Help! I’ve Lost My Train of Thought!

The Write Words
5 min readAug 1, 2022

When you’re in the moment, exploring a tangential thought or an audience member’s question, you can easily forget what you were going to say next in your presentation. Use these three tips to get back on track.

Photo by Alex Brisbey on Unsplash

“Clumsy” should be my middle name. And I love how my super-cool husband, Aaron (he truly is too cool for school), is never embarrassed or one bit bothered by my random bouts of lost “togetherness” while off-stage. (On-stage, I’m virtually unshakable! It’s everyday things like looking for my keys while I have them in my hand or something as simple as walking on flat ground or down a flight of stairs that can trip me up! True story. Ask my college roommate, friend, and sister-in-law, Tranisha; or my friend and matron of honor, Chantell; or my niece … Okay. You get the point.)

On a recent flight from Dallas to Shreveport, I have no idea what possessed me to drop my phone into the literature compartment located on the back of the seat in front of me. I’m sure it was one of those moments we’ve all experienced wherein we need a third hand, and in that moment, that little pocket became mine. But … here’s the problem … the phone disappeared! Before letting go of it, it didn’t occur to me where it would go!

It had seemingly vanished into a space that, in my mind, would require the seat to be completely disassembled to retrieve it, and I had a flash of panic! You know how your face gets hot and you feel a quiver in your chest? That’s how I was feeling.

I gasped and, with lightning speed, snapped to turn my head to the left and give a “Did you see that?!” look to my seat mate who — immediately sympathizing with me — also had a look of desperation wash over his previously friendly face. Our shock was short-lived, for as quickly as I’d dropped the phone into the literature holder, did I have the presence of mind to turn the latch that held my tray table in place, let down the tray, and there was my phone nestled behind an unused trash/barf bag, partially visible through one of the openings on the seat. However, if that had not happened, I’d already made up my mind that I was going to ask for professional help and keep myself parked on that plane until that phone was rescued! (But had Aaron been with me, he would have casually and coolly opened the tray table without giving any of this a…

The Write Words

Bridgett McGowen . Speaker . Author . Publisher .