Is it a good idea to lose your composure during a speech or media encounter? In most cases, absolutely not because getting angry or crying distracts the audience and muddles key messages. But from time to time, we see men and women fight their emotions in front of cameras. And how they deal with it can make or break their speech or interview.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley battled her emotions during a campaign speech in South Carolina. While talking about her military husband’s deployment, Haley twice was nearly overcome with emotions. Had she tried to push through each moment, Haley might well have lost her composure altogether. Instead, she slowed down, paused and, with the help of her audience in the first instance, got back on track. View the clip below.

Did you notice in the second instance how Haley paused, looked down briefly as she gained her composure, then continued? She didn’t let her emotions spiral out of control. That’s exactly how we recommend speakers handle those emotional moments. This approach can save speakers from obliterating their key messages and turning their appearances into rhetorical failures.