Saturday, November 04, 2006

Funny Things That Can Happen

Yesterday, I was in Akron presenting to the Great Lakes Region Chapter 34, of the Association of YMCA Professionals. My good friend, Jody Alexander, Executive Director of the Fort Meigs Center for Health Promotions, YMCA in Perrysburg, Ohio,
was the person who arranged this speaking engagement for me. (And by the way, she won an award at this event for "Budget Management.")

The funniest thing happened that in all my years of presenting this takes the cake!

I had just begun the first session -- the one most presenters fear -- the first one after lunch. I knew that I had to be upbeat, and have a quick rhythm to keep the participants awake in the hot room. About ten minutes in, I realized that many were laughing and smiling and I congratulated myself that I was getting them engaged.

Well-ll-ll, not quite! We were in this beautiful room with windows looking out over a breath-taking, cascading river. IT WAS WINDOW WASHING TIME! Yep, you got it, the whole nine yards of the dangling ropes and the horizontal, ladder-type apparatus descending outside those very windows. Then the crew started squeegeeing the windows. Talk about distraction. But I have to give a hand to the "Y" professionals. They exhibited their professionalism. One participant got up from her seat and pulled the drapes closed as far as they would go, and the others just came back to the topic at hand. We barely missed a beat. And I don't think they fell asleep either.

Okay, presenters, can you top that? What's the funniest distraction you've ever had when you've been presenting?

1 comment:

Michelle Donovan said...

Turkeys ... lots of them!

While speaking to a group of Girl Scout leaders at their camp, a gaggle of gobblers decided to strut their stuff right outside the window. Their tails were fully fanned out, their chests pushed forward, and gobbling away! They were beautiful.

Girl Scout leaders that they were became very intrigued. I stopped the session and turned to the teachable moment. Once the excitement was over, we could all again focus (myself included) on the lesson at hand.

I learned long ago to never try to fight an uphill battle! Especially when put up against nature.