Had one of those cute parenting moments today. Today was the wife’s birthday. I took the kids with me this morning to pick up a birthday cake, dropping it by my sister-in-law’s for delivery at our house later in the evening. My three-year-old daughter was along and was admonished multiple times that we weren’t going to tell mommy about the cake. She acted like she had it.And for the first few interactions when we were all together during the afternoon, things were fine. But after a napless nap time, she came downstairs and came up to me and tried to whisper but came out with a regular voice question, “Daddy, when is Aunt G going to deliver the cake?” Mom was standing right there, and just smiled. Surprise busted, but it was a harmless child mistake. All is forgiven.But as speakers we do the same thing. Saying things we should not; telling secrets we should not; saying one thing and doing another; telling first-person stories that later come to light are not original or even personal. All of these do one thing — undermine credibility. And there is no more public eye than that of a public speaker. Everything us say is remembered, archived (in the mind if not in print/video/web), and can be used against us. We can control what is said; we cannot control how it is interpreted or how it is used.Therefore, integrity is ALWAYS a trait to strive for. If it’s a matter of style, we can dismiss it as just being us. But when it’s a matter of fact, a matter of trust, a matter of truth, then it cannot be dismissed. Speakers must be above reproach, tell the truth, and do what we say we will do. Unless that interpretation is just not important.
Do what you say. Only pass on appropriate and proper things.