Tip #280: Getting Past Embarrassing Training Moments #4

Here are two funny moments that happened to trainers whose behavior epitomized the saying: The show must go on! Deb Johnson, who is a Training Specialist for Allina Hospitals and Clinics, wrote in about her experience: One of my embarrassing moments happened last year. During the opening introductions of a training class, almost immediately after my intro, I felt something slide down the front of my dress. I slapped my hand to my chest and made some kind of sound of surprise. Needless to say, at this point all eyes were on me. With my one hand still holding my chest, I used my other hand to reach down. I pulled out a long large necklace that had come undone and that I caught before it fell out the bottom of my dress or got hung up.

Their momentarily stunned faces were priceless- and quickly turned into loud laughter. I said that was the only trick I had up my sleeve or down my dress for the day.

We all laughed and joked, and it set a lighthearted tone to the beginning of the class that carried through the rest of our time together.
It left me thinking about the challenge of intentionally creating a positive mood and setting a lighter tone that instantly connects everyone in the room without the embarrassment of the unexpected.

Deb, thanks so much for sending this in! You handled a very ticklish situation beautifully! Yes, it is certainly nicer for us if we can set that comfortable tone without the embarrassment of the unexpected. Now see what you think about the aplomb of the trainer in this situation! Another trainer (who shall remain nameless) told me that her most embarrassing moment occurred when she was giving a presentation to a large group of cadets. She was standing on a stage and really struggling to connect with the group. Her struggle to engage and interest them continued for a long time. Then suddenly, everyone sat up on the edge of their chairs and started listening intently to her presentation. She was very gratified by this change in their demeanor- and enthusiastically continued to speak until she went to move and discovered that her pantyhose had fallen down! [I have no idea why she didn’t feel the pantyhose slipping down! She must really concentrate on her presentation to the exclusion of everything else!] I asked her how she handled the situation and her response was very simple and to the point. I just stepped out of them and then I had their full attention for the rest of the presentation. They kept waiting to see what else would drop!

Isn’t that marvelous? I think she really used the situation to her advantage, while many of us would have probably have been devastated and hurried out of there as fast as we could!

Next week, I plan to tell you about my current training crusade. However, if you have ever been embarrassed as a trainer and lived to train another day, please send in your stories and we’ll publish them in the following week’s Tip!

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