Or, perhaps better stated, the consequences of throwing out cuss words in a public arena. And while this is my perspective, it’s not just my perspective.
Last week a friend of mine mentioned that he attended several business conferences that week and in all but one of them, the speaker dropped the F-bomb.
Yes, you read that correctly. Business conferenceS. Subject matter expertS. F-bombS. I hope you are as disturbed by that as I am. Is this the new –low– standard in public speaking at business conferences? I hope not!
Some thoughts from a branding perspective …
Is your vocabulary really that limited?
The English language is rich and robust and there are endless words from which we can choose to paint pictures and convey passion. Even angry or zealous passion.
My response when I hear foul language, especially uttered publicly, is that person obviously has a very limited vocabulary. Perhaps he (or she) believes the use of such language makes him appear to be more vehement in his position, but it’s actually the opposite. It makes him appear crude.
Will the audience remember anything else?
Usually in the course of a presentation, it is the “story” that is remembered. The crafting of a well-delivered tale usually puts the audience on the edge of their seats.
However, my guess is the shock of hearing the F-bomb dropped would erase even the best spun story and become the one thing that stuck in the minds of the audience. Probably not what the speaker intended the audience to remember, but that is -in this case- exactly the subject being discussed by my friend and his colleagues.
Could “cuss-man” or “trash-mouth” follow him forever?
In a word, yes. The next time that person’s name is mentioned as a possible speaker, someone is sure to say … isn’t he the guy (or gal) who unleashed a stream of profanity (because you know how those stories grow) at the “such and such conference”?
Personally, this is extremely disappointing to me. If using cuss words to make points during a business / professional conference is the new -low- standard in public speaking, I guess I won’t be doing much of it in the future.
What are your thoughts? Is it ever acceptable to drop the F-bomb or otherwise use crude language while presenting? Feel free to leave your comments here or, if you are a CFO, join our CFO-exclusive community on Linkedin and post your comments there.