Event Tune-Up: I’ve got Nothing…

October 7, 2015 by Bill Goode

I’ve got nothing. Nothing nice or bad to say about the horrible swill that surrounds me.

Have you ever had a friend, potential client, friend, or colleague as you about a person, place, or something you don’t like? Do you grind your teeth and wish that personal hot button never came up? Is the question asking for an opinion on something that would take the person posing the question by surprise in a bad way?

How did you respond? Did your response create issues for you?

Being the event resource, people are interested in our opinions. All of us have opinions, good and bad, on those we have dealt with. We are more than happy to share these, but sharing a bad opinion can very easily come back around. As big as the industry is, it is small enough for word to spread among your peers…

The best way I have found when someone asks about a person/service/item that I think is terrible is to take the high road, or at least the denial road.

The high road is acknowledging the questionable and say something nice, then move the conversation past it.

Friend: “Have you ever heard of X band?”

Me: “I understand they have six members and played such and such’s event a while back. I have been working with X, Y, and Z lately and we are putting together something for upcoming clients.”

The denial road is to pretend you do not know anything about the subject in question. Simply say you know nothing of the person/service/item, then steer the conversation back around to the one you would recommend. Here’s a good example:

Friend: “Do you know anything about this caterer? I heard great things about them.”

Me: “I am not familiar with them. At the last wedding I worked, X was the caterer, and they had an amazing menu that everyone was raving about.”

The idea is to be a positive resource. Saying something bad about someone, especially if it is true, puts you in the weaker position of not being an authoritative voice on the matter and can make you appear bitter to the person looking for information, especially if they have met them and have a positive vibe about them.

Your mom said it. If you cannot say anything nice, do not say anything at all.

Mark Twain also had a classic line I am sharing, “it is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you might be a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.”

Ok, I will shut up now…

Bill Goode Bill Goode (17 Posts)


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