You may have noticed that this week’s Wed Workshop’ is actually being posted on a Sunday (Australian time).
That’s because, as the poet said, “The best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft agley….”
I am, as I’ve mentioned, an occasional ‘enrichment lecturer’ on cruise ships – and in recent weeks I’ve been on the Legend of the Seas, sailing around the South Pacific.
Yes, the same South Pacific that was host to not one but two cyclones.
I won’t bore you with the details – but what it meant was that instead of delivering the four lectures I had prepared, I needed to deliver five – because we had an extra sea-day.
So, I kept my ‘Cruise ships past present and future’, and my ‘Colonisation of the South Pacific’, and my favourite – ‘Great travellers you don’t know about’ but I dropped the ‘How to write a media release’ and instead, gave a two-part presentation on … well, presentation, and public speaking.
I told the 50 or so members of the audience about tips for giving presentations using power point, and on how to give speeches at life-events like weddings and funerals – and I even got a half-dozen of the audience members give short impromptu speeches, before providing them with feedback.
But best of all I invited any Toastmasters who were on board to give a manual speech, and offered them a manual evaluation.
As it turns out, only one Toastmaster took me up – a member from the Nerang club who presented a speech he’d prepared for his daughter’s wedding.
He stood and delivered, and I gave him a manual evaluation based on the ‘Entertaining Speaker’ module.
Which gave him another step toward his Competent Communicator award, and gave me the chance to show the audience that a good communicator always has –something- stored in their hip pocket for such occasions.
And therein is the lesson there for ALL of us…
I was able to craft and deliver a two-day communications workshop on virtually no notice, because I was able to ‘slot in’ modules that I already had prepared for other occasions.
And the Toastmasters member in question was able to speak with little warning, because he, too had something ‘ready to go’.
The audience got examples of the skills I was touting, the Toastmasters member got an unexpected ‘manual’ evaluation, and I got to make the cruise line happy (which means I’m more likely to get chosen again to be a guest lecturer!)
Which brings me back to my original point – if things ‘gang aft agley’, be prepared to seize the opportunities offered – or, to again quote Robbie Burns, “despise the whining yelp of complaint”