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Bounce Around

I recently had one of the toughest art of public speaking meetings of my career.

It was a three hour afternoon session on the federal holiday for Reverend Martin Luther
King in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was difficult for many reasons, but none were due to race or running behind in the footsteps
of a giant in the art of public speaking.

One of the most trying challenges in this art of public speaking event was that the audience
consisted of all the employees of one company. They ranged from the lowest level to the highest
level in the company.

When you have all managers or all executives, it is relatively easy to focus in on their interests
and concerns.

But when you have such a varied group, you have to 'bounce around' and not spend too much time on the interests and concerns of any one type of audience member. If you do, you will lose the interest of all the other groups.

In the poem "IF" by Rudyard Kipling, a couplet says:
"If you can think, and not make thoughts your master, If you can speak and not make words your aim..."

Or, as a student in the art of public speaking, if you can grow to speak as a master, you can aim high and you can have all the world think the same dream, like Reverend King did over four decades ago when he said for all of us, "I have a dream...".

Antion & Associates Copyright 1998 - 2005

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