Heard a speaker close with a signature story to drive home the point the other day. His lead-in was essentially, “I know you’ve probably heard this before, but here it is anyway…” With one statement, he took what was otherwise a good close and marginalized it and likely made it less effective for virtaully everyone in attendance.First, it’s just hard as a listener to be excited about such an intro. You assume the person stole the content (which is OK if attrbution is given). But the presenter doesn’t sound excited, so why should the audience? For people who hadn’t heard it before, they had to be wondering, “where have I been?” For people who had, they were wondering, “if he knew I had heard it, why did he feel compelled to tell me?” And since credit was never given to any source, everyone wondered where it was stolen from.

Give credit for stories that are not your own (or better yet, only use your own). Don’t lessen any story’s impact with a caveat.

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