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A Closer Look at Dishonesty

A Closer Look at Dishonesty
    What they don't know...

    So, what are your thoughts on honesty?

    Do you fib? Often? Do you have honesty rules? If so, where did those rules come from?

    Experience? Parents? Church? Your inner voice?

    Do you think that sometimes dishonesty is the right thing? The best option in some situations? Could there be a time when dishonesty is the best policy?

    Oh, the questions…

    We all know that honesty can be painful — and unpopular. It can also be liberating — and rewarding. We know it will end some relationships — and repair others. Sometimes, it shuts doors — and sometimes, it opens them.

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    Some people want to hear the truth. Some don’t.

    Some say they do…but really they don’t.

    Lying About Lying

    Like it or not, want it or not, lying is an ever-present reality of the world we live in.

    Kids do it — and so do grown-ups. Governments do it to protect you and me. Apparently.

    (Or maybe they do it to protect themselves.)

    Who else does it?

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    • Businesses
    • Wives
    • Husbands
    • Bosses
    • Staff
    • Managers
    • Leaders

    Even those who stand in front of their congregations on the weekend do it.

    Not surprisingly, we usually lie about our lying too. And when we do get busted, we inform the Honesty Police that our moral misdemeanor was in fact a ‘white lie’; a well-meaning deception. And, as we all know, white lies are okay.

    Degrees of Honesty

    Some people talk about the notion of ‘complete’ honesty, but is there any other kind? Surely, if it’s not complete honesty, then it’s dishonesty…right?

    “If it ain’t true, then it’s a lie.” Isn’t it? There’s no such thing as ‘telling a bit of a lie’ is there? A ‘half-truth’ (a term we use often) is simply a euphemism for dishonesty, isn’t it? And I guess ‘bending the truth’ sounds more honorable than ‘lying my arse off’. And finally, let’s not forget the very manly art of exaggeration; one of the more socially acceptable forms of lying.

    Wow, it’s hard to be honest about our dishonesty isn’t it?

    After all, nobody wants to wear the ‘liar’ label. We tend to get a little self-righteous and defensive when it comes to our ‘bending of the truth’ don’t we? Someone recently said to me, “Oh, yes Craig — but there’s lying and there’s lying.” The implication being that there’s acceptable and unacceptable lying.

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    Interesting.

    Selfless and selfish lying, perhaps? Okay, who decides which is which?

    The same person told me that she only lies when “she has to” and that “sometimes lying is the kind thing to do”. Can’t say that I totally disagree with her.

    So many great questions. But are there any universal answers?

    Am Not! You Are!

    When questioned, most of us say we’re honest people. It’s what we do. It’s our default setting.

    But it’s not true; most of us lie regularly.

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    Of course, we might lie for ‘noble’ reasons. Like to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. Or to avoid sharing some personal information. Or to avoid a pointless argument or a potentially volatile situation. But surely that kind of dishonesty is okay.

    Wouldn’t honesty be an illogical choice in some situations? Which would make the occasional fib totally acceptable when there’s a good reason. Wouldn’t it? Having said that, who decides what a ‘good’ reason is?

    Hmm…more questions.

    One study revealed that the average person lies three times in a typical ten minute conversation. Notice I didn’t say “the average pathological liar lies three times”. No…I said “the average person”. Clearly, you and I are not average.

    I lie much more.

    So, what are your thoughts on honesty? Come on…be honest.

    (Photo credit: Businessman Crossing Fingers via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on December 2, 2018

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

    When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

    You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

    1. Connecting them with each other

    Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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    It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

    2. Connect with their emotions

    Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

    For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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    3. Keep going back to the beginning

    Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

    On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

    4. Link to your audience’s motivation

    After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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    Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

    5. Entertain them

    While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

    Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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    6. Appeal to loyalty

    Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

    In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

    7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

    Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

    Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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