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5/22/2013 8:26:54 AM -

It’s apparently been seminar season over the past month or so, and tons of people I know have attended various clinics around the country. The interesting thing about some of these seminars is that they’ve featured a few people who’ve become big names online—but who are just getting into the whole “speaking circuit” thing, meaning not a lot of people have heard them present yet.

The thing I want to talk about today is the one quality everyone mentions when giving a negative review of someone they’ve met or heard speak at one of these seminars. Whenever I hear anyone criticize a speaker, it’s always for the same reason. They don’t say, “I disagreed with his methodology,” or, “He was a poor public speaker”—although these things are often mentioned peripherally.

Instead, the common complaint I hear whenever someone doesn’t like a speaker is that the guy is “arrogant.”

DISCLAIMER: This post was NOT inspired by anyone who spoke at this past weekend's LTT seminar. There were a few others that took place last week, and this applies to one of them.

This is very funny to me, because you’d think people would have learned the way to approach these things by now. I first latched onto Dave Tate and the whole EliteFTS crew at seminars precisely because they weren’t arrogant. If you’ve ever heard Dave speak, he’s very matter-of-fact about everything—and he’s more than happy to answer questions without making people feel stupid (with a few notable, classic exceptions). And if you corner the guy afterward in a private conversation, he’ll talk TO you, not DOWN TO you.

In fact, my whole philosophy on assistance work came from a side conversation I had with Dave years ago—a conversation that was facilitated simple because me and the guy I was there with saw Dave standing there by himself, and we went over and asked him a question.

This, unfortunately, is not the case with some of today’s smirking presenters—who make sure to get the point across that the stuff they’re presenting is so basic to them that it’s pretty much a waste of their time to be there. I’ve heard this same complaint time and again from several people I know in the industry—including a Division I coach who says his opinions of several people were changed for the worse as a result of “fitness personality” arrogance.

Honestly, this isn’t even my complaint. My arrogance detector is extremely sharp, and I don’t deal with those types of people. If I’m at a clinic, and someone comes off as arrogant, I’ll listen to what they’re saying and tune out the rest of the noise—and I won’t approach them and try to talk to them afterward. I’ve been around that block many times over the years, and I’m past the point of giving a crap if some dude wants to big time me.

There are in this industry, however, people who aren’t quite so jaded, and this level of arrogance has been noted by a lot of them. I don’t know what it means, and I don’t know how it’s going to affect the way certain “personalities” are perceived, but what I do know is that it’s not really necessary. If you’re at a point where someone is inviting you to speak in front of a crowd of paid attendees—all of whom are actually taking notes while you speak—you’d think you’d be honored by that.

In some case, people apparently aren’t, and I find that kind of sad.

Angry Coach

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