Seek Feedback to Stop the Cringe Factor

by | Jan 12, 2024

Did you tune into the Golden Globes last weekend? For your sake, I hope the answer was no. Unfortunately for me, the answer was yes.

If you did not, you can Google the disaster that was the opening monologue from the host. 

If you did, how long did it take before you were putting your hands over your eyes? Before your stomach did that flippy/sinking thing that usually happens when you are screaming down a drop on a rickety roller coaster? Before your whole being was screaming CRINGE?

It went sideways quickly for me, but what really activated my stroke vein was his “joke” about Barbie that had to do with “big boobs.” For the love of all that is good in this world, never did I think this newsletter about never telling boob jokes would be one I would have to link back to, but alas, here we are. 

The host has gotten plenty-o-comments from the internet, and I’m not here to pile on. 

While I had my cringy-OMG-what’s happening initial reaction, I admit I was quick to judge. As it would turn out, he took the gig with ten days’ notice. He was paired with writers eight days before. They wrote the monologue the night before. 

With that information, the performance issues become real. With that information, it now sort of, makes sense. There was no planning, preparation, or practice time to speak of. Odds for a stellar performance in an admittedly tough venue and crowd were not high. 

However, let his performance be a warning to us all. Last minute or not, if you’re speaking, presenting, or delivering any event of importance, you need to solicit and hear feedback from people outside of your circle. 

I don’t know for sure who was on that writing team, but I’d like to think that anyone who had seen Barbie (or been alive in the year 2023) would know his comment completely missed the mark and was, in fact, the exact opposite of the whole meaning and purpose behind the movie. So, perhaps none of them had seen the movie and hence thought the line was funny. #benefitofdoubt But it’s still not OK. 

Which brings us back to the point. You need to solicit feedback. It needs to be from people who are going to tell you the truth. It needs to be from people who don’t think, look, or act exactly like you. 

I’ve got my people. I RELY on my people. I do a run-through for keynotes, workshops, or anything I put out there. I ask my peeps, and my peeps are all across the board. Some analytical, some heart-centered, and all in all different industries with different backgrounds. While some of them are my dear friends, others are colleagues who have come into my world recently. 

When I solicit their feedback, I make it clear that clear is kind, nice is not. I’m not asking them to make me feel good, or laugh at my funny lines (that’s a lie I do ask them to laugh at my funny lines), or blow smoke. That is not helpful. There are a fair amount of times I hear, “Hold up…wait a minute…what are you trying to say there? What does that mean? Wait, you lost me.” 

Those words are music to my ears because if they are lost and confused, chances are someone in my future audience will be. I can adjust, course correct, and tweak the material. 

I’ve also said some things that have not landed well AT ALL and have been explicitly forbidden to repeat those phrases again. 

I think I’m aware. (We all do! We’re all not fully.) I’ve been doing what I do for a long time. I’ve got blind spots–we all do. We all say things with great intentions behind them but do not compute. 

Which is why it is necessary to get ears on your material. To ask for the truth. To get different perspectives. To have a trusted group of people that are going to give you the real deal, from a place of caring and concern. 

Who’s on your team? Who are your go-to-no-nonsense feedback givers? If you’ve got nothin’ how can you find someone to be that voice of reason for you?

No one wants to have a week like Jo Koy did. 

Just like no one, EVER, wants to hear a boob joke. Believe me. 


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