Well it’s bound to happen and it did-I fell down some steps as I was going off the stage to write something on the whiteboard. It happened so quickly. I went down hard, hit my head against the wall and my backside on the steps and my poor shoulder took the brunt of the fall.
Probably one of the worst things that can happen to a speaker in the middle of a 2-hour session is to fall down. Luckily, I was able to regain my composure and as I quickly stood and said, “Well now that I have your attention…” I felt the audience breath a sigh of relief. I too, was breathing a sigh and quickly had to force myself to focus and keep going. Oh to have packed up and walked out right then and there but no-the show must go on and I’ll deal with the bruises and pain on the plane home and for a few days afterwards.
The lesson is simply this: things happen. No matter how hard you try, how hard you work, how hard you plan, how hard you prepare – things will happen that you didn’t work for, plan for or prepare for. You have less than a minute to make a comeback, to make a statement, to stand back up, and to carry on. In that moment what will you do? I see many people work hard and unfortunately fate doesn’t smile on them and down they go. Sometimes they take others with them – sometimes they fall alone taking their hopes and dreams down deep into the carpet and every once in a while some will – due to anger, frustration or shame – drag the good will of others down with them.