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What’s the funniest speaker story you have ever heard?

Several years ago a speaker we work with, let’s call him Gary, was on his way back from spring break with his family, arriving at his home airport at noon on a Tuesday. He knew he had his first post-holiday speech on Thursday, so he took out his Day-Timer to check the actual time. Upon locating the entry in his notebook, he discovered to his horror that the speech was actually at 1:00pm Tuesday – the very day he was returning!

When the plane landed at 12:08pm, he was the first one off. While his wife stayed behind to collect the luggage, he jumped into a cab at 12:35pm. After a frantic 15 minute cab ride, he arrived at the hotel at 12:50pm.  Almost breathless at reception, he told them he was there to attend the Conference in the California Room.

“But there is no event in the California Room today, sir,” the receptionist said. “I think you have the wrong hotel. Try our sister hotel across the street. They have a conference going on today, and they have a California Room.”

Gary took off across four lanes of traffic and straight through the door of the hotel opposite. He followed the signs and got to the doors of the California Room at 12:55pm. He breathed a sigh of relief as the audience was sitting there patiently waiting.  Without missing a beat, he walked straight to the front and began his presentation.  About 15 minutes into his talk, he delivered a key line, “And you would understand being in the pharmaceutical Industry …”

A voice from the second row responded, “We wouldn’t, actually. We’re accountants.”

Gary was in the wrong room in the wrong hotel on the wrong day in front of the wrong audience. The real speaker for the group of accountants was at the back of the room waiting for the seemingly endless introduction to end.

Gary’s Tuesday speech was the following week.