I was recently attending a conference that I have come to enjoy very much. It’s geared toward folks like me, who run their own small business. The speaker lineup was jam-packed with one superstar speaker after another, each delivering great information. I was increasingly grateful that I was going to have post-conference video access to each talk, because there was so much good information being dispensed that I couldn’t possibly keep up with my note taking.
The next speaker came on and was giving even more excellent advice. This was stuff I NEEDED, information that would certainly affect the bottom line of my business. I have paid a consultant major money for this kind of game-changing information, and here I was getting it included in the cost of this conference.
And then it happened.
Out of nowhere.
Right in the middle of this great talk, the speaker felt the need to drop the F-bomb. And not just once but several times. And it was obvious it wasn’t just for the “shock” value, it was just part of this speaker’s everyday vocabulary.
Let me make it clear. I’m not a prude. I don’t expect the world to be “Mary Poppins clean.” I’ve used my own fair share of “those” words. And to be honest, if I’m sitting around talking with friends about sports or music, or politics, or whatever, I don’t care if the f-bomb is dropped. It doesn’t bother me at all. I am most definitely a follower of Jesus Christ, but I don’t expect the world to change in order for me to accept them. He didn’t, why should I?
That’s not what I’m talking about here.
What I’m talking about is being professional. If you are the speaker at a conference of other professionals, you should conduct yourself as a professional. You can still maintain your “edge” and be professional without dropping the f-bomb. Truly, we already got it that you were different. You like your ink, and you like to show it off. Fine, so do many of. You are young. Cool, most the others in the room were too, and the rest of us used to be young (and probably just as radical).
I maintain that you can retain all of your edginess and coolness without having to drop the f-bomb, or any other harsh ‘bleep-able” words. Because when you resort to that, many people will do like I did, and stop listening. I’m sure I missed more great information, and fortunately, I can go back to re-watch the video and still take in that information.
But at the moment you dropped the f-bomb, my mind registered, “this person is not professional enough to care to act like a professional.”
In my inbox this morning I received the latest post from Michael Hyatt entitled “How Much Business Is Your Profanity Costing You?” It provides a little bit of a different look at this issue, but it galvanized me to go ahead and hit the “PUBLISH” button.