I had once invited a trainer for taking a session in one of our training programmes. The training was on HIV and AIDS. The trainer had sound knowledge of the subject. He did a good session to share the magnitude of the problem and its various aspects. He attempted to inspire the trainees to take action- whatever they could do in their own ways to create awareness – in their families, communities, organizations- as the epidemic was getting out of control. He went around fifteen minutes over his allotted time. Trainees waited patiently for the session to get over. Pitch of his voice reached its peak as he moved towards the last few slides that depicted the number of men, women and children getting infected and dying every year, every day and every hour. He said at the end of every slide, “You see the epidemic is getting worse, you need to act now. What are you waiting for? When he asked a third time – what are you waiting for? One participant responded, “We are waiting for the coffee break?”
Everyone had a good laugh, including the embarrassed trainer himself, who had taken around half of the coffee break time that was to follow his session.
The lesson has stayed with me ever since – Never go beyond your time no matter how good a trainer you are!
Writing on public speaking, I had written in one of my earlier posts – a good speaker is the one who stops when the audience still wants to listen to him/her. This applies to training as well.