• Larry W Dyer

The Show Must Go On

No matter what happens, when you are doing presentations to clients the show must go on. In the 1980s I was a VP for a software firm in the Washington DC area. At that time we had multiple military contracts including one with the Army at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. I traveled to the site to brief a general and several colonels. At the time we only had transparencies and an overhead projector. I had a stack of transparencies on the table. I turned to speak to one of the attendees and knocked over the stack. I then bent over to pick up the stack and my pants split from the belt loops to the zipper. Everyone in the room laughed and I was embarrassed, but I continued. I straightened my slides, put my suit coat on and started my presentation. After that, what else could go wrong?

Another time I was doing lean six sigma training. I flew to Vegas and waited for my connection to Pittsburgh. It was snowing in Pittsburgh and the plane was delayed. I ended up spending most of the night in the terminal. Then, around 4 AM the plane boarded and we took off. I called my contact and said that I would be at the airport by 8 AM. We could go straight to the training site, I would change in the bathroom and we could start the training. I grabbed a banana and coffee at the Starbucks and caught my ride to the training site. Then I changed and we started. At the first break, my contact came up to me and whispered, "your fly is down." I turned several shades of red, zipped my pants, and we continued. I wondered why my contact didn't call for a break sooner and tell me but the result would be the same. So what could I do but continue the training?

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