[Image by Alexei_other of Pixabay]

Ever feel outdated?  Sometimes we just date ourselves…like this image.  As a speaker, we all need to be on the lookout for this in how we sound, handouts we may use, or anything we write.

It’s a pretty big list so here are some examples—let’s say you want to include a handout about grooming guidelines, and you refer to males wearing ties or suits.  While that used to be standard apparel, things have certainly changed in 2023.  Another example includes speaking to your target audience using a quote of someone they don’t know at all but is well-known to you.  A final example would be writing a letter to someone you don’t know and using “To whom it may concern” as your salutation.

Each of these examples is like the image of slides that I’ve included in this post.  You can continue to use these examples or others like them, however you run the risk of dating yourself or appearing outdated.  That’s always taking a chance that you’ll turn off someone in your audience, create an unwanted distraction or lose the potential of more contact. None of those sounds good to me so I avoid them at all costs, and I encourage you to do the same.

If you’re unsure, I recommend that you ask a trusted resource for feedback.  You may not like what you hear but at least you know what needs to change. By a trusted resource, I mean a mentor, a colleague with the expertise you’re seeking or a paid professional with the required experience.  The benefit is that you’ll learn what is current and it will put you in a positive light as you go forward.

We’ve most likely all been in this position and it’s far better to be proactive vs. learn the hard way. So, go out there and remember that our target audience can be any age.  Therefore, it pays to know as much as possible about your audience in advance so you can prepare accordingly.

If you’d like more information specific to your situation, please connect with me at 518-664-6004 or [email protected]