Here are three quick lessons for speakers and audiences from this week in our ever more Connected World.
1. Self-deprecation can evoke humor and create a bond with the audience when done right. “It is a privilege to be here tonight to open for Lady Gaga,” said President Obama, in opening his speech at the Human Rights Campaign dinner.
Albert Einstein was once introduced to the eighteen-month-old son of a young friend. The infant looked into the physicist's face and began to bawl. Responded Einstein, "You're the first person for years who has told me what you really think of me." Kien Dag notes, “The smartest people I know are also the most humble, making others comfortable by downplaying their abilities.”
• Speakers may get live audience feedback whether they want it or not.
• Audiences can engage in their own conversation about the speaker.
• A speaker may be unaware of what’s happening in the audience. Ah mortification.
This incident brings a whole new meaning to “higher education.”