Lost in Bergen

While on our Norwegian vacation, we wanted to see a female musician play the Hardanger fiddle, the country’s national instrument. We were told to “walk toward the Ferris Wheel on the wharf.” No fiddler.

Undaunted, we felt a pull toward a stone banquet hall advertising a musical performance. With only minutes to spare, we bought tickets to Festspille I Bergen, a local festival featuring Amalie Stalheim. This award-winning cellist was backed by a twenty-person chorale.

The 750-year-old King Haakon’s hall had dazzling acoustics. After listening to Bach and Brahms, the evening ended with a composition by Per Gunnar Petersson. The piece was so depressing that it drew only mild applause. Thinking on his feet, Conductor Dahl pivoted with an upbeat encore and recovered the goodwill of his audience. The applause carried the beaming performers off stage.

The same may happen when you speak. What if your serious or weighty closing misses the mark? Create a back pocket coda that will lift your presentation’s tone, message and delivery. You can always save your talk by having a Plan B for course correction.

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