How would I handle a similar situation?
Not well, I fear. So I turned to communications expert John Baldoni, who recently wrote How to Speak to an Unruly Crowd on Harvard Business Publishing.
I liked this tip the best.
- "Be resolute. If the shouters will not be silenced, then give the rest of the audience an opportunity to voice their opinions. Negotiate time to continue but promise to take questions from the audience as soon as you finish your remarks. If this occurs, abandon the script and speak directly to the audience. Be brief. And keep your cool. Shouting back makes you one of the mob; speaking with confidence acknowledges your authority over the message."
But do it with dignity.