How do I put this?

That’s when people know you’re serious.

And it’s a brilliant trick.

Like saying “Let me ask you something” or “At the risk of sounding tacky…” (thanks Bob).

The audience just leaned in. They’re yours.

The alternative is to pause, refine the statement. But the alternative is not how smart people think. To be tactful is to love language.

By offering disclaimers we train the audience; Their willingness to understand and their power to forgive.

So go ahead and try, it makes a difference.