When the Wheels Come Off !!


“No matter how good you are, you’re going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you’re going to win one-third of your games. It’s the other third that makes the difference.”

— Tommy Lasorda

There are two types of speakers: those that have had disastrous gigs and those that will.  Like earthquakes, disastrous gigs come unannounced, wreak havoc, then leave you to pick up the pieces and carry on.  You can’t plan for them (power outage), or take remedial action to avoid them (plane diverted); it could be a shared experience (Fire Drill), or only known by you (they DON’T speak English?!)  It is The Twilight Zone episode that’s about your speaking gig today.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful. Try these four sure-fire remedies:

Practice Improv Immediately and Often to Be Ready: You’re in a dynamic environment fraught with gak.  Be ready for it and be able to respond to it.

Play up the Shared Experience: It affected everybody, so make the best of it: tell jokes about it. Use Improv.

It’s You They Came To See: Even though they might not be able to see or hear you, it’s your presentation they came for.  Show it to them. Be you. Be Memorable.

Live the Moment: It isn’t every day you perform under these circumstances; live it, learn from it, and vow never to live itagain.

You will never forget the day(s) When the Wheels Came Off.  They are painful learning days.  But whatever that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

A ride to the airport never felt so good.


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