Watching comedian Michael McIntyre, it occurred to me how refreshing it is that the man completely avoids politics. It makes his show a delight, and we could do worse than to emulate him in that regard. 

At the same time, I’ve recently ‘hidden’ a local thought-leader from my social media timeline, because he does nothing but pathological Trump-dumping. It doesn’t matter which way you fall politically, eventually any person’s non-stop tirade on a single subject becomes tedious, and makes the writer seem fixated. Even unhinged. 

The Harvard Business Review themed their content this month on that very dynamic: the increasing participation in politics of high-level business leaders. They, too, pointed out that one can easily alienate half of one’s clientele with each utterance. 

I’ve never been shy to post political content myself, but I increasingly question whether there is any upside. If nothing else, it’s becoming clearer to me that unless one balances these posts with a variety of others - posts that express humour, hope, beauty, fun and joy, and also give useful ideas and beneficial content to followers - it’s easy to sound like a broken record. Or worse, someone with a genuine psychological hang-up, rather than a multi-faceted and interesting human being.  

So this week’s expert-audit certainly does not take the form of a ‘thou shalt not.’ Rather, I would simply like you to reflect: If you express political views in public forums, do you offer sufficient alternative content to ensure that you appear reasonable? And is there value for others in following you, or has the platform degenerated into little more than your place to rant? 

We may eventually arrive at the conclusion that all political expression damages professional image. It may not be the worst conclusion. But until then, let’s at least be aware that its indulgence does temper public perceptions of us. And at the very least, we need to wield that welding-torch with caution. 

Avoid implosion through pathological posting, and you may just retain your fan-base. Remain reasonable, credible, enjoyable, even as others self-sabotage, and you just might become the greatest in your game. 


Douglas Kruger, CSP, is a global speaker and author of five business books with Penguin. He has won the national championships for Public Speaking, through Toastmasters International, a record 5 times.

In 2016, in honour of excellence in his craft, Douglas was inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame by the Professional Speakers Association of Southern Africa. In 2018, the National Speakers Association granted him the accreditation of Certified Speaking Professional, a designation held by only 12 per cent of speakers globally.

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