Sad Beginnings, Happy Endings

I can be such a hypocrite. 

Whenever I'm teaching anything to do with presentations, or public speaking, I always say, time and again - 

Know where you're going. Be there early. Be organised. 

It helps you relax, and you can welcome along the group, which is useful in establishing a rapport from the start, and helping you to perform. 

So then, that hypocrisy...

This week, I had a big event. My first full day teaching for the excellent Cambridge Network. 

I prepared the course well in advance, in my usual fashion, and practiced and practiced. 

And by the day itself, I was feeling good about it.

The ingredients were all there. The info, the interactions, a bit of entertainment. Good to go. 

So I set out on my Ferrari (aged push bike) for the short journey to the Eagle Labs...

Got there, half an hour early, as per my self imposed schedule...

Unruffled myself from the cycling, put on my game face...

Said hello to the people on reception...

Who told me I was at the wrong Eagle Labs. 

There were two. And the ones I wanted were on the OTHER SIDE OF THE CITY. 

I don't often use capitals in my musings, but I guess, on this occasion, you can sense why. 

This was, what's technically referred to, as a VERY BAD MOMENT.

Cue some running back down the stairs, leaping back onto the bike, and furious peddling. 

The good news was that I was still on time for the start of the course. 

The bad news was that I only arrived with five minutes to spare, when almost everyone was there, and so had to set up in front of the group, whilst looking some way short of cool and professional. 

It was far from ideal to set the tone for the start of an important course. 

So, to make amends, I tried even harder than usual - apologising mightily, cracking extra cheesy jokes (this may not have been such a good thing), getting a bit of discussion and levity going to break the ice...

And even sharing my chocolate biscuits with the group.

Happily, the people who came along were absolutely brilliant, very understanding, happy to play along with my strange ways of teaching, and the course went well - in the end. 

I was, however, far from pleased with myself, for allowing complacency to set in and breaking one of my golden rules. 

Never again - and you can hold me to that. 

I suppose, however, I did learn another useful lesson, in that it is possible to make up for a bad start -

By refusing to be flustered, being professional, keeping going, and persisting through your troubles. 

Yes, you can make up lost ground. 

But how very much better to be properly organised, and set off with the start you intended.