Ethics in public speaking, like most other professions, is essential for the credibility of all who share in this field. Communication and ethics should fit like a hand on a glove.
Ethics Public Speaking
Ethics (according to the American Heritage Dictionary) are a set of moral principles. They especially are principles relating to or affirming a specified group, field, or form of conduct.
Public speaking and those who attain mastery of public speaking have both mores and ethics they must follow. Failure to follow these could cost their credibility and future ability to speak.
The damage a speaker can do because of not having their ethics in check means that the standards need to be even higher.
If you desire to join the NSA or National Speakers Association, you will have to meet such a high code.
If you want to become a professional, start to apply these principles now.
Within the NSA code of ethics is a purpose statement are important reasons for the code. Professionalism, dedication, integrity and honesty no-doubt would seem to be obvious ethical standards.
The code also includes stewardship.
When your speaking on the stage, you are in one sense, a steward. The steward is responsible to take care of the audience. This care extends beyond what you say. If there was an emergency, the audience will be listening to your direction. You will be responsible for disruptions.
Another definition of steward is supervising arrangements and keeping order.
Perhaps most the most important aspect of being a public speaker is that on becoming one, you are the steward of the profession and how others view public speakers.
The Most Important Ethics in Public Speaking
Be truthful, honest and accurate in presenting your qualifications and experience.
Be ethical and professional in actions and business practice.
You never would want to do anything that would discredit yourself, the profession of public speaking or or other public speakers. This requires consequential thinking...("if I do this, what will the consequences be").
Try to understand the organization you will represent and the audience needs. You will need to know the approaches, goals and cultures of the those you will be speaking for and using speaker skills and expertise to meet those specific needs.
Be original, both in speech and writing or, if using material from another speaker or writer, have approval (in writing) and give credit. Using the material of another is usually limited to stories, illustrations and anecdotes.
Have and maintain a relationship of shared responsibility and respect, dignity and professional courtesy, and the highest ethical standards with other speakers.
Maintain the highest ethical standards and practices and to help protect audiences from fraud or unfair practices from the speaking profession. Additionally, great speakers try to eliminate practices that bring discredit to the speaking profession.
As stewards of the speaking profession, we have a responsibility to maintain high standards and prevent bad ones from entering the profession.
As the saying goes, "The best way to get what you want is to help others get what they want." This means taking our desires and thoughts of benefiting ourselves out of the equation and be totally selfless in helping others.
Great public speakers do not take part in any arrangement or pursuits that would prevent or limit other speakers access to the market place, a client or the public.
Public speaking and ethics includes not limiting others by means of economic, race, ethnicity, creed, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or nationality.
This is an overview of the NSA Code of Professional Ethics.
Note:The web does not like duplicate content. So, this is a digested version of the NSA Code. To see the actual code, click on the heading link above.
Public Speaking Ethics Home Page for more Ethics in Public Speaking.
Public Speaking Bias and why to avoid it.