I truly love my job as a motivational speaker. But sometimes I am faced with crazy situations and courses of events that seem to sabotage my performance from the get go. These unbelievable scenarios, along with the surprises that are already a part of working in this industry, seem like a set up for failure. But I have learned to turn these situations into triumphs—for those in the audience as well as myself.
Sad Memorials and Cranky People
Sometimes conference planners will include memorials as part of their event. Yes, just like the Oscars. Having a funny motivational speaker IMMEDIATELY following this type of tribute seems like surefire sabotage for the speaker, yet I’ve followed these makeshift funerals on more than one occasion. This awkward shift in gears is certainly a challenge.
I’ve also been faced with end-of-the day time slots, with an audience full of tired and cranky people who are already on information overload. Here’s the set up on this one: the crowd has already been through a long and grueling day, frequently filled with boring, but necessary presentations. They are tired from learning, traveling and mingling with strangers. In this scenario, I’m faced with exhausted skeptics. The audiences isn’t excited about seeing what the “inspirational speaker” has to offer. They are pooped… and doubt I can bring anything of interest. Skeptics? You betcha.
Moving The Audience Forward
I understand these audiences and am not complaining about who I’m presenting to. I’m actually proud of the fact that I’m able to build them up and move them forward. My forte, and what differentiates me from other speakers, is my ability to get people engaged even in awkward situations. There is no bad audience—just situations that are tricky to navigate. My job in these scenarios is to move the audience out of their funk. Sometimes it seems crazy-difficult, but I am proud of the fact that I’m able to get EVERY audience.
Navigating To A Positive Outcome
No matter what type of job you have, you are often faced with difficult situations and choices. All of our jobs are filled with surprises, unexpected hurdles, and unpredicted obstacles. How do you deal with those surprises? How do you navigate to a positive outcome for all involved? Now that you’ve heard some of the crazy situations I face in my job, I’d love to hear about yours.
Leave a comment with your stories about YOUR difficult jobs, obstacles, or surprises. I’d LOVE to know more.