There is a lesson for all webinar presenters in NBC news anchor Brian William’s plight. It could happen to you!
For those of you who haven’t been online or watching television for the past 3 weeks, let me bring you up-to-date. Brian Williams embellished his experiences as an Iraq war reporter, taking a few liberties with the truth. He ‘mis-remembered’ the facts, and is widely perceived online as a liar, but may simply be a victim of false memory.
We encourage, almost demand, that our presenters and panelists be engaging. And the best way to engage our audience is by using stories and anecdotes. It is human nature to embellish our stories to appeal to our audience and fit within the goals of our presentation. Yet over time this can lead us to stray from the truth without us even realizing it. A compelling story told to a small audience may be harmless, but when its recorded and shared in a different context can have negative consequences as Mr Williams will attest.
So how do you stop from becoming the next Brian Williams? Slate recently posted an excellent article from the authors of The Invisible Gorilla – How Our Memories Deceive Us titled How Not to Be the Next Brian Williams – Ten ways to avoid false memories. Good advice for all us.