No Offense Intended

  • March 22, 2011
  • Starr Million Baker

SXSWi has now left town – whew, what a ride. We were excited about our participation in the show, through our conference attendance and sponsorship of the speaker room. Using the theme “thINK” we commissioned an interactive art exhibit that represented the creative and original thought of the speakers and attendees of SXSWi. We hoped to create a space where speakers could relax, take a moment to prepare and thINK about what they wanted to say to the masses that flocked to each and every panel discussion and keynote. As part of that preparation, we provided speaker tip cards – just a brief list of tips to get speakers in the groove and remind them of some elemental ways to make their points come across loud and clear.

The last tip on the card was a quote, attributed to everyone (including Winston Churchill) and no one over many years, and considered a sound piece of advice to toastmasters and speech makers alike. A quick Google search brings up Lord Balfour as having uttered these words in the opening of a speech at the turn of the 19th century: “A good speech, like a woman’s skirt, should be long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.”

We thought Lord Balfour made a good point, via analogy which we often counsel our clients is an effective means of getting an idea to stick. And, while including an essential piece of guidance (e.g. brevity is key), it also exudes a bit of humor. Concise communication with a dash of personality – those are two things we get behind at INK.

I’ve heard some of the speakers took offense at our “sexist” tip cards. To those speakers, this all-female high tech/clean tech PR firm says no offense intended and offers up this one additional piece of advice – not taking ourselves so seriously can be a good thing in life. Try it.

(P.S. Full Disclosure: I have edited the title of this post from Here’s a Tip: Lighten Up, as that was an unfortunate turn of words on my part that has continued to fan the flame. Again, I was attempting humor – because I continue to believe there is way too much being read into this entire topic – but apparently I am not as funny as I once believed.)

One response to “No Offense Intended”

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