President Joe Biden provides an endless stream of teachable moments.
This week, he taught us the valuable lesson of making sure someone is alive before you try to ask them to stand up to be recognized in a crowded room.
What can we learn from this invaluable experience? Here are 4 critical steps you can take to make sure you know someone is alive, let alone in the room and capable of standing, before you attempt to recognize them:
- Verify that everyone you plan to recognize during your speech is alive. This simple, yet often overlooked step can be a great way to prevent embarrassment.
- If the answer is “yes” in step 1, verify that this person will be in attendance to be recognized. It also wouldn’t hurt to make sure they are capable of standing before you ask them to stand. Again, often overlooked, this step can save you from trying to shake someone’s hand who is not even there or to ask someone in a wheelchair to stand up.
- If the answer is “no” in step 1, do not recognize this person during your speech unless you plan to recognize them posthumously with words such as “God rest his/her soul“ or “who is unfortunately no longer with us.” This will prevent you from appearing to be callous or aloof to the loss of human life and will draw attention to the fact that you are only using this person‘s name for clout.
- If no one on your staff can verify the status of anyone you plan to mention in your speech, strike their name from your speech and any reference to them until you have confirmation. Whatever you do, don’t just stand up there saying “Jackie? Jackie? Where is Jackie?“ This will only force your woefully inept press secretary to contort herself into a word salad defending you in your moment of glaring senility.
We hope you have enjoyed this installment of “Joe’s How To’s“ brought to you by “C’mon Man!” enterprises.
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