"It's inappropriate!" they say. "Celebrities should keep their opinions to themselves!" "We pay you to act and entertain us!"
So let me ask you this: If you had a platform where you could reach hundreds or thousands or millions of people all at once—and you had something really important to say, would you use it?
You don't think of yourself as Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes—and you're not—but I guarantee that many of you are using the platforms you DO have every day.
Are you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ or Tumblr? Do you ever post your opinions about things (anything: food, people, music, politics, organizations, cars, football teams, Mac vs. PC...) on any of these social media channels?
Do you ever regale your friends with your ideas while you're sitting around having a drink? Do you share your ideas on a large or small scale at work, at the place you volunteer, in your committee meetings, at the dinner table? Yeah, you're using your platform.
You think it's different, that Meryl Streep went to the Golden Globes to win an award, so it's not appropriate. But you—you're just doing your thing, hanging out in your "virtual living room" on Facebook or Twitter, and everyone should expect you to say what's on your mind, right?
I just randomly scrolled through my Twitter stream to see what people were saying. Here are some of the opinions I encountered:
"Why do some people use the word feminist as an insult? A feminist is simply someone who believes that women should have equal rights to men."
"We need a lot more love songs."
"Vaccine-pushers calling for even more injections in children is chemical violence against them."
"If you're not pissing off someone you're not doing your job."
"Why Every Entrepreneur Needs to Start #Blogging Immediately"
"Need an influx of cash? Borrow from a friend or family member."
I may or may not agree with these, but the fact remains that these people are using their platforms, in this case Twitter, to share their thoughts, ideas, and beliefs.
See, we do this every day. All day. We share our opinions with the world.
Everything I say on Twitter has a chance of being seen by my 7,840 followers, plus others who don't know me who are scrolling through. Everything I say on Facebook has a chance of being seen by my 1,879 friends, plus their friends, plus others (my posts are public).
Is everything I say momentous? Nope. Is everything I say even worth your taking the time to read? Nope. Nevertheless, it's my opinion and I choose to share it, for various reasons, because I want to. Just like you do.
Your platform may be bigger than mine or smaller than mine. You may be standing in front of audiences, shooting videos, recording Facebook Live streams, leading webinars, facilitating small discussion groups or retreats. And your platform can always be bigger and more widespread, if you want it to be.
You have a platform. Don't kid yourself that you don't. Yours isn't as big as Meryl's, but you use it when you have the chance.
So knowing that you have a platform, that you can grow a platform, and that more people could be hearing what you have to say, how are you going to make the choice to be conscious about your platform?
Are you going to choose to use the platform you have wisely, thoughtfully and in an organized fashion to share your message with those who most need to hear it?
Here's a chance to make that leap from wanting to express your ideas better, more articulately, concisely and powerfully, to actually doing it, and using your platform strategically.
Join me March 20-22 in Santa Barbara, California for my 2 1/2-day retreat "Shake Up Your Speaking: Get Real... Get Results."
Stop fantasizing about having a platform for your ideas. Stop using the platforms you have in a slipshod or haphazard way. Get organized. Get clear. Be compelling.
You may not have millions to share your ideas with, but you do have an audience. Make your ideas stand out. See you in March!
Photo credit: MTSOfan The Woman With the Bull Horn via photopin (license)