Hopefully, you'll never face a hostile or unruly audience but it's worth thinking about how you'd handle one.

If members of the audience are obstructive and rude to the point where you can't continue speaking, don't give them the pleasure of a public confrontation.

Take the high road.

It seems you disagree with what I have to say. I'd be happy to set up a time to discuss your concerns but this isn't that time. If you sit back and listen, for now, I'll be willing to do the same. Does that sound fair?

That question at the end is important. If you've just responded with courtesy and reason, your attacker will have no choice but to agree that yes, you've been fair.

And if they keep on interrupting…

I have an audience to serve tonight. Some agree with me and some don't but they're all here to listen politely. I invite you to join them but if you can't, security will be happy to offer an alternative. You can be rude to me but you can't be rude to your colleagues.

Don't allow yourself to be drawn into a conflict, even if you're being insulted.

Your ability to stay calm and polite will earn the respect of those who disagree with you much more than a public fight.

Make it clear that you're a fair and reasonable person who came to serve. As the leader, set the terms of engagement, and build rapport with the audience by siding with them against the disruptors.

And if the situation becomes untenable or dangerous, walk away.