Another big blunder people make is telling a story that some of the audience interpret is racist, sexist, off color offensive to certain minority groups or religious groups or sexual orientation groups. And no, you can't get away with by saying, Well, I was just quoting someone else or I was just passing along with someone else now. It's going to stick to you. So you have to be very concerned about again, your audience, how are they going to interpret it? The fact that you like it, it's harmless to you, does it matter if people in your audience are offended because if people are offended by your story, that's what they're gonna remember that you're an offensive person, not the message that was supposed to be helpful to them. So that's the real problem with racist sexist offensive jokes and stories is It's not about being politically correct.
It's just not effective. They don't help you communicate because they're distracting people and they're just making people not like you. So that's a big blunder. people continue to make. don't practice your stories and don't test your stories on people who look 100% like you and sound like you are the same age and the same ethnicity is you. You should practice you should have some circle of people that really represent your audience and that way, you can get some feedback.
If something is bothering people. I remember once many years ago, it wasn't in a story but it was in a PowerPoint presentation. I was stressing to people that when you're doing a media interview, you need to have your eyes staring at your message points. Not looking around the room. Or staring at Facebook or your website. But you should literally be staring at your message points to increase the odds that the message points come out of your mouth when doing your interview.
So I had an image it was an image of a person whose eyes were bulging out. I thought it was a little bit funny, more important, I thought it really drove home. The point, keep your eyes on your messages. So it didn't have a slide with a whole bunch of text. It wasn't confusing. It wasn't trying to convey too many ideas.
It's one idea so I was following everything I thought was the best practice when it comes to using PowerPoint. But one day, one of my audience members came up to me afterwards and said, TJ, that slide I personally find racist. I find it offensive had not occurred to To me, to be totally honest, but I listened carefully. I was a little annoyed at first, but then I realized, you know what, this person just did me a huge favor. Because if he finds this slide, annoying, racist offensive, guess what? Maybe there are a lot of other people do too.
And you know what I did with that slide. I hit Delete. And I just came up with a completely different image. So that's what you need to be on the lookout for when it comes to your presentations with your stories in them is it's not about being overtly racist. And using the N word Obviously, I'm assuming you're not going to do that. But sometimes it's just an image.
Sometimes it's just one cultural reference in your story that some people could find off putting or offensive you need to listen. You need to respond you need to edit sometimes You need to delete