The final speaker for the Memorial Service approached the lectern. He had in his hand, a small, tan teddy bear. He placed it on top of the podium where we could all see it. The audience was curious. Why did the presenter bring a teddy bear? What was it doing there?
He then launched into his story. At a certain point in his speech, He picked up the teddy bear and introduced him as Spiro. It was at this point that he revealed the meaning of his prop. That teddy bear became a visual anchor for his message. The presenter could have created a word picture, but it wouldn't have been as memorable or as poignant as a physical prop. The audience was moved and broke into applause.
The Theresa C DiResta Nursing Scholarship - YouTube
Not every speech or presentation needs a prop; but when they are well placed they can make your presentation more memorable, more moving, and more magnificent. But they have to be used correctly.
Relevant. Ask yourself if you really need a prop. A prop should have a clear purpose so that it underscores your message. Don't use a prop just to have something to play with. If it doesn't add value and serve as an anchor for the audience, you probably don't need it.
Visible. When it comes to props, size matters. That is, if you're speaking in a ballroom, the prop may be difficult to see in the back row. One way around this to is have dual video screens that can zoom in on the prop. Another consideration is where you place the prop. Hold a prop shoulder-height. It should be high enough to be seen without obstructing your face.
Timing. When should you reveal a prop? Most experts might say to wait until a critical moment. In the case of the public speaker in the above video, he placed it on the lectern immediately. By doing so, it created anticipation. Rehearse both ways to determine which will work best. A prop can peak curiosity but shouldn't be a distraction.
Right number. Limit the number of props. One prop will work well as a focal point. Less is more. When presenters continue to pull props from their bag of tricks, they can start to look like magicians. The audience becomes confused and the presenter will lose the magic.
Ease of Use. Practice using the prop in your speech until your presentation is seamless. If you are clumsy or your timing is off, the prop will anchor your nervousness and not your desired effect.
Remember these tips the next time you speak in public and you'll be able to prop up any presentation.
When I first started as a professional speaker, I remembered a comment one audience member wrote on my evaluation.
He said, "Diane, though helpful, sounded canned."
If you sound scripted or slick, your audience will begin to distrust you or your message. In these difficult and uncertain times, the ability to build and communicate trust is absolutely critical.
Trust trumps facts.
A woman in one of my seminars responded as soon as she heard me make that statement. She told a story about a consultant who worked with her boss. He was difficult and gave her boss a tough time. Later, this woman had the opportunity to meet with the CEO. The CEO said, "I hear your boss is difficult to work with." The woman said, "Oh no. Just the opposite. The consultant was difficult, not my boss." The CEO refused to listen to anything she said because he had a trusted relationship with the consultant.
Public speakers don't have the luxury of building long term relationships. When faced with a new audience they must gain trust quickly.
So how do you build trust from the platform?
1. Be "one of us". Speakers who have worked in the same industry are trusted. People who speak the same language or terminology, who do their homework, who belong to the same social network and communities will be perceived as insiders.
2. Use "we" and "us", not "you", or "they". Inclusive language communicates you're all on the same side.
3. Be consistent. "Actions speak louder than words." If you speak about teamwork and caring, and then ignore people after your presentation is finished, you won't be trustworthy.
4. Be authentic. This means talking from your heart as well as your head. Tell your personal story. Real life experiences build trust better than business or motivational platitudes.
5. Make an eye connection. Steady eye contact with one person at a time creates relationship. We don't trust someone who won't look at us.
6. Slow down your speaking rate. A fast, staccato pace denotes nervousness. To build trust, listen and pause.
7. Follow up and do what you promise. Building trust is a process. if you offered a copy of your slides, do it. Trust built on the platform can be instantly sacrificed if you don't keep your word.
Public speaking is fun for me, but for most people, giving a speech or presentation is the highway to the danger zone. It doesn't have to be that way. But even the most seasoned public speakers can be at risk if they don't know how to recognize the danger signals.
Here are 5 warning signs that your presentation is in danger.
You encounter continual silence from the audience. You might as well be speaking to a wall when the audience is not responsive. Sometimes, the reason for silence is the facilitator isn't giving enough time for a response. But if you're pausing long enough, it could mean that they don't understand your questions or exercises. Or it could be a sign of hostility. If the group doesn't warm up, check in with them. Humor can help. When one public speaker was met with total silence, he told the audience, "This means "yes", and this means "no". He simultaneously demonstrated a nod and a head shake. They laughed and this eased the tension. Be sure that your questions and instructions are clear. And that you expect participation.
Audience members are disengaged. You'll know you lost your audience when they're texting, side-talking, or getting up to leave. The remedy is to have content that is so interesting that they look up from their phones. Yes, even millennials will make eye contact if it's something that interests them. Adult learners want control over their learning. Stop and ask a provocative question. Start a discussion. People love to share opinions. This can be done even in a keynote. Ask for a show of hands. Use polling software. The best way to get engagement is to involve them.
Body language is closed. This is a clear signal that the audience is not receptive. It could be that their management sent them to hear you speak and they resent being there. They may not see the value. In this case, position the topic so that it addresses their self interests. Talk about what's in it for them and how your topic will enrich their skills or careers. Closed body language could also mean there was a negative event in the company. If you suspect something might be up, address it and give them a few moments to vent. When I first started as a public speaker, I did career seminars for outplaced employees. The last thing they wanted was to write a resume. They were upset. To reduce the negativity or fear in the room, allow the audience to vent. Listen, empathize and move on.
The same question continues to be asked. When a questioner or an audience gets stuck on an issue, your presentation can easily go down a rabbit hole and derail. Determine the reason for the repetitive question. It could mean your communication is too confusing or your presentation topic is too complex. If lack of understanding is the reason, regroup, and simplify the content. Use a flip chart or whiteboard to draw a diagram. Use an analogy to make it clear. If you feel badgered, it may be the questioner is trying to trap you. Just as a reporter will ask the same question three times or three different ways to get a response, don't get sucked in. Repeat the answer and say, "With all due respect, there's no point in going over this again." Or, "In the interest of time, let's table this for later." Then offer to speak offline.
Your content is not at the right level. If you do the right preparation, this shouldn't happen. But sometimes you'll be speaking to an audience with mixed levels of knowledge. If you're not sure of their content level, begin by testing. Ask them to raise their hands, to identify if they are beginners, intermediate, or advanced. Adjust your presentation to the middle unless the majority consists of beginners or advanced members. This is a tough position. Be sure to tell the audience your plan. Begin with a simple overview to clue in the beginners and give higher level references for the real experts in the room.
Anticipate and observe the warning signs in your audience and you'll avoid the presentation danger zone.
There's a secret that professional speakers know but we rarely hear about it. The secret trickles out in overheard statements: "The speaker bombed." "She was so good the first time I saw her. What happened?" "He's usually so good. Maybe he had an off day?"
As a long time member of National Speakers Association and a past president of the New York City chapter, I've had the opportunity to watch a lot of professional and aspiring speakers. Some of those speakers have presented more than once. Most of the time they were great but there were disappointments along the way. I asked myself why would a dynamic, seasoned speaker rock the conference and not a chapter meeting. And why would someone who got rave reviews from every chapter meeting be a disappointment on the national stage?
It 's the secret nobody talks about. I discovered that the best speakers stay in their lane. What does that mean? Let's start at the helicopter view. At the simplest level, we can group speakers into two categories: Entertainers and Experts. The entertainers are comedians, humorists, emcees, jugglers and singers with a message. These speakers are storytellers and performers.
The experts are content speakers. They have solid information, trends, and skills-building tips to impart to an audience who is eager to learn and capture their knowledge.
Now, let's drill down. How do you show up? There are different modes of speaking:
Keynote/General Session: At most conferences there is an opening, lunch, and closing keynote speaker. The keynote speaker captures the themes and issues of the meeting and speaks broadly. The purpose is to motivate, provoke, and create awareness in an entertaining way. A General Session may follow a keynote. The speaker talks to the entire audience but is not necessarily the main attraction.
Emcee or Moderator: This is an important role and takes coordination, making connections between the speakers and audience, drawing conclusions or inferences between the different messages, using humor and creating a sense of fun.
Seminar/Breakout: Seminars: (also called Breakout Sessions), are often offered concurrently to smaller groups where the audience chooses which program to attend. The focus is on information and tools you can use. The audience expects practical tips they can remember and apply. This requires the speaker to be a content expert with the ability to interact with the audience.
Lecture: A lecture is often given by professors or scientisst who may talk about their research. Or it could be authors talking about the contents of their book.
Training: The difference between a seminar and training is that a seminar provides information and skills, while training is transformational. Let's say the topic is public speaking. The seminar leader would introduce the skills, provide some do's and don'ts and you would leave better informed and feeling good.
The trainer would require you to stand up and apply the skills, see yourself on video, and coach you to do it better. The participants would leave more confident with improved skills and presentations. This speaking role requires a higher level of skill such as speaking, storytelling, timing and coordination, directing, coaching, technology skills, giving feedback, facilitating discussions.
Facilitation: If the keynote speaker is a performer, then the facilitator is the conductor. The facilitator does not have to be an expert. The focus is on the audience. The facilitator's role is to lead discussions and engage the audience to allow the information to emerge. The experts are in the group. An example would be a strategic planning retreat where leaders build their 5 year business plan
Webinar: Some speakers are internet marketers. They earn their living by providing valuable information over the internet. This requires facility with technology, high energy, and the ability to engage the audience and keep them from multitasking.
So the secret that gets in the way of speaking greatness is simply this. Most speakers are not great at all of these forms of speaking. Discover your talent and stay in your lane. That doesn't mean you shouldn't expand and stretch beyond your current skill level. You can be a keynoter who also offers to do a breakout session as an add-on. You can be a content speaker who does the occasional keynote. But if you study champion athletes, they're focused and single minded. They know what they do well. Michael Jordan was a legendary basketball player; however, his athletic prowess didn't make him a champion golfer.
To become a knockout public speaker, know your talent. Work it. Stay in your lane and it will take you on the highway to speaking success.
"There's only one reason I registered for your class," stated a young man who worked for a top accounting firm. He was in my public speaking class at New York University. He went on to explain that every time a partner would shoot a question at him in meetings, he would freeze. This happened even when he knew the answers. With a little probing it became evident that he believed he had to respond rapidly.
Has this ever happened to you? You feel you're under the gun. It may be a high stakes meeting a job interview, or media appearance. It could be a panel presentation where you freeze in response to a moderator's question. There are times when presenters feel like they're speaking in the line of fire. Scientists at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute published research that indicated that when someone perceives group members as having higher status, it can affect problem solving abilities with a decline in "expression of IQ". What happens in the brain is the amygdala (primitive brain) takes over the pre-frontal cortex (thinking brain). But high pressure situations don't have to derail your presentation.
Here are 8 tips to stay cool under pressure:
1. Prepare. If you're going into a pressure situation, know the players and anticipate their questions. Don't wing it. Plan your answers and if you're really nervous, practice your answers out loud.
2. Gather allies. Talk to a few people in the meeting and learn how they feel about an issue. Float your ideas with key players before the meeting to gain buy in or support.
3. Ground your energy. Right before the meeting, do a 1 to 5 minute mediation by using your smart phone. Take a Break and Headspace are two popular apps. You'll feel less nervous if you assume a grounding position. Lean forward at a 15 degree angle and rest your hands on the table.
4. Pause and think. You're not required to give a rapid fire response. You're not speaking against the clock. Take a breath and think before you speak You need time to construct your answer.
5. Ask a question. Clarify your understanding of the question. "Are you asking about the efficacy of the product or the time to market?" Clarifying will buy you time and will endure clear communication.
6. Answer concisely. A response that is short and to the point will prevent you from being taken off track. Provide further details if asked but don't get stuck in minutia. (See tip #1)
7. Don't repeat negative language. In the case of a hostile query, rephrase the question to sound neutral. Question: "Are you gonna screw up like the last project?" Answer: "You're concerned about the quality of the output. I can assure you we've learned from our past mistakes and this is what we're doing to ensure success." This allows you to take control.
8. Get a coach. If you find that you continue to freeze up continually there may be a memory or past experience that triggers the anxiety. A coach can identify limiting beliefs and provide confidence building techniques.
The young man in the public speaking class learned to use tip #3. As a result, he was able to hold his own in meetings and no longer froze when asked a question. Most public speakers don't like presenting under pressure. But pressure is inevitable. When you practice these tips you'll be able to speak in the line of fire. What is the tip that most resonates with you?
Professional speakers got a peak into the future on February 16th to the 18th as hundreds of speakers descended on Baltimore for the NSA Winter Conference on the Future of Speaking. With the changing marketplace, speakers were eager to learn the direction of the speaking industry and the changing role of public speaking.
The conference, which was held at the Marriott Waterfront hotel, was designed by two amazing co-chairs, Sylvie diGuisto and Ben Wolff. They did not disappoint. The theme and music were futuristic and included interaction with a robot.
Speakers experienced something for the first time-they met the "other NSA". David Hogue, from the National Security Association spoke about A Day in the Life of Cybersecurity, a topic that no one can ignore.
The Million Dollar Speakers Group shared how they reached the million dollar level and recommended attending the Consumer Electronics Show in order to see the future. The conference attendees were treated to Future in Five presentations. Each presentation was five minutes, a type of mini Ted Talk and covered topics such as Teaching, Meetings, Disabilities, Emerging Technology, Timeless Wisdom, and Asking Powerful Questions. The concurrent sessions were conducted as labs and covered the Future of Thought Leadership, The Future of Storytelling, and the Future is Global: Using Online Summits to Reach Billions.
On Saturday and Sunday morning, Jeffrey Hayzett, Founder of C-Suite Network, conducted two breakfast meetings-one on podcasting and the other on book marketing. The early start time of 7:15 was not a deterrent as the room was packed and the audience energy was high. The conference culminated with a futuristic program called Imagine the Future. In a theater-in-the-round setting, the audience of speakers listened to presentations on The Imagine Stage, Imagine the Future of Marketing, Imagine Physical Media in a Digital World, Imagine Mobile Technology Revolutionizing the Speaking Business, and one of the highlights, Imagine Content Creation in A World with Creative Machines. Drew Tarvin took us through an enactment of crafting a presentation. Only he wasn't in front of a laptop. Using artificial intelligence Drew spoke to an Alexa or Siri type voice, where he asked questions to which the voice responded with research, ideas, jokes, etc. The categories or topics appeared on the screen as he made his requests. It brought new meaning to the experience of "hearing voices".
Before closing the conference , the new CEO of National Speakers Association, Mary Lue Peck, was interviewed on stage. She acknowledged that associations and the speaking profession will have to change and one step for being ready for the future was to focus on data analytics. The attendees left with new ideas, new technology, and new friends. The future looks exciting.. And the future is now!
Roger (not his real name), a financial services leader, was newly promoted. He was well respected in his company and he was considered a good choice for this new role...until the first executive meeting! Roger prepared for hours and pored through all the numbers. He knew his material and was ready for questions. He created a presentation deck and proceeded to take the team through the slides. Ten minutes into the presentation, he looked up to see the partners’ eyes glazing over. He could feel the sweat on his forehead and started speaking faster. Having lost their patience, the partners began shooting rapid-fire questions. Roger didn't see this coming.
How often has this scenario played out? It could be an executive meeting, a sales, call, or a group interview. The presenter looked the part, knew the content, but it was the wrong context. In Roger’s case, he was so accustomed to reporting numbers that he believed that was what the partners expected. But in his new role, he needed to speak at a higher level, report trends, and make recommendations. His executive presence was being compromised because he lacked executive voice. Executive voice requires a visionary view, with a focus on the enterprise. not the details. He was still the subject matter expert, but the context had changed. And this is how presenters derail. They look like they have executive presence but they lack an executive voice.
Executive voice requires the leader or presenter to not only have the content but to understand the context or role.
For example, if the presenter is the subject matter expert, the context or role would most likely be to lead the meeting and to make decisions. If there were several leaders participating, their roles would be to provide input and connect the dots for the listeners without overshadowing the leader. If a participant were in a learning mode, the context or role would be to listen and observe.
Executive voice is about clarity, meaning that the ability to speak concisely will garner attention and respect, as well as, the ability to modulate the voice. The voice of authority is direct, even toned, with the right amount of projection. Rising inflections will detract from vocal authority and convey emotionality. The voice of authority doesn’t get rattled in an emotional storm; rather, the speaker sticks to the facts.
To develop an executive voice, be part of the solution. Develop strategic relationships. Do some homework to understand the context and know your role.
Have you ever been told in the workplace that you're too emotional? Or are you considered low affect and lacking energy? Leaders with executive presence convey passion. We're reminded that passion sells and that leaders need to be persuasive communicators if they expect their teams to follow their lead. So what's the sweet spot? It's like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The first soup was too hot, the second soup was too cold but the third soup was "just right".
Where is the dividing line between passion that conveys gravitas and passion that results in a loss of credibility? The answer is Controlled Passion. Let's take an example from Hollywood. When the actress Halle Berry was the first African American actress to win an academy award, she delivered an emotional speech. It was an historical moment, a moment wrought with emotion. Her passion was on full display but she became unglued and cried through her speech. This was passion out of control.
When Steve Balmer, former CEO of Microsoft, took the stage, his passion was over the top. It took on a clownish quality, like a bad imitation of a motivational sales rally. His audience may have liked it, but then, he was the CEO. And you know what they say-Rank has It's Privilege. But for anybody else that kind of unbridled passion could be a career killer. It's certainly not the definition of executive presence.
So what is Controlled Passion? Recently, Oprah Winfrey was the first African American woman to receive the coveted Cecil B. Demille Life Time Achievement award. She delivered her acceptance speech amidst the backdrop of the Me, Too movement protesting sexual assault. All the women wore black in solidarity. The stage was set for an emotional explosion but that didn't happen.
Oprah was poised, measured, and passionate. She commanded the stage and began speaking with an even tone. She employed rhetorical techniques of storytelling, self disclosure and word pictures. Her body language was congruent as she literally stood her ground. Verbally, her words clearly depicted the pain of injustice and were punctuated by the gravity of her tone. She masterfully integrated the pause to allow the message to sink into the hearts of the audience. Oprah raised her voice as she culminated with a call to action. With a raised fist, and a louder impassioned tone she called for a time when "nobody would ever have to say Me, Too."
There were no tears, her movements were not staccato, her pace was not rushed. Oprah owned the room and held her ground. She exuded a power that comes from an inner belief in herself and her message. The message came through her and not from her. And that's controlled passion.
When you hear those words you're transported back to childhood when you loved hearing a story. That love of stories never left us as adults. What left us was the practice of telling stories. As we developed our logical brain and entered the workplace, we valued facts and information. We learned to speak in soundbites, write bullet points, and get to the point.
The downside of that kind of public speaking is we don't feel the message and we don't engage with the speaker. It's too easy to tune out. The best public speakers are storytellers. Just look at the popularity of TED Talks.
So why are stories so powerful? Because they talk directly to the heart. Here are tips to tell your story and move from speaking to the mind to capturing the heart.
1. Grab attention with a hook. In childhood, the hook was Once Upon a Time. For adult audiences, open with a problem or a desired dream. You'll know you have it when you see the audience nodding.
2. Engage all the senses. Build a scenario that is visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. That means they can picture you in a scene, they can hear what you would hear and they can feel what it was like for you. When I tell the story of first meeting Charlie, I describe his limp, jellyfish handshake. It was like shaking hands with a squid. As I describe that handshake, I can see the audience grimace. Sometimes I hear groans. That's because the audience is experiencing that weak handshake viscerally with me.
3. Create conflict. Most movies and stories follow a pattern. In its simplest form, it would be Boy Gets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl Back. Without the tension of conflict, the story falls flat. Take your listeners on a journey from high to low to high.
4. Break the pattern. The audience will expect a logical, linear flow which means they will tune out because the pattern is predictable. So use a "pattern interrupt" to shock them out of complacency. Think of a movie that has an unexpected twist at the end. When I finish telling the story of meeting Charlie and his limp handshake, I add that when I told this story to an audience of 100, a man in the audience raised his hand and said... At that moment I hear gasps because the audience expects that it's Charlie in the audience. I then finish by saying, "He pointed to the person next to him and said, "This woman wants to know if you still have Charlie's phone number." It gets a laugh. They weren't expecting that twist.
5. Use analogies and metaphors. Rock star, Bruce Springsteen, wrote a line in his song I'm on Fire that goes..
"At night I wake up in the middle of the night with the sheets soaking wet with a freight train running through the middle of my head."
That metaphor of a freight train is a vivid description of a hangover or headache. He could have said:
"I woke up at night sweaty with a bad headache." Which is more powerful? Which do you feel?
6. Get Personal. Nothing is more compelling than telling YOUR story. A good actor can tell someone else's story as if it were her own, but most of us don't have that skill level. There is an element of vulnerability when telling a story. The audience will connect with a public speaker faster and more intently when that presenter reveals herself. Take your audience on your journey. By sharing your flaws and mistakes you become more relatable and authentic. Then bring them with you on your path to success.
Talk facts and the audience may nod. Tell a story and they'll stand and cheer. And that's the power of story to connect heart and mind to make impact!
The news is full of allegations of sexual abuse against women by men in the media. It prompted my friend to ask me if I had ever encountered inappropriate sexual advances. She told me she hadn't found one woman who didn't. I had to think for a minute. And then the situations started to surface-from the subway perverts to the inappropriate comments on the street or at work. Fortunately, my job was never compromised and I didn't have to make those hard choices.
As women professional speakers, we work for ourselves but it means that we encounter a lot of different decision-makers and travel to a variety of venues. We don't often hear our female speakers talking about this subject. Maybe it's not prevalent for keynoters whose business model is often "one and done". Regardless of the business model, women will encounter unwanted advances in their travels. How you present yourself can be a deterrent or invitation.
Here are some thoughts on how to avoid these situations:
Protect your reputation. You are always on stage even when the show is over. Don't show favoritism to any particular gentleman before or after the speech. The reverse can happen. One male speaker spent time speaking to a woman after his speech. He was chastised for 'trying to pick her up". That wasn't the case. She approached him with questions and he thought he was being helpful by conversing instead of rushing out of the ballroom. Rumors start quickly. Be friendly, not flirtatious.
Don't get into an elevator with a male partnerwhen retiring for the night. When co-training, wait until there is a group entering the elevator or wait for the next one. All it takes is one person to see you and your speaking partner get in the elevator together. Ask for rooms on separate floors.
Do not dress provocatively. Aim for professionally attractive-not sexy. It's tempting for women to dress up for a cocktail hour and want to look like a glamazon. We can still look beautiful without the cleavage, slit skirt, and bare back.
Socialize in groups instead of pairing off. We all want to network with key people but if you spend the evening with Mr. Wonderful it may not be wonderful when you hear the talk the next day. Circulate and speak to as many people as possible.
Make an appearance but decline seedy invitations. Say no to strip clubs or other similar establishments. Sounds like common sense, right? If you're a convention speaker in a male-dominated industry, the guys will want to party. If you join them at strip clubs, you'll feel uncomfortable and probably have to ward off unwanted attention from them or the patrons of the establishment.
Never meet the meeting planner or host in his hotel room. If your prospect or client is staying at a hotel, agree to meet in the lobby or offer to take them to a restaurant of your choice. Once you meet in the room, you lose credibility. The question asked will be, "Why did she go to his room?"
Appear business-like. Whether the meeting is a sales call or for networking, bring a notebook and pen. Be cordial but let it be known from your behavior that this is a business meeting and not a date. For single women, if you're meeting with a group of men and you're the only female, it doesn't hurt to wear a wedding band. It may discourage their advances.
Limit yourself to one drink. In social situations, most people enjoy the cocktail hour. Alcohol can loosen inhibitions so know your limit. When I worked on Wall Street, holiday parties were a big drinking fest. I'm not much of a drinker, so I would attend the first party and start with something non-alcoholic. By the time I arrived at the last party, I'd have one glass of wine. It's easy to lose track so the one drink guideline can be a good way to stay alert and in control.
Put the car key in your hand when going to the parking lot. I find many women do this intuitively. By having your key in your hand before you enter the parking lot, you'll avoid fumbling and digging through your bag. And there'll be less opportunity for someone to approach you from behind.
Have a strategy for off-color remarks. Some comments are intentional but others are a result of having too much to drink. The person may need to save face if the remarks were not intended. Some women laugh it off and walk away. If you have the wit of Joan Rivers, you can deliver a quick comeback. Or you can choose to "not hear " it and immediately introduce them to someone else at the event. (John, have you met Roy?)
When dealing with unwanted comments, get very serious. Confront the perpetrator by letting him know it's not appropriate. One woman was asked about her weekend. She said that she went to the beach. The interviewer said, "I bet you look good in a swimsuit". She looked at him quizzically and said "Excuse me?" That was the end of his remarks.
Even the most professional women may encounter unwanted advances when least expected. The best defense is to have a strategy.
What have you done to protect yourself from compromising situations?