"Manners are the beginning of integrity."
The first time I read that quote I thought how simple yet profound. I pondered for a moment how simple etiquette reveals immediately whether or or not we courteous, considerate and grateful. And, when it is present it refreshes everyone who happens to encounter it.
As speakers, we are often the ultimate focal point of someone's event. Therefore we are lavished with praise, gifts and our every need is attempted to met. In return, what are we giving beside a great talk?
Having been both a Women's Ministry Leader and still a speaker I have sat on both sides of the table. Therefore, I'd like to share from a Hostess's point of view for a moment. For example, I remember...
Observing one speaker's table manners and how it revealed her lack of patience. She immediately reached across the table for the sweetner and in an irritable manner called the waitress because she hadn't gotten her 2nd cup of coffee quickly enough " Note: Your hostess wants you to model what they want the audience to become.
On the other hand another speaker stated "Please," upon her every request and "Thank You" at every appropriate opportunity. Note: A hostess desires to be respected as a person and leader.
One quite famous speaker revealed her gratitude for the opportunity to speak by giving more in her gift to us than the honorium we were able to afford to give her. Note: Prepare to always have a gift to say thank you to your host church and something special also for the one who might host you personally.
These examples helped set the bar for me as an up and coming speaker.
As Christian speakers we can re-ignite the flame of good manners by modeling them whether its daily among family and friends or when we are called to speak at a humble or highly attended event.