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World Class Stupid Advice

World Class Stupid Advice

I’ve actually been told the following by “coaches” and “experts” and “gurus” over the years. They really require little explanation, except to ignore the advice completely.

• Get the audience involved by asking them to raise their hands (e.g., “How many of you have been to Pittsburgh?”). Sure, if your audience comprises six-year-olds.

• Use a workbook with empty spaces for the audience to complete (e.g., “Always be __________ when stating ideas”). Sure, if your audience comprises five-year-olds. (The correct answer is “dressed like a clown.”)

• Raise prices when demand exceeds supply. Right, if you like working all day, every day.

• Consultants are hired hands who should do whatever the client requests. Do you draw the line at changing the oil and washing the windows?

• Accelerated learning can reduce your information gathering by half. Yes, and reduce comprehension to zero.

• When you move about on the stage, I can’t focus on your points, so you need to plant yourself for people. Only if they, like you, have a learning disability that prevents you from learning from moving people.

• Replicate the movements and speech nuances of the prospect to gain acceptance. Or to gain entry into an asylum or hospital when you’re thrown out the window.

• You never break confidentiality with a client’s employee, no matter what. Great, I hope you never encounter one who wants to kill the boss or rob the warehouse.

• If you have a speech, you have a book. Of course, but an excruciatingly short book.

• To get your nerves under control, picture the audience sitting there naked. And how do you suspect they’re thinking of you standing up there?

• Always dress-down and dumb-down your language for clients, so as not to show them up. Only if you want stupid, poorly dressed clients.

• Never blow your own horn. Then get used to the silence.

© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 3

  • October 13, 2010

    What about breaking people into groups at workshops? As an audience member, I almost always loath that.


  • Sue Thompson

    October 14, 2010

    I have learned from so many people in motion I can’t count them. I must be brilliant at receiving stuff thrown out on the fly! Come to think of it, how in the world do we ever get anything from “moving pictures” if the wisdom of these self-appointed sages is so?

  • Alan Weiss

    October 17, 2010

    I find small group work to be very effective and productive learning.

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