Saturday, November 13, 2010

I'm Right, You're Wrong

I recently witnessed a workshop presenter who insisted that she was right about everything because she was the “expert.” If someone objected to her perspective, or presented a variation, she insisted on arguing to make herself appear right and the other person look wrong. Oh how I cringed. Talk about a control freak. Shutting down opposing opinions is a sure-fire way of shutting down audience participation. 

Never make your audience wrong (unless, of course, someone is being terribly offensive to you or others). Even if someone’s idea seems a bit bizarre, acknowledge them by saying something like, “That’s an interesting perspective, one I have not considered.” (Be authentic!) And then move on. 

There are always other perspectives. Thank others for their distinctive points of view. No matter how many times I facilitate a particular workshop or deliver a familiar presentation, I continually learn varying perspectives from members of the audience.


Dermot said...

Wow, that's impressive! Was she asked back? Were you the only one to register disapproval?

There's still a lot of people out there like that, it usually occurs when they're not as much of an expert as they claim to be....

The Presenter's Coach said...

Dermot, in this case, the audience was more professional than the presenter. I sensed frustration by many. Only one gentleman spoke up, but the presenter continued to argue with him. We all just tuned out after that. What a waste of valuable time and attention. It will catch up with the presenter sooner or later.