In certain situations, it’s not easy to deliver a “session”, because the stakes are high. Take, for example, the picture above: it’s me celebrating the wedding of two great friends of mine. As you can imagine, it wasn’t an easy job, first because you want to make their “special day” memorable, second because you’re emotionally involved, third because all eyes are on you.
In this case, you need even greater preparation than usual sessions, you don’t have your loved PowerPoint, you cannot use props, you need to pay attention when you make jokes (because you can’t know people feelings at that moment), your words must be precise, and you cannot improvise.
Good old paper to the rescue
When the stakes are high, you can always use good old paper, as I did.
Always remember these tricks:
– Use a BIG FONT.
– Highlight the important parts.
– Know your “space”, where you can leave your notes when you don’t need them.
– Don’t be afraid to read, especially the most critical parts. People will appreciate your clarity.
Do your homework
I’m a big fan of dry runs, as you already know, and this is no exception. I studied the text the days before, and I prepared while driving there with the help of my wife that went through my notes so I could memorize the flow, wedding witnesses’ names, and so on.
I know, sometimes it’s not easy, especially if you’re emotionally involved, but you should resist, at least while you’re celebrating.
Dealing with “difficult” people
Speaking about crying, perhaps in weddings or other high stakes environments, “difficult” people behaviors aren’t related to asking boring ultra-detailed technical questions (or trying to undermine your authority, trying to derail the flow of your session, etc.), but could be people with strong emotions, that should be handled in a gentle and calm way, to keep everything on track.
Keep the secret
If you want to make your “session” memorable, it’s better to keep the secret if possible with other people that you know they’ll be there. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it!