What are successful ways to gracefully recover from mistakes that happen while speaking?

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There are several ways in which one can recover from misspeaking. For instance, if a person accidentally calls someone named "Jay" the wrong name, they can simply say, "Ah, whoops, I mean 'Jay,'" and then move on to the actual content of the conversation. Or, a person can bring some...

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There are several ways in which one can recover from misspeaking. For instance, if a person accidentally calls someone named "Jay" the wrong name, they can simply say, "Ah, whoops, I mean 'Jay,'" and then move on to the actual content of the conversation. Or, a person can bring some humor to a situation where they misspeak. For example, if someone accidentally slurs their words together, they could laugh and exaggerate the mistake to bring some humor to the mistake.

If someone makes a larger mistake while speaking, such as saying something culturally insensitive by mistake, it may be pertinent to be more direct with an apology. However, apologizing does not mean that a person should make the situation even more uncomfortable by being overly dramatic with the apology or making the situation about how bad one feels for making the mistake, and therefore centering the situation on them, rather than on the person or people who may be offended.

If someone is giving a speech and makes a mistake, acknowledging the mistake with either a simple apology, correction, or brief bit of humor, and then moving on is generally a good plan. It may seem like the mistake will outshine the rest of the speech, but with a confident recovery and assertive moving on to the rest of the speech, the mistake will likely seem incidental.

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