Every public speaker has highs and lows. Great presentations you’ll remember for years to come and bad ones that you’ll never forget. Moments of brilliance and success, and times when you want to crawl under a rock. Yet, they are all valuable experiences. Each and every one of them.
I had one such “learning experience” this week. I was given the opportunity to share networking tips and facilitate a group exercise with 800 women during the afternoon networking reception at the BWF – the Business Women’s Forum in Hartford, CT on September 29, 2009. I had given a workshop called “Motivated Networking Follow-Up” to a group of 100+ professional and business women in the morning. It was an absolute home run by all measures. I was feeling pretty good. (read more about the highlights from this event)
Then it happened.
The audience at the afternoon reception did not respond to me or my message. The wine and appetizers were captivating the women’s total attention. Their need to unwind and just relax proved to be more compelling than my introduction and presentation content. They had had their fill of listening and learning new things for the day. They just wanted to spend some quality time with people that they knew. Few were interested in participating in the “Facilitated Introductions” networking exercise that I had designed.
What was my biggest mistake? I wasn’t flexible enough to respond to the situation. Read the full article…