Working on my seminar topics/schedule for '09 and was reflecting on some funny/not-so-funny seminar happenings of the many that I've held.
Had one in which I had a "Pat" mysterious gendered person like from Saturday Night Live in attendance. Came alone just before I started, so I didn't have time to introduce myself and learn his/her name. Sat alone, listened intently during the presentation, and then raised his/her hand to ask a question during Q&A at the end. So I go, "Yes, maa....uh, yes siiiuhh, uh, uh, I'm sorry I didn't get your name at the beginning, but I appreciate your interest, so go ahead with your question." Introduced him/herself as Chris, I promise, and then asked a question about spousal and non-spousal beneficiaries. So now I'm having to keep from using TWO wrong gender descriptions in my answer. I could actually hear the sweat running into my ears.
Had what turned out to be a methed up felon show up to a Saturday morning rollover workshop I did one time. I was at AGE, and this guy walked in and said he was looking for Mr. Edwards, that he owned part of this company, and that he needed to get his money back out. He was certain Mr. Edwards owed him some money. It was obvious he was going to be a problem, so I was able to slide out of the conference room before we started and call 911. He was sitting quietly in a corner, thankfully, and the first cop to show up was a 5'1" female (this guy was about 6'4", tatted up, scraggly dreds, skinny but wiry looking). She immediately calls for backup, and then tries to get him out of the office. He won't move, and she's threatening him with the pepper spray. Two more officers arrived quickly, and they started pulling on him and couldn't get him to budge. Two more cops and they finally got him moving, wrestled him to the ground, sprayed him, and they were still huffing and puffing, all 5 of them, to get him in the car. Great seminar after that!
So, tell me I'm not alone with things like this!
I just cancelled the rest of my seminars for the year after reading this one... oh my.
About 3 years ago, I had just started with Ameriprise, and most of you know by now that they prospecting method of choice back then was lunch and learns. I was an excited kid out of college ready to talk some finance with some of these folks out there. So I watch my coach give the first 2-3 presentations that I set, so I could get a hang of how the whole thing works. So one day, I'm probably in my 4th week, I have an LnL with this company that did not look too glamorous judging by the biz card, so I pick up the food for that seminar and bring it over to their office by myself to give my 1st presentation. The guy leads me back to this freaking oval office-type room where about 13-15 executives are sitting. No one in the room is under 40. My cockiness is gone. I'm looking for a way out. I decide I'm going to plow through the stupid 5 minute script and then try to do an extended Q & A, so I can be more off-the-cuff, which is what I prefer. I hand out the sandwiches and decide to get rolling, so I breeze through the 1st of 6 areas that our script explains we deal with in peoples financial lives. I get to the 2nd one about insurance, and after the introduction of it I go "There are 3 things people want w/their insurance: They want as much as they need, they want to pay as little for it as possible, and...and..umm...ah f*** I forgot". Completely out of nowhere I drop an F-bomb. I look around, build up about a liter of sweat, then go right back into it and finish in about 90 seconds. My extended Q & A turned out to be not so extended, and I grabbed my coat and got the hell outta dodge. In hindsight, it could have been a worse situation, but being a 23 year old kid 6 months out of college in his 1st real public speaking position it was pretty much what people who are terrified of public speaking have nightmares about. 3 years later, still working for the company and paying the bills rather comfortably so it turned out to be a good learning experience!
Needless to say, no clients came from the lunch...