By Clare Gurton

Giving talks and presentations is never easy but sometimes things go very much more smoothly after a mistake.

This may sound strange but by letting your audience see that you are human, you can effectively burst the bubble and get the audience on your side.

I remember an occasion when satellite links were fairly new and I was relying on one to talk with a colleague in the US in front of an international audience at an important symposium.

Guess what? The link broke down halfway through. At first it seemed awful but actually everybody laughed, relaxed, and then listened to me.

This was my first lesson in learning to be myself. Whilst I am not advocating making a deliberate mistake, it is worthwhile trying to be yourself, even a little vulnerable, when giving a presentation. You may not realise that the audience is on your side and knows how daunting it can feel – remember the audience is human too.