Coping under pressure, with YouTube

Keep your head when all around you are losing theirs, with 007, Guy Goma and David Brent.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

In the week that saw a British teenager rescued after surviving twelve days lost in Australia's Blue Mountains, some lessons on how to stay calm in a crisis...

Maintain a sense of humour
When things start going wrong, take a step back and try to see the funny side, like 007 in this clip from Casino Royale. Making a comedy quip while strapped to a chair naked is a big ask, particularly when you're being tortured by someone you suspect is unstable. Yet Bond pulls it off with panache. In doing so, he also catches his adversary off guard and shows him who’s in the driving seat.

Stay calm
Keep a cool head, even if you're well out out of your comfort zone. Guy Goma, a taxi driver from the Congo who turned up at the BBC for an interview, was infamously mistaken for an IT expert and interviewed on the news. However, finding himself in the hot seat, he behaves with charm and composure. He answers questions about music downloads, a field about which he clearly knows nothing, without a hint of nerves, and deals with being broadcast to the nation like a seasoned pro.

Stay in tune with those around you
When under pressure, try to gauge how others are feeling and behave accordingly. Humour can be a good way to ease tension - but if your gags are falling flat, you might be better off trying to tap into the root of the anxiety and alleviate the cause of concern instead. In this clip from The Office, David Brent exemplifies how not to do it - completely misjudging the mood as he welcomes the Swindon team to his Slough office with his usual repertoire of bad jokes.

 

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Coping under pressure, with YouTube

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