Key Tips For Hiring A Guest Speaker To Address Controversial Topics

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Key Tips For Hiring A Guest Speaker To Address Controversial Topics

2 May 2017
 Categories: Business, Blog

In today's world, being politically correct is both important and challenging. Unfortunately, it can be even more so if existing rules at your business or long-standing social group require modifications. For instance, rules that discriminated against specific persons were common for many years and now, diversity needs to occur. Therefore, when difficult topics are under debate, you might benefit from hiring a third-party to address the group in order to encourage acceptance and understanding amongst everyone. Therefore, it's a good idea to consider the following advice when you hope that the viewpoint of an unknown third-party can get everyone out of their comfort zone to find acceptable compromises.    

Match the Personality and Statements of the Speaker to the Audience

It is important to remember that few people like to be yelled at or spoken down to by a stranger. The same is true if someone is monotonous with limited stage presence, since engaging with the audience is crucial in that situation.  

Therefore, it will be quite useful to match the person's demeanor, speech, and energy level to that of the audience. Whether yours is a solemn environment where nobody dares to step out of line or everyone jokes and laughs all day, choosing someone who embodies those aspects is an ideal way to form a bond between the speaker and those to whom he is speaking. From there, it's a quick jump to considering the new words and viewpoints about the changes that not everyone is crazy about.  

Verify that the Speaker is Capable of Making People Think Critically about their Beliefs

Whether the controversy your facility is addressing involves offering more scholarships at a private school by raising tuition for everyone else or something huge and complex like the issues of transgender persons using bathroom facilities that are consistent with the gender they identify, people tend to be stubborn when their beliefs or lifestyle choices are being questioned. That means that the guest speaker needs to be able to address concerns of one group without ignoring the concerns of another.

His or her duties may also include inspiring people to consider why they believe what they do in a non-confrontational manner. When callous, rude or otherwise inappropriate statements are given by the audience, the speaker will do well to deflect those words to more helpful concerns. While the speaker may not change anyone's minds and should not be expected to fix the problems, his inclusion into the meeting and the life experiences he brings along can often sweeten the temperament of those whom he needs to address.          

In conclusion, finding an appropriate and willing speaker to encourage communication between co-workers or members of a social group is not always easy. Since choosing the wrong person could be problematic and make the situation even worse, you might want to consider applying the advice shared above in your plan to hire a guest speaker.