This is a very special holiday. It honors those who have paid the ultimate price. They have given their lives. They can't read this or any other article on how much we appreciate them. We are taking time off from our daily routine to remember them. However, we are the ones who benefit. We are free to choose because of them. We are free to achieve because of them. We are safe because of them. We are comfortable because of them. We are alive because of them. Today, there are many young men and women who are enlisting in our armed forces to continue the legacy of those who have gone before. They may be called upon to go into harms way. In memory of those who have given it all, may we be mindful and pray for those who will follow. There are many reasons that people join armed services, but someday, no matter what their purpose was, they may lose their lives protecting the rest of us. It's a noble cause, a noble profession, sometimes thankless. It shouldn't be so.
I'm certain that someone who has lost a loved one or close friend in the service of our country is reading this. I just want you to know that this American appreciates, with all my heart, those who have died so that we may enjoy the freedoms of this, the greatest country that God has ever allowed to exist.
This is a question that many answer in the negative. what is an"good speaker"? It's actually someone who connects with the audience. There is a difference between a "good speaker" and someone who can influence opinion while speaking before an audience of any size. I think the better terminology would be"good influencer". TED talks can be found on youtube.com. As you observe the speakers, you may notice that the presenters, by and large, are not what people would call good speakers. However, they do persuade. Most of them actually read a prompter with a narrative that was written with feeling and passion for the subject. The subjects usually fit the presenter. They are very comfortable with their subject and have great conviction about the subject matter. That conviction is projected to the audience. I have presented to audiences of all sizes and on various topics. The response from the audience has varied. The subjects I am most passionate about have received the best audience acceptance. My performance must be respectful of the time that the audience has invested. They are taking a certain amount of time out of their lives to listen to what I have to say. I must deliver a message that has value. If it has no value, even the best presenters will not connect. Subjects that are presented by passionate speakers are always well received.
My speaking history began with a passionate disdain for speaking, however, I knew that my career was dependent on overcoming my fear of presenting. Accepting failing grades in school in order to avoid a 2 minute book report was normal. I failed an entire year of English because of my refusal to present. So, I am no stranger to this phenomenon, but the embarrassment of failing is worth the achievement of improvement.
When presenting your practice, remember to discuss those elements of what you do that you are passionate about. Tell stories that illustrate your passion. Your audience will connect.