Sharing Your Political Stance As A Speaker
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Since you are likely to find yourself in situations where you are speaking to groups on your information marketing topic, I have a few words to say on the subject of sharing your political stance as a speaker. In a word – don’t. This is, of course, my personal opinion, and there may be many instances where your personal and professional politics are intertwined with your speaking platform, but unless it is PART of your topic and integral to your subject matter, I’m suggesting you avoid it.
Religion and politics used to be the two main aspects of any speaker’s ideology that should be avoided. That applied to speaking casually in a group of friends, co-workers or even strangers, as well as public speaking from a podium. Now there are a lot more topics added to the list, as a result of sharp public focus on political correctness. Political correctness is not just for politics, in other words.
I noticed an article in the Los Angeles Times by Kevin Hassett entitled, “Commencement Speakers: Conservatives Need Not Apply.” Hassett relates how Karl Rove and Paul Rand were heckled by protesters while speaking at recent college commencement ceremonies. And how, following those incidents, Robert Zoellick and Ben Carson cancelled their commencement speeches.
Hassett concluded his article on graduation speeches this way:
“America has become much more polarized over the last few decades, and observers have blamed politicians and gerrymandering. But some of the blame lies elsewhere. America’s institutions of higher education have become some of the most polarizing institutions in our society. Students who pass through them are remarkably well-prepared to join our uncivil political discourse.”
And I am concluding this blog post by saying, enter the political fray at your own risk when you are speaking as an information marketer.