This mistake has a huge cost for you as a speaker (and what to do about it).

I have observed over 500 speakers in my tenure of speaking.

Over the years, I have noticed behaviors in speakers that made me feel separate from them and turned me off from doing business with them.

If you are a speaker endeavoring to sell your products, services or ideas, I encourage you to not say or do anything that puts distance between you and the members of your audience – because it’s costing you relationships and money!

Here’s one that I have not really heard people being trained on, but has a big impact on your audience and any future you may wish to create with them.

Do not say anything that could be interpreted as patronizing.

You just don’t know who is listening or where they are coming from.

You don’t want to do or say anything that would put someone off or deter them from connecting with you and possibly doing business with you.

I was at a speaker’s conference once and several of the speakers, who were over age 50, referred to common things of past pop culture – things that a much younger person would not have personally experienced growing up, and may or may not be familiar with.

For example, Archie Bunker from the All in the Family tv show or The Coneheads from Saturday Night Live – both from the 1970’s.

The speaker would say something that was not necessarily universally recognizable to the audience and then say – “if you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google it”.

They would then continue on with what they were saying.

Even though I knew what they were referring to, I was offended on behalf of the people who weren’t in on what was said because they just got left out of something the speaker was saying – a disconnect for them.

I thought telling them to “Google it” was patronizing, rude and could even invite people to stop listening, get on their phones and look it up!

Always be sure to be specific about the point you want to make, and if it can’t be made without referencing the past – or anything else not universally relatable to a human being, and in a way that communicates clearly to everyone, don’t say it.

Then you will be sure to stay connected with your audience and they will love you for it!