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Coarse vs Clean Humor in a Presentation672

Belew private msg quote post Address this user
I recently spoke at a pretty sizable conference.

It seemed like every speaker but one (me) was dropping the F-bomb to get a chuckle or groan or to emphasize a point (for lack of a better adjective). I know plenty of other options.

Which do you think is better - coarse or clean humor in a presentation?

I'd like to hear other's thoughts before putting up mine.


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morrnel private msg quote post Address this user
One crosses a dangerous line when interjecting anything that can be construed as offensive into the mix. Foul language does not cause me to respect you more. The entertainment industry made hundreds of movies off limits because of distasteful language.

There is a time and place and a public or business venue is not necessarily one of them.

@Belew, you received the greatest round of applause than any other speaker and a good part of was because you were respectful to those you were speaking to. More people laughed when you asked the person taking the picture to hold off until you sucked in your gut. That was funnier than any foul joke. You simply respected others’ values.

It’s not just language. One of the attendees asked for a friend request on Facebook. I had to decline. His feed was all about politics. I have friends with numerous political perspectives that I don’t necessarily agree with. I am happy he has a political perspective, but he attacked anything he didn’t agree with. Do I want him be seen by my friends? Thank you, no.
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jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
Old school teaching is that you never talk like that in public. The golden era of television re-emphasized the Puritan values - Leave It to Beaver, Brady Bunch, I Love Lucy.

It was only after the success of shows like All in the Family MASH and Saturday Night Live that the executives were forced to accept a shift in being "real."

Now, of course, there's a difference between being authentic and doing things for shock effect, which can be just as bad as being fake.

Sure you'll turn off some folks, but you'll attract the people that "get" you - and that's who I'd rather be surrounded by.

This is an age of transparency.


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Rev private msg quote post Address this user
@mrrnel a6so!u+!y nailed it.
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StellaT private msg quote post Address this user
Prof @belew Clean Humor.

I totally agree with @mrnnel.
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AnnettB private msg quote post Address this user
What a timely discussion Bill! I was at that conference you spoke at, and you can put me in the group of people that would prefer all F-bombs and other colorful language eliminated. For me, it doesn't add value. I still learn from the people that are teaching, and I value what they have to say, but there are other ways to emphatically express.
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@AnnettB

Thanks for your vote for clean humor.

I can/do learn from anybody as well.
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bobpegram private msg quote post Address this user
How can any speaker think dropping f-bombs or other foul language is professional and competent? I have known people who spoke that way sometimes, but who considered a 'professional' speaker who spoke that way to be UN-'professional.' In other words, speaking that way in private is bad enough, but doing it as a paid speaker, speaking to a general audience is extremely rude and amateurish.
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Steve private msg quote post Address this user
What everyone else said

Shouldn’t a speaker stir emotion and generate reactions based on what they are presenting and their skill… anyone that has to resort to foul language to get a reaction obviously lacks the confidence to let their presentation succeed or fail by the actual content. Just an opinion of course.
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brewsir private msg quote post Address this user
I am putting my own twist on this topic. I have gone to many hard rock concerts in my life. I would EXPECT the band to use profanity because they are all about sex, drugs, and rock n roll. Even though you'd expect that from them and they are free to use foul language, it somehow cheapens their message or song. I find it hard to take them very seriously. It's the same when I listen to any public figure. Now, if it were in a more intimate setting and not a public forum, I don't mind it as much.
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@brewsir

You bring up some really good points.

Public versus private.

Taken seriously versus not.

Cheapening yourself versus coming across professionally.
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tienny private msg quote post Address this user
Even I love clean humors above all else. I can't stand coarse humors.
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jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
Content marketing is balancing act in the art of communicating with your audience. Too sacred, you lose 'em. Too profane, your message will never lead anyone to the promised land.

As a JO (junior officer) in the navy, I struggled with knowing where to draw that line. If I talked like the college boy I was, I was just another uptight officer.

But I knew I was there to be their "buddy" - they didn't need that, they needed a leader.

Communication is the art of finding that balance. In content marketing you need to be relatable and authentic, yet meet the expectations of being an authority.

If there were hard and fast rules, it might be a more precise science. But in my book that's not the case.
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Belew private msg quote post Address this user
@jycmba

Did someone say Junior Officer!?

Been there, done that.

Toughest job in the Navy is Ensign and Ltjg.
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jycmba private msg quote post Address this user
@Belew - I remember, Bill. Can't say my memory is perfect.. but be careful what you say around me.. I just might remember!

..hmm.. feel like a blog post coming on.. maybe expansion on this one - http://butterflyformula.com/creativity-fear/


source: Wikipedia
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