What would you like to hear just before you hit the back door and head home from a powerful two or three day conference on safety? I always figure that the closing speaker has the job of convincing attendees that they have just attended the best conference of their lives.
I can recall back when I was doing a lot of national conventions and when I arrived at a fancy hotel where several thousand people were gathered, the conference chairperson would run up and grab me like I was a lifesaver and say simply, “Oh Art, everything up to now has gone wrong. The other speakers were awful. The sound systems have been failing. The food and service has been terrible. All of the attendees and exhibitors are ready to kill me. All I want you to do in this final session, Art, is to convince them that this has been the best convention they have ever attended and that I am their hero. And I’d appreciate it if you would also sell them on coming back next year.” Most of the time I was successful. Anyway I had fun, often meeting that challenge.
I guess really, all of us are called upon now and then to pull a calamity out of the burning embers and create a positive result. So often we are required to take a botched up mess and turn it into the stepping stone for a bright new future. A positive attitude toward such a situation will go a long way; add a smile and a kind word and a challenge and just maybe you might save the day and at the same time save your job too. Good luck.