You'd have thought that a Nobel Prize winner and knight of the realm would have all his ducks in a row. Sadly for Sir Tim Hunt that was not the case last week. What he thought was a joke proved to be disastrous! "The trouble with girls in a lab," he said were threefold, "You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticise them they cry!"
Unlike my village ducks this morning; checking the ground and waiting for the right moment to take the plunge, Sir Tim just dived in, feet first; no toe in the water or test for him! He took no heed of his audience's feelings or responses. He was oblivious to the offence he was causing. The result? His resignation! Click here for the backstory.
When you're employed as a speaker you can't afford to alienate your audience. Be controversial and thought provoking by all means, however never offensive. You need pay particular care when you're speaking to an international audience such as the world conference of science journalists in Seoul. Your job is to educate, enlighten and entertain.
So next time you have an important speech, make sure you've planned and prepared especially when it comes to what's funny. Humour does not always translate well, when in doubt leave it out! Take guidance and check with an expert. Read more on confidence with cultures in The Diversity Dashboard. Just (drop me a line if you'd prefer to buy a personalised signed copy.)
Fun StuffDoing things differently is my modus operandi. I particularly admire Richard Branson who ensures that difference is part of his global brand. Watch the Virgin video created to launch his new service to Detroit, the home of Motown. What impact! How memorable! It's obvious the passengers really enjoyed the surprise. As did the delegates last week's event "Voice at the Table," when I started the conference playing an air guitar! Click the clip and join in the riff.
You Tube (a Facebook find, thanks Warwick Merry!)Yes there's a music theme on this time around. The Big Piano is cool!
Ted TalkI'm currently working with my good friend and Dutch colleague, Paul ter Wal. Paul's favourite Ted Talk is The Optimism Bias by Tali Sharot. This is a great recommendation. If you want to know why you or a friend can't stop addictive behaviour, listen in!
App of the WeekIt's billed as the biggest improvement to email since spell-check. Crystal knows tells you the best way to communicate with any colleague, coworker, prospect, or customer. There's even a free trial.
If you need to talk, just ring +44 7876 786 784 I'd love to hear from you.
Ever Positive, Eilidh