Recently, a friend shared a story about a presentation she gave at a very large venue, where she was scheduled to speak right before lunch and after a dynamic speaker. She was left with 15 minutes to speak (on time management of all things!). When she started to speak large salad bowls came out of the kitchen. At that moment, she knew the audience would not be listening to what she had worked on and prepared. She was flustered. She was annoyed, and after she spoke, she left.
Since it wasn't my experience, I had a different outcome in my mind. I told her she could have switched gears and had her "Salad Talk"! What if she had started with, "See, sometimes salad comes when you're not ready!” When you have good time management skills"……. (and then launch into her prepared talk). She loved it and said she'll remember this if ever it happens again.
Sometimes you get stuck in what you planned, and can't shift and respond on the fly. You might get stuck, angry, and sometimes hurt. When you get stuck your vision becomes tunnel vision and all other possibility goes out of the window.
Here are some tips to help you shift:
1. Take a breath
2. Don't take it personally
When you take something personally, you're going to be unable to take a larger view and somewhere along the way judge yourself. It will be hard to find the humor in the situation.
Here's a story about the famous cook Julia Child according to Snopes.com:
"She was cutting the poultry up (which, as I recall, was a chicken), and it slid off the table onto the floor. She picked it up and said either, "We'll pretend that didn't happen", or "Just pretend you didn't see that." She continued cutting the chicken up."
In that moment Julia made salad.
Can you think of someone who could pull off? They can be someone you know personally or not. Act as if they were the one presenting not you! Be a Julia Child by acknowledging what happened, pick the chicken up and keep going!
4. Know you're human and things happen
Most likely you're the hardest person on yourself. STOP! It will only keep you stuck.
Here's to your next serving of salad!