You are encouraged to link, pass along to others, and/or reprint these articles electronically or on paper, as long as the following credit line is used: © Copyright Tracy Brown,

diversity tips for speakers

Note: The tips below are adapted from the upcoming book: “Transforming Awareness Into Action: Tracy’s Top Tips for Making Your Commitment to Diversity Come Alive”

Tracy's Top Ten Tips for Speakers:

  1. Use simple language. The typical person in the United States reads at the fourth-sixth grade level.
  2. 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.
  3. Use cross-cultural examples. If you tell four stories, be sure at least two of them reflect a culture or group different from your own.
  4. Screen your examples for words or situations which are unintentional offenders based on class or education.
  5. Use visual and tactile aids. Relying on words alone to tell your story is dangerous.
  6. 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 don’t subscribe.
  7. Watch for words with multiple meanings.
  8. Request feedback. Ask for feedback on both content and delivery. Specifically solicit comments on your ability to communicate across cultural boundaries.
  9. Study generational differences. Check out your examples and stories against your research.
  10. Learn about the group’s demographics and the group’s 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 Topic’s NOT Diversity . . . But Your Audience Is . . .”








© 2002 , Diversity Trends LLC - PO Box 12866, Dallas TX 75225 | 1-800-290-5631 | Privacy Statement