Hold your applause, please

Conference speaker behaviors that grate on the nerves.

Conference speaker behaviors that grate on the nerves

Now and then I succumb to a therapeutic venting of irritations and annoyances prompted by what I see in organizational publications. This time, however, I would like to limit my mild anger to what I encounter at various conferences that it is my pleasure to attend.

”I’ve got a text …”: But the speaker won’t use it. This is the oldest dodge in the world. It angers me, possibly because too often I myself have been the writer of speeches, only to have the executive say, as I try to find a dark corner, “Larry wrote a fancy speech for me, but you know, fellows, that I’m going to speak from the heart.”

The point-of-view is phony. It implies that the speech is dishonest, but the speaker is not. If he does not want to use a prepared text, and there is no reason why he should, then let him have pity on the PR drudge who wrote it in the first place. If he decides at the last minute not to use it, then let him speak extemporaneously, but let him also refrain from mentioning the fact that he does have a speech prepared.

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