Workshop Leader Nightmare

Anyone who leads workshops or provides training will relate to this recent nightmare of mine.  I literally had a dream about it last night and just had to share it…

Last November I had the opportunity to provide our Mindset of a Legend training to 25 HR executives from GE.  This is, quite frankly, the opportunity of a lifetime.

If these HR folks liked it, we would be able to provide mindset training to thousands and even TENS of thousands of smart people.

So, major pressure but I was definitely up to it.

Until I walked in the room…

GE is very frugal and smart with their finances.  They had chosen a TINY room and those 25 people were stuffed into every corner of that weird room.

  • There was an airwall in this little room and it created a bit of a horseshoe effect so people were actually seated behind me.
  • I used a flip-chart during my presentation and only about 15 of the 25 could see the flipchart, no matter how I positioned it.
  • I also use several short videos and guess what, NO screen or projector.  Even if there was a projector, not everyone could have seen the videos because the room was so cramped!
  • Lastly, my training is highly experiential.  I was told I would have room to move around, set up activities and help these people actually experience my content.  There was exactly zero room.
  • I had about two feet in front of me before the knees of the people in front of me!I walked in confident, ready and excited to share and it was shattered in 60 seconds.  Not only that, I had to reboot everything mentally while all 25 people were staring at me!

Can you see my nightmare?  As a workshop leader, you may have had your own that is similar and maybe even more terrible!

  • Before I go any further, what would you do?
  • Do you have the confidence to absolutely know you could turn it around?
  • What are the options you have available to you that you could lean upon?

I won’t lie, I was shaken but was confident in my facilitation skills.  After all I lead our Effective Facilitator Training workshops (there is one in two months, by the way) and actually followed my own advice in preparation for the workshop!  These are the ‘What ifs…”

Time to make lemonade from lemons…  Will be in another post, telling you the rest of the story.

But first, I want to hear YOUR nightmare and also what you might have done in my shoes.  I would like to learn how to do things differently and your suggestions will help everyone learn.

Please comment below with your suggestions and/or your own workshop leader story!



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