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“Hello, my name is Stacy Pederson. I am a clean comedian, a funny speaker, and an acting and speech coach. Today, this video is going to be geared a little bit more to men, because I’m going to be talking about a little faux pas, which is telling sports stories in your speech or sales presentation. I know, shock, right? Why would that be a bad thing? Well, most of the time, it’s not a bad thing. However, a lot of speakers, or sales presenters, kind of fall back on giving the old standard sports joke, or something new that’s trending in sports, or just that motivational sports story. And that can be great, depending on, this is the important part, who your audience is.
Number one, if you have a mixed gender audience where you have both men and women in the audience, I strongly caution against using a sports analogy. Why? Because most of us women who have sat through more than one male speaker have heard a million sports analogies, and a lot of us, not all of us, some of us really do like sports. But a lot of us don’t care. We don’t relate to, at all.
The second thing is that, even if you are in an audience that is all men, there are actually men who don’t really care too much about sports. So, after a while, when you’ve sat through a lot of speeches, or a lot of presentations, it can almost become somewhat offensive, because we’ve heard it so often. It’s such a standard go-to to bring in the sports world and the sports realm.
So, what should you do? Again, you should really know who your audience is. If you happen to be in a field where you know everyone in that room is going to love sports, then go for it. That’s fantastic. If you know a majority of the room, 75%, 85% of the people in the room who follow sports, love sports, would be very interested, would get your jokes, would get your sports analogies, again-go for it.
But, I would actually acknowledge the people, that 25% or 30%, or 15% in the room, who may not get it. Even just by a simple line saying, I know not everyone’s into sports, but I feel this fits my speech, or my point, because of x, y, and z, and lay it out, and then share your story.
And then, I would say if you have less than 75%, less than 60, less than 50, think about, you can still use a sports analogy, but bring another analogy in as well. A different metaphor, a different analogy, a different realm. No, it doesn’t have to be fashion, makeup, if you have girls in there. You don’t have to go that route. But just something that you know at least 75% of your audience can relate to.
I’ve never heard any speech coach talk about that, but I know for myself, I know from listening to other women, and from quite a few men, that it does sometimes become offensive. So, I thought I would just throw that out there, because there’s a good chance you may have never heard that at all, about why you should not, or be careful, about when you use sports analogies.
You could follow me, I have more speech tips, if you have to give sales presentations or you’re an executive, or you’re just a speaker. Just. Or you’re just a speaker. You can subscribe to my channel. You could also follow me on my blog at stacypederson.com, and that’s Pederson with a D.”