John Maxwell’s recent book – “Sometimes you win sometimes you learn” – provides the title for this post concerning things I learned from a recent workshop presentation. The original saying of course is: “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose”. Maxwell believes that life’s greatest lessons are gained from our losses/failures/mistakes. We have to learn to “fail forward”. The central theme of the workshop I presented was developing self-leadership; what I describe as building your “House of Destiny”. My first lesson came before the workshop began. I had designed this model “house” [see image], as my teaching tool – the center piece of my presentation. On the day of the presentation the house was not ready. Lesson # 1: Always have a plan B and maybe a Plan C also. On the fly, my Plan B was to draw the “house” on flip chart paper as well as use play blocks and sticks borrowed from a kindergarten playroom. Lesson # 2: Don’t panic. Be creative. When the time came for my presentation I realized that the limitations /constraints of the space that I was allotted meant that set-up and delivery would be difficult – another set back. Lesson # 3: Learn to relax and “go with the flow” as best as you can. I was able to complete my workshop despite the setbacks. How successful was I? It’s difficult to say. Upon reflection, in addition to the lessons already listed, here are some other takeaways from my workshop experience that should act as guidelines for me when developing and evaluating future presentations:
- Know your audience [do your background research].
Identify issues/concerns that will help in the crafting and delivery of your presentation.
Build in “hands-on” or reflective responses for each component of the presentation.
Examine your motivation [why are you doing this?]
- Know your “end in mind”.
Judge outcomes, first based on your internal reference points [4 and 5].
Seek external validation [Get feedback].
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn”.
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