“Always tell the truth. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”

Mark Twain

We live in a world of information and sensory overload. People and products and ideas clamor for our attention. (We are exposed, on average, to over 40,000 TV commercials each year. Imagine how many other plugs we are subjected to.)

As presenters we can’t win by competing with all the hype. The strategy of presenting our ideas better and louder and faster doesn’t work.
What does work is simple: tell the truth respectfully.

Too often we get so caught up in how we are going to present our ideas — in the techniques of effective speaking — that we skip over a more important consideration. Do our ideas make sense? Are they true? Will they help others?

Rotary International™ urges its members ask themselves four questions before making a decision. I suggest you ask yourself the same questions about what you plan on saying in your speech:

1. Is it the truth?
2. Is it fair to all concerned?
3. Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
4. Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

We may be able to make our point more effectively by stretching the truth, glossing over inconvenient facts, or belittling other people and their concerns, but we’ll lose out in the long run.

Speaking the truth with respect is the right thing to do. It makes us worthy of people’s respect. It is the foundation of any worthwhile relationship. And in this age of hype it sets us and our message apart.

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Check out How to Remember Names or How to Build Rapport with Any Audience.

Chris Witt, a coach based in San Diego, works with executives and with technical experts who want to give more effective presentations. If you’re interested in learning more about how you could benefit from his coaching, contact him for a complimentary call.