Public Speaking | Presentation Skills

Public speaking question of the day: what if there is a baby in your audience that is crying and there is nothing you can do?

I’ll be honest, I do not think this has ever happened to me but I have seen it happen to other people and it is incredibly awkward. First of all, if you are a parent and your baby is crying in a room full of people who are here to listen to a speaker speak, then you should get up and leave. Try not to be the person with a crying baby in such a situation.

If you are the speaker in this situation, it depends. Is it low enough that it is just a minor annoyance for ten percent of the room or is it so loud that it is the only thing that people can hear and think about and they are trying to suppress their laughter or annoyance; you will have to make that judgement.

I certainly would not act angry. You should not angrily tell the person to take their baby out of the room because people will begin thinking of you as crass and mean and it will become the most memorable part of your presentation. You can make some lighthearted jokes where you are the butt of the joke and not the crying kid or their parent.

You can stop speaking if someone is crying and then continue after it stops or the parent excuses themselves out of the room. So try not to get angry, have a good nature about it, and just focus on helping your audience. That is all you can really do.

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