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diversity tips for speakers
Note: The tips below are adapted from the upcoming book: Transforming
Awareness Into Action: Tracys Top Tips for Making Your Commitment
to Diversity Come Alive
Tracy's Top Ten Tips for Speakers:
- Use simple language. The typical person in the United States
reads at the fourth-sixth grade level.
- Supplement adjectives you use with descriptions of physical
(or personality) characteristics which describe what you mean.
Using phrases like All American boy or good
worker leave too much to the interpretation of the listener.
- Use cross-cultural examples. If you tell four stories, be sure
at least two of them reflect a culture or group different from
- Screen your examples for words or situations which are unintentional
offenders based on class or education.
- Use visual and tactile aids. Relying on words alone to tell
your story is dangerous.
- Review your references to religion and/or faith. It is often
acceptable to describe how your faith or religious beliefs impacted
you. However you risk losing your audience when you recommend
or imply that the specific practice or faith which has worked
for you is the answer for everyone in your audience. And it is
never appropriate to make negative statements about any religion
or faith practice to which you dont subscribe.
- Watch for words with multiple meanings.
- Request feedback. Ask for feedback on both content and delivery.
Specifically solicit comments on your ability to communicate across
- Study generational differences. Check out your examples and
stories against your research.
- Learn about the groups demographics and the groups
interpersonal dynamics. Do your homework in advance. Adjust your
style to create comfort, without releasing your position of authority
as seminar leader or keynote speaker.
Tracy Brown is the President
of Diversity Trends. She works with organizations that want to use
diversity as a strategic advantage and with people who want to be
successful in multicultural settings. Tracy is available to lead
your chapter or PEG through a deeper discussion on this topic during
a session titled, When Your Topics NOT Diversity . .
. But Your Audience Is . . .