Scene set: The first ever training course I delivered, 2005.
The course: Lean 5S. (Essentially "How to keep your desk tidy". Pot and kettle, I know.)
The objective: Talk through a picture of a disorganised office and the problems it could cause.
What happened: Well, the picture showed an office with computer equipment everywhere, wires all over the place, filing lying on the floor. I'd seen the picture about ten times as I'd observed the course being run several times already. However... when looking at it with my training group I suddenly spotted something new.
"Oh look," said I. "This person even has a pot of Vaseline on her desk."
Shit, shit, I just said "Vaseline" in a training course. This could have dodgy connotations. How could I rescue the situation? I thought quickly.
"Perhaps she has chapped lips," I said. Oh God, even worse! Better clarify!
"I mean, chapped facial lips."
There was an awkward pause. Then thankfully laughter. But if you want top tips on running a training course, try never to use the phrase "facial lips". I have plenty more of these handy hints.