ICT Views

4 of the best awkward workshop moments

by: (Content Marketing Manager) on

Workshop Blunders BlogWe’ve all been there: slips of the tongue, geographical blunders, calling your teacher mum, accidental emails and terrible faux pas. Some of us are more prone to a touch of the ‘awkwards’ than most. Don’t worry – our faculty feel your pain. As the showmen and women of International Compliance Training, they are in front of the public week in, week out, often travelling across the globe to deliver world-class workshops on financial and regulatory issues. If you’ve been to one of our workshops, you’ll know how truly brilliant they are, and how vibrant these classes can be.

But, as you’re about to find out, even superheroes have off days…


Tim Tyler, AML/Financial Crime Course Director

‘I delivered a workshop with a particularly tough crowd. Early in the day – before the ice was broken –  I moved a flipchart to centre stage to capture some ideas. Flipchart stands, not unlike supermarket trolleys, have a mind of their own, and this was no exception. A wobbly leg collapsed and it crashed to the floor, splintering into many pieces.

The loud bang was greeted with silence. No laughter. No comment...just a disappointed silence.

I was already wearing my game face and adjusted to use a whiteboard – expansively recording the key thoughts from the group. As I finally filled every corner of the board a student noted that I was using an indelible flipchart marker. An attempt to clean the board just smudged the writing removing any doubt of my mistake and with it the last scraps of my credibility.

The group showed their support in still more disappointed silence.’


Andrew Clarke, AML/Financial Crime Course Director

‘I had a moment somewhat similar to Tim’s. I was at a workshop and also trying to impress a new member of the team (Tim observing, no less) with my facilitation skills. In my normal expressive manner, waving my arms around, I managed to send a glass of water flying, soaking papers on the table.

You have this dreadful moment of silence when everyone tenses and looks at you, waiting to see how you will deal with it. I thought that I could only react with a degree of humour so smiled and told them that, during facilitation training, they emphasise the importance of establishing credibility so that was mine out of the window. I thought the workshop could only get better! I then sensed a palpable relief and everyone carried on. My pre-delivery ritual now includes me waving my arms around like a kid playing windmills to make sure nothing is within knocking distance!

Whether I do a Norman Wisdom impression, or if a rogue student decides to be difficult with me, I honestly think that nearly all students are very supportive. Luckily!’


Rhodri Kettle, Senior Course Director – Governance, Risk & Compliance

‘One stand out for me was in the Channel Islands when I was a novice with ICT. I'd done all my research on the Guernsey Financial Services Commission and was happily discussing their recent conduct risk initiatives and asking for feedback on how they thought they would impact on their roles and responsibilities hoping for some entertaining debate and considered opinions backed up with evidence.

It took a couple of minutes for one of the students to pluck up the courage to tell me that we were in Jersey!


Fortunately we all saw the funny side and I now always start the day by making a joke of “what day is it” and “where are we?” questions as an icebreaker.’


Jonathan Bowdler, Head of Regulatory Compliance

‘I had just finished a workshop when a student comes up to say thank-you for a great day...and then handed me a sketched portrait of me that they have been working on during the day! Er, thank you?’

You can find solace in the fact that you’re not alone; after all, we’re only human. Rest assured, our tutors aren’t going to knock over water, break flipcharts or make geographical gaffes in your sessions. And if they do, you can get in touch and let us know about it (we love any opportunity to give them a good ribbing).

Find out more about how ICT can advance your career > 




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