One of the biggest mistakes in my life was assuming the wasabi on my plate was avocado.
Years ago, I was the keynote speaker for a large luncheon meeting. Over 150 people were gathered to be entertained by my thoughts and wisdom. I'd been working on my speech for weeks. I was ready.
It started out well enough. I was shown to my seat at the head table. I met everyone seated next to me and we began eating lunch.
Just before my presentation I popped a bit of green into my mouth from my plate. I'd never seen wasabi. Pretty soon my eyes were watering, my throat was closing and I was losing control. I tried to gracefully wipe my pouring eyes and gather my voice to assure everyone that I would be okay.
But I wasn't okay. I wasn't going to be able to get out of this without effort. I abruptly stood up and headed for the hallway. Once there I was saying, "What was that?" to anyone who would listen. One "helpful" person suggested that what I was experiencing was "self inflicted misery".
My mistake. I thought I knew what I was doing. Luckily I have a sense of humor and so did most of the people in the audience. We laughed, choked and moved on.
Mistakes are a great way to learn. However, some mistakes are made over and over again - even when we know better.
Mistakes with your public relations efforts aren't so easy to laugh off. Here are the biggest mistakes businesses make with their public relations efforts.
Self inflicted misery is something we can all avoid.
Always learn from your mistakes. Try to keep a sense of humor. Never eat things on your plate unless you know what they are.
Stacy Cornay is the owner of Communication Concepts Public Relations & Advertising.
She may be reached at 303-651-6612; firstname.lastname@example.org; www.comm-concepts.com; Facebook.com/Communication Concepts; Twitter @CommConceptsPR; or Linked In.