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Embarrassing Webinar and Teleseminar Moments

It’s another Expert Briefs, where I ask really smart business owners to answer your burning questions.

If you've missed past Expert Briefs, you can click on the undies to see them all –>

In a past Expert Briefs, we our panel shared “Key Tips for Profitable Webinars“. So now we all know what to do right.

However, you may be scared that something might go wrong during your webinar. Something completely humiliating…

Guess what? It happens!

They say that which doesn't kill us, only makes us stronger. But, somehow, we as human beings are easily embarrassed. So this week I asked our panel of experts …

What's your most embarrassing webinar
or teleseminar moment?

This should be fun 😉

Lain Ehmann of says:

You're asking at a fabulous time, as I am just coming off a three-day live webinar with 17 instructors and over 20 hours of content! When you're dealing in those volumes, there are always some “fun” times. 🙂

The most embarrassing time I can recall is when I got up from my chair during one of the presentations to grab something from a drawer behind me.

Unfortunately, that's when the live video feed froze on my camera, and switched back to web cam, capturing a very unattractive picture of me — bent over with my underwear showing.

Of course, my audience found that hilarious, got it on screen capture for all “posterity.” LOL!

Nancy Marmolejo of Viva Visibility Blog says:

My most embarassing teleseminar moment happened back when my daughter was still a preschooler and was home underfoot one day while I was working. On my work days, she'd usually be at preschool, but that day she was home sick and I foolishly thought I could balance work and life and fulfill all my obligations. Oh ha ha ha, I now think to myself.

Shannon Cherry and I were set to conduct a recorded telephone interview to use in a product and we'd had it planned for quite some time. I thought this would be very easy: I'd instruct my 4 year old to sit quietly for 30 minutes and watch Dora while Mommy talked to another nice Mommy about business. And let's emphasize “quietly”.

The first few minutes of the interview went well. I could hear the hum of Dora in the background and Shannon and I started in on visibility strategies for entrepreneurs. Around minute 13, my little one approached the office door, swung it open and announced in a voice as loud as can be “Mommy! I need to go poo-poo!!” Having already developed lightning fast reflexes from being a mom, I somehow managed to hit the mute button mid sentence so the audio seminar learning world wouldn't have to figure out that little background noise. Shannon, the quick-witted mom that she is, sensed there was some interference on my end of the line and expertly filled in the dead air by reviewing what we'd talked about so far, interjecting some of her own opinion, and basically killing time while keeping the interview going. Meanwhile, with the headset on and the mute button engaged, I managed to escort my child to the bathroom, stood above her while she did what she had to do, WIPED A BUTT even, flushed the toilet, got her dressed and returned her to Dora.

In total it may have been about 90 seconds… thank God we didn't have to sing songs or read stories to get things moving.

And meanwhile Shannon just kept that conversation going for both of us, until finally I unmuted myself, jumped right back in on cue and answered the next set of questions. Nobody on the outside would ever guess that there was a hive of activity going on in the background.

Amazing how much we can do behind the scenes, with mute buttons, and sharp minded friends at the ready!

Shannon Cherry of The Business Building Live Intensive says:

Whoops! It happens… and to me it's happens a lot.

But once my face was so red, I couldn't finish the teleseminar the way I had planned.

Here's what happened:

Although I prepare for each teleseminar/webinar I do, whether I am the host or guest, I don't follow a complete script. I like to speak spontaneously because it makes the content more dynamic and fun. Well, I got on a rampage about something about my career in TV and my whole mentality switched to my old reporter days and I let out the “F-bomb”. (Reporters swear like sailors… it's one of the first things I had to learn if I wanted to be accepted!)

I was so embarrassed. Then I began laughing while trying to explain to the audience what had happened. Luckily for me, the host thought it was funny too so we turned it into a session about reporters and what they think.

I think the key is to admit it and move on… in any way you can!

Connie Ragen Green of Huge Profits Tiny List says:

My most embarrassing moment occurred while I was on a webinar with my students last year. There was a rumbling sound, and I realized we had had an earthquake. I love in southern California, so this was not the first time I had experienced this, but it was the first time it had happened while I was on a webinar. I decided not to say anything and continued teaching.

My office is on the second floor, so I went to the window and looked out to see if anything was happening that I should know about. Everything seemed to be alright, so I just kept teaching. Within a few minutes we had a significant aftershock, and by then one of my students had found out about the earthquake on Twitter, so now I had to say something.

Then the power went off at my house so I continued in the dark on battery power. Within a few minutes my dogs were barking loudly, my neighbors were at my front door to see if I was alright, and the sounds of fire engine and police car sirens could be heard in the background. I told everyone I was going to light a candle so we could continue, and it was at that moment I realized that I did not have to be Super Woman right then.

They still kid me about this episode sometimes, and I use it as an opportunity to teach that we must put our own circumstances first. Business can always wait until things are back to normal and we are ready to proceed. If the ground is shaking and the electricity goes out, cancel the webinar until a later date!

Jeanette S. Cates, PhD of Teleseminar Basics says:

This is not as embarrassing as it was fun. And it just proves you can do a teleseminar from ANYwhere!

After our Online Revenue Workshop, Connie and I were on a road trip from Las Vegas to her home in California. We had announced to our lists that we were going to do a teleseminar from the road. But our timing was off and the place we had chosen that was convenient, quiet and available was 70 miles away.

So we pulled off at Peggy Sue's diner – and did the teleseminar from the parking lot! But turns out two people can't call into the teleseminar line from two phones in the same car without an echo. So we took turns getting out and walking around the parking lot.

Meanwhile, we didn't have an internet connection so couldn't see the questions that had been asked ahead of time and kept coming in – so one of my assistants was texting the questions to us (on her non-smart phone aka typing nightmare!)

The reaction from our listeners was great. So many told us “If you can do a teleseminar from a parking lot, I can surely do one from my office!” And it helped a lot of people realize – it doesn't have to be perfect. It just needs to be done!

Kelly McCausey of Solo Smarts says:

This just happened to me last month.

I use a headset microphone when I'm in my web conference room. When I need to mute myself I only have to tap my right ear piece and a red light comes on at the tip of my mic. When I see red, I know I'm safe to sneeze or cough or whatever.

So I'm in my conference room early, there's a good ten minutes before the session is set to start. Some early birds were in the room and I'd said a quick hello, then muted my mic and went to work on my notes for the session.

Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes when I'm writing – I say what I'm writing out loud. It helps me think.

I'm doing this, talking and typing (slowly you know – as.. I .. type.. out.. the.. words.. I.. am.. saying.. them..). I stop, edit, then I'm talking out the sentence from the beginning again, etc.

After about five minutes I glance over at the conference room screen and see this in the text chat area…

‘Are you talking to us?'
‘We can hear you'
‘Do you think she realizes we can hear her?'

Horrified, I look down at my mic – it's red! I am muted! They can't be hearing me… so I say that ‘My mic is muted, they can't hear me…' and the text chat response is ‘I can', ‘I hear you', “Yeah, I hear you right now'.

For a moment I thought I was losing it – then it dawned on me. My web cam was plugged in! I jerked that plug out of my PC so fast – and tried to remember if I'd burped recently….

Felicia Slattery of Signature Speech Secrets says:

Because I started my business when my daughters were 1 and 3 years old, I've had plenty of teleseminars where they'd pop into my office while I was on a teleseminar to say good night or tell on each other to to sit in my lap because they knew I wouldn't use my “Mom voice” and get them in trouble while I was on the phone! I was never embarrassed about those moments. I'd simply remind my listeners that “This is real life folks! And it's why I run my business at home. Sorry about the interruption…” and would then carry on.

The most embarrassing teleseminar moment I ever had wasn't something I did, but that someone else did before I learned my lesson about muting out all participants.

Someone FLUSHED THE TOILET during my call!!!!!!!

It was insane! I was talking along — you know how excited and passionate I get when I speak either live or virtually… and then suddenly came a big, loud “floooosh” right in the middle of a sentence. It stopped me cold. I was literally speechless and I started to laugh and said out loud, “REALLY? People you can mute yourself by hitting *6….”

The was the last call I've ever done where I didn't mute out all participants first.

NicoleNicole Dean of .. here! .. says:

Well, I've had a few embarrassing moments that were brilliantly captured on audio… forever. ((sigh))

The first brilliant episode was during one of my first interviews. I was SO nervous so I asked my husband to please keep my daughter away from me so that I could do the interview without interruptions. However, just to be sure, I went into the bathroom, where I was behind three closed doors and I sat on the floor on a blanket.  Well, in the middle of the call, I hear pounding on the bathroom door and a little voice “MOMMMMY I HAVE TO GO POOPY!” Oh yeah. I put my hand over the phone and prayed my husband would find her … fast. (I'm not as skilled as Nancy. lol!) Thankfully, he did and whisked her away.

Another time, I was teaching on a teleseminar and my daughter was home sick from school because she had a tummy ache. Sure enough, right in the middle of the call, I hear retching. She's throwing up in the bathroom. Thankfully, I had a co-host, so I just said “Uh… I'll be back. My daughter is sick.”  and he kept the call going long enough for me to see to her needs.

Speaking of retching… another time, my dog threw up on the carpet in the middle of an interview. So, if you listen to the audio of that call, you can hear my Eddie hurling two feet away from me. (Nice….)

And, of course, there's my all time favorite. I was doing a phone interview for my podcast and my son was sleeping next to me. He passed gas very loudly and I just hoped and prayed that the person on the other end didn't assume it was me! lol.

So, the moral of the story is that stuff happens. Roll with it, keep your sense of humor, and move ahead!

Psssttt. and, of course, you don't have to be perfect to be profitable! 🙂 God knows I'm not!

Recommended Resource if you're Not Yet Doing Telseminars: 

Click here to Learn how to Profit from Teleseminars.

This course from Jeanette promised to overdeliver (as she always does).

Recommended Resource if you're Already Doing Webinars, but Want to Make MORE Money: 

Webinar Sales Secrets. Actually that’s not he name of it. It’s called Webinar Pitch Secrets, but I don’t like that name, so I’m not calling it that. :)

And, after getting into the course a bit, Jason talks a lot about adding VALUE to the webinars that you do with a natural transition to the action that you’d like people to take. It’s not about “pitching” people to buy things that they really don’t need through hypey language.

So grab it here: Webinar Sales Secrets. (I’m recommending you buy it through this reseller because that’s where I bought it and because they take paypal -which is what 90% of my followers use to purchase products.)

If you’re doing either teleseminars or webinars and would like to make more money – do check it out.

Nicole Dean

PS. If you’d like “Done for You” webinars that include scripts and powerpoint slides – be sure to check out PLR for Teleseminars and Webinars – all you have to do is read the scripts while playing the slides. Webinars couldn’t get any easier.

I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Shannon

    Holy S**t! (Sorry couldn’t help myself knowing my own faux pas.) I completely forgot about Nancy’s Poo-Poo incident.

    And its good to know poo-poo happens!

  • Kelly McCausey

    I loved all of the stories – I’m so glad it happens to the best of us and not just me 😉

  • Loretta

    I love these stories. Felicia really got me with the flooooosh, and a lot of my afternoon coffee ended up on my computer screen! These are all excellent examples of keeping things real in internet marketing 🙂

  • Holly Ralston-Oyler

    I was on the call with Connie and Jeanette that was done from the parking lot of “Peggy Sue’s” and it was a priceless call!

  • Janie C

    Absolutely hilarious. I laughed at every one. Thanks for posting these. They made my day! I used to be a television reporter so I can definitely identify with embarrassing moments coming at the wrong time. 🙂

  • Larry


    With this I am just poking some fun, but it is often stated that “Men think with their genitals” (clean it up a bit), does the fact that you using a pair of men’s briefs as the icon for your link to “Expert Briefs”, indicated that women are always thinking about our “Brains?” :- ) Just wondering…


  • Savvy Subcontracting

    Nicole, are you storing a bird in my office so you know exactly what is happening to me? Honestly you seem to hit it on the head everytime. This is exactly what I need right now for my podcast crisis.

    Collette Schultz

  • Nancy Marmolejo

    Clearly, we’ve got a trend here with my poo-poo story, Nicole’s poopy story, and Felicia’s flushing toilet. I’ve actually heard of stories where not only was the flushing heard, but the precursor peeing as well. Alright, just goes to show that bathroom humor is alive and well in internet marketing as well as on the playground!

    Definitely a classic post, thanks for putting the topic out there Nicole!

  • Devin

    I’m so glad to be reading this today as I’m preparing to do my first teleseminar in exactly 2 weeks. I’ve been reading up on strategies and things to make it a great process and I laughed as I read about the kids needing to potty.

    We are currently potty training our 2-yr old son and before reading the stories, that’s all I could think about was him leaving his bed and needing to use the potty in the middle of my addressing the audience.

  • Donna

    I totally enjoyed these stories – all of them. Thanks for sharing!

  • The Mom

    Oh, Nik… you so threw M. under the bus and poor D. didn’t get off much better, either.

    These stories separate the wheat from the chaff. You can sure tell that these experts are not snake oil salesmen, but honest to goodness people trying to make a living.

    I can really appreciate this. Thanks for sharing, all ya’ll.

  • Debi J

    This post is awesome! Definitely brought back the days of doing company training calls and presentations when the dog would suddenly realize there was a cat in her back yard & start barking at the top of her lungs, my son yelling from me over the staircase cause he didn’t know the calls had started….got really fast on that Mute button!! 🙂

    But the one thing I would NEVER do is apologize for the noise other than a quick, “sorry for the interruption folks but that was one of the 2 main reasons I work from home!.” As it’s been mentioned, it makes it real to people & lets them know that they can do this whole work at home thing regardless of having a family, pets, or a life! 🙂

    Debi J

  • Connie Ragen Green

    This post is a classic! I will just add that Jeanette Cates is being entirely too kind to me when she says that ‘our timing was off’. The truth is that I did not keep us on schedule on we drove from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, and the result was that we were in the middle of nowhere when it was time for our call. Thank goodness for Peggy Sue’s Diner! We had to stay in the parking lot because the music is too loud inside of that restaurant. Instead of Jeanette being upset with me, we turned it into an adventure we will never forget.

    Great to hear that many people have funny or embarrassing stories that also turned out to be positive experiences.

    Connie Ragen Green

  • Christine Steendahl - "The Menu Mom"

    I Love it! What was your goal with this post Nic? To make sure teleseminarphobics like myself never venture to try? Kidding, Kidding – life happens and I love keeping it real!

  • DeAnna Troupe

    This post was so funny. It was also encouraging. I’m always worried about background noise with 4 very active kids living with me. I like what Felicia said about reminding people that this is real life.

  • Tiffay

    This is such a great post! I work with many people that are doing teleclasses for the very first time and concerned about different hiccups. Goes to show that no matter how experienced you are, things happen. Better to roll with it than apologize. I love the resourcefulness and quick thinking of all you ladies!

  • Nicole Dean

    Thanks so much everyone for the comments. I’m still giggling over this post and I’m glad it was able to make you smile. 🙂

  • Paul B. Taubman, II

    I did a whole coaching call with live participants on the call. The interaction was great! The whole thing was 2 hours long and I was psyched that it went so well (This was my first coaching call for my first group… ever!)

    Part of the coaching program is access to the replays. Well, it turns out that the best recordings are those that get recorded! I did not press the record button!!! D’oh!

    The recovery was easy… I just did the same exact teaching 2 days later “Since not all the folks were on the call, I decided to have an extra call for those who could not make it,” Did I seem like a nice guy or WHAT?!?!?

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