15 years ago I had a horrific experience as a speaker at an international conference.

In the middle of my presentation, I heard a whisper - not so loud to be considered a rude interruption but loud enough so everyone can hear.

"Ah, go make me a sandwich or something."

For a moment my mind went completely blank.

I finished my presentation only to find my audience at their feet, applauding.

It turned out (yes, I didn't remember anything past that sinister whisper) that I replied with:

"Hmm... I was pretty sure this conference wasn't for kids. I'm busy right now sweetie, go ask your mom!" and then I continued talking.

You see, I was new to this world of suits, high-heels, and power games.

However, I played video games long enough to know how to deal with a 12-year-old who compensates for their lack of skill with toxicity.

Under high stress, my brain defaulted to turning a hot-shot CEO into a 12-year sore loser with no power.

Whenever someone tries to intimidate you using status or power imagine how ridiculous they would look in a situation you feel quite comfortable with.

Basically - treat them like boggarts!



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