PHOTO: Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., speaks during a news conference on the new Health and Human Services Department abortion rule on Wednesday, March 21, 2012.

Everyone has an opinion so what’s yours?

Did Representative Todd Akin, the Republican nominee for Senate from Missouri truly misspeak when he stated: “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

The dictionary defines “misspeak” as speaking inaccurately, inappropriately or too hastily.  We now know that Mr. Akin has released an ad stating “The mistake I made was in the words I said, not in the heart I hold.” The question now becomes an issue of the public evaluating if this apology is fitting, which is largely determined by whether one chooses to believe if this was indeed misspeaking vs. expressing a belief.  Perhaps the bigger issue that voters must assess is if Mr. Akin still holds this position, apology notwithstanding.

Whether one believes that Mr. Akin did or didn’t  misspeak…his remarks presented the opportunity to discuss ways to avoid misspeaking since the ramifications can be enormous, no matter what your profession.

Best tips are:

1. Have your facts straight.

2. Reference reliable sources.

3. Know the demographics of your audience/listeners.

4.  Be authentic and stick to language you are confident using.

5. Stay within your realm of knowledge and don’t venture out into gray areas.

We’re all capable of misspeaking however being proactive about preparing and thinking through your remarks can do wonders for you and your reputation.

As always I’m most interested in hearing what you think!

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