A C o m p r e h e n s i v e M a n u a l
these times you might want to remind
yourself of why you are doing the pre
4) How to Handle Personal or Diffi
sentation. Try to keep your energy high
and your audience engaged.
Although "I" statements are generally
important to use when speaking, occa
Potential Audience Responses
sionally you might want to drop this
approach when a question is difficult or
very personal. Other suggested respons
Homophobia (the fear or hatred of same
gender love and relationships) is present
to some degree in all groups. Sometimes
a. "Depersonalize" the question: "Some
it is expressed overtly, and other times
more subtly. It is expressed in many
ways, some of which are discussed
b. "I can only speak for myself, not all
below. Remember that you cannot take
responsibility for an audience member s
uncomfortable feelings. You are there to
c. "I don t have an answer to that ques
help audience members gain new knowl
edge and understanding about homosexu
ality, bisexuality and transgender issues.
d. I would rather not answer that ques
2) Animosity, Sarcasm, & Hostility
While these reactions on the part of audi
Other limit setting statements you can
ence members are not the rule, they can
be difficult to deal with if they arise.
a. "That is not one of my concerns;"
Keep your composure! Do not buy in to
people s negativity, which is generally an
b. "I understand that you would like...,
expression of their need to change, not
yours. You may need to tell people that
what they are saying or doing is hurtful or
offensive to you, refer back to the ground
c. "Gay jokes offend me. I d rather not
rules and ask them to stop. Always be
hear them;" or
respectful. Remember, the rest of the
audience is watching your response. Do
d. "Perhaps we could discuss that later.
not respond to these reactions with ani
Right now I need to collect my thoughts
mosity, sarcasm or hostility of your own!
and move on."
3) Ambivalence & Apathy
Examples of negative feeling statements
While this kind of reaction can be dis
you might want to make:
couraging, remember that it is not always
easy to engage an audience, especially if
a. "I don t agree with you;"
they feel that the subject is not their issue
or problem. If a group you are speaking
b. "I feel put down by comments like
to is especially apathetic or ambivalent,
you might want to find some way to con
nect these issues to your audience.
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