When experiments go splat

This morning I experimented with a speech I give as part of my pro bono work with hospices.  It was a bomb.

Instead of using my usual presentation that people always LOVE, I decided to do something very different. No PowerPoint, no lessons and advice. Just sharing a personal story that I thought illustrates the value of choosing love over fear and worry.

Though people cried and smiled and seemed moved by the story, they were waiting for more. I thought a 20-minute story would be enough. Who wants to sit in a ballroom longer than that?  Well, these 200 caregivers and health care professionals certainly did.

Like all experiments we learn from them. But the smack of knowing you didn’t excel can really sting. It can make you want to stay on the safe path. Who wants something to splat when you can do what you know works?

I’m always urging friends and clients to experiment more. It’s the only way to learn, to grow, to innovate.

Yet today I’m reminded why people don’t experiment more.

I learned some helpful things, but I feel badly that I may have disappointed many people this morning who were waiting for an in-depth 45-minute “how to.”

Cue the Gloria Gaynor’s disco song, “I Will Survive.”  Turn it up loud.

Keep experimenting even when it hurts.