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The Rise of Swearing in Keynote Presentations

Motivational Speakers, Swearing and the Science of Honesty

I’m old school on this – I don’t swear during my presentations.  I even removed “crap” as I thought it distracted the audience from the key point I was trying to make (Thanks to feedback from attending Keynote Kamp, which I highly recommend for professional speakers).  However, and I don’t know if it is a guilty pleasure or not, I do like it when some speakers swear.  And, I think I just figured out why.

A January 2017 study from the journal of Social Psychological and Personality Science titled, “Frankly, We Do Give a Damn – The Relationship Between Profanity and Honesty,”  says that swearing can be a strong signal that the swearer is being honest.  Specifically, the study states:

“We found a consistent positive relationship between profanity and honesty; profanity was associated with less lying and deception at the individual level and with higher integrity at the society level.”

Like most of the world right now, I’m sick of politicians and advertisers clearly trying to pull the wool over my eyes. I want less deception and more no-holds-barred truth.  Hold the B.S. (Bull Stuff) and be real and honest.

Change Your Day Book

Swear free, stress less ideas

Here is my theory – some popular keynote speakers, especially in the marketing space, got a strong positive response to swearing because audiences, now more than ever, want honesty and authenticity.  I can tell you from experience, when professional speakers feel a positive response from an audience, they will replicate it from that point on.  Other speakers watching in the audience will feel it too.  We speakers are not immune to a little hero worship, so many will replicate it as well.  Thus the spread of profanity in professional presentations.

Even if you love an occasional F-bomb in a presentation, I think there is a potentially huge cost for the speaker and those who hired her or him. The speaker may come across as more honest, but will often lose connection with more audience members than they connect with.  The caveat is that for some speakers and audiences swearing is congruent and it works all the way around.

So, what do you think?  Do you like or dislike it?  This could be a fun discussion, comment below – I really want to hear what you have to say – four letter words and all.

P.S. If you are a speaker and do swear, warn the meeting planners beforehand.  They can prepare their committees and audience members and help you be more successful.



Success Under Stress: Get Refocused On The Big Picture With Three Simple Steps

In this video Andy shares how to get re-motivated and at your productive best by getting refocused on the big picture.  This video helps improve motivation, sales, customer service and overall wellbeing.


“Staying focused on the big picture motivates you and increases productivity.

But, when stress hits, or when you get really busy, it becomes harder and harder to stay focused.

So, I’m going to share with you one quote and three steps that will inspire you, energize you and help you be way more SUS.

“The people who matter right now are the people who can simplify this complex, and sometimes scary world we live in, take people by the hand and show them a path to a better life.”
– Malcolm Gladwell

Three steps to getting refocused on the big picture:

1. Simplify

2. Take by the hand

3. Show them a better path

Stress speaker and author Andy Core presents video ideas from his Keynote speeches and workshops.  For more information on his speaking engagements call 800-605-8480 or email nanci(at)


A Surprising Way to Reduce Stress & Improve Resiliency

Improve your ability to manage stress under pressure by helping others.


In this video I discuss the counter-intuitive idea that helping others can help you better manage stress and offer a great approach to helping others so that it helps you as well.


Q&A Tips on Improving Productivity at Work

Thrive at work

Increasing productivity through better work-life balance

Stress Motivational Speaker Shares Time Management Advice

Since I write and speak on stress and productivity, I’m often asked, “What do you do personally to stay productive?”  Here are a few of the common Q&As.

What are your favorite time management tactics?

I practice (and preach) Big Box Time Management.  it is a concept that helps you feel accomplished at the end of the day so that you can leave work at work, enjoy your personal time more and fall asleep easier at night.  It is simply identifying what you must do in a day to feel accomplished.  That is sometimes a more productive way to refocus than asking yourself, “How can I do more?”  Here is a link to a LightBoard Video where I explain the concept Big Box Time Management.  

What is your greatest challenge when you manage time?

The biggest challenges for me are two sub categories of time management.

* Ping management – How good am I at designing my day so that technology does not interrupt my workflow?

* Opportunity management – How good am I at choosing the right opportunities to focus on?

What about when you just don’t feel like being productive?

One of the key concepts in my new book, Change Your Day, Not Your Life is:

“Motivation is just momentum in disguise.”  

Arrange your day and your thinking so that you can get on productivity runs throughout your day.  For instance, the first thing you do when you arrive at work or return from lunch creates the momentum for the next few hours. Choose your first actions wisely.

What do you do to be more productive?

The first step that I do is to define how I want to approach increasing productivity.  Should I try a new approach or should I focus on doing what I’m currently doing faster or more efficiently? I define this process in this video – Importance of Productivity in the Workplace and 3 Steps to Improve It.  After I get clear on my approach to improving productivity, I run the idea through my P=META formula so that I can get and stay focused and motivated.  Finally, I choose one idea, one change to focus on.  One of the biggest reasons you, I, any success focused person misses their goal is that they are trying to hit too many goals at one time.

I hope this Q& A on how I approach improving productivity is helpful.  If you have a question you would like me to answer, just post it in the comments section below and I will add to this post.  Thanks for being here!


Success Under Stress – Improve your energy and immunity with a better Future View

Beat stress with optimism

Future view, stress and immunity

Summary: Have you ever came down with a cold right after you finish a big project or return from a trip? Stress can zap your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness and infection.  You can, however, increase your immune system’s strength with a better future view.   This article and video give you three solid steps to improve yours.  (Also published on


When you think about your future, how positive is that picture?  Your future view either sabotages your energy and makes you more likely to get sick or it increases your positive energy and resiliency to stress and illness.

We think about the future many times each day.  Each time you do, what do you focus on?  Is your view of the future optimistic and full of possibilities, or is filled with stressful and worry? 

After 23 years of being a stress motivational speaker and researching working adults, I’m absolutely clear on one thing:

People who thrive under stress have better future views.

Let me back up that statement with some research.  In a 2010 study published in Psychological Science, researchers studied 124 law students to determine if their future view, how optimistic they see their future, affected their immune system.  They found that those with a more optimistic view of their future had significantly stronger immune responses. 

Meaning, their attitude made their body better at fighting infection.

That’s interesting don’t you think?  It gets even more interesting. 

As a “motivational speaker” on stress and productivity, I sometimes get push back when I share that being optimistic gives you a strategic advantage in life.  Some will say, “I’m just not that optimistic of a person.”

The really interesting aspect of this study is that the researchers found that the students baseline level of optimism did not have a significant affect on their immune system. 

This is great news, because you don’t have to be full-blown optimist to get the amazing benefits of improving your future view.  Even cynical, pessimistic, “dooms dayers”  can get the same, full benefits of an improved immune response if they improve their future view. 

We don’t have control over what the future holds, but we do have control over how we view our future.  This study shows that our bodies are designed to thrive when we look forward with optimism.  

Here are three steps to help you create a better future view:

A. Take a mental snap shot of your current future view.

What do you see when you look to the future?  How does that picture make you feel? 

B. Improve it.

Identify anything that can help support a better future view.  I flesh out how to do this in another stress management video, called 1 out of 3: How people who thrive under stress stay motivated.

C. Make it a pattern.

Whenever you think about the future, I want you to make that a trigger to refocus on how to make the future look better.

For example, I was the closing Keynote speaker for a group of meeting professionals call the Society of Government Meeting Professionals.  Their organization is going through some big changes.  I asked them, and I ask you – When you look to the future are you focusing on the uncertainty or the opportunity?  The added work or the chance to stand out?  The loss of stability or appreciation for what you have?

By choosing a more optimistic view, you will not only increase your energy and motivation, but you will strengthen your immune system.

I know this is a simple idea, but the better you get at developing a better future view the better your chances are at being successful under stress.

Contact Andy Core if you would like to improve the future view of your people – 800.605.8480,

CITATION: Optimistic Expectancies and Cell-Mediated Immunity: The Role of Positive Affect.” Segerstrom, Suzanne C.; Sephton, Sandra E. Psychological Science, Volume 21 (3), February 2010, Pages 448-455.

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Change Your Day, Not Your Life
A realistic guide to sustained motivation, more productivity, and the art of working well
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About Andy Core
Author and speaker on work-life balance, productivity and wellbeing
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