Your name is called. It’s time. You spring out of your chair and hustle to the front of the room where you survey your audience. Perhaps your gaze encounters only five members of your company, waiting to discover the details of your new program. Or you may behold an audience of 500 strangers, there to hear your keynote address.
Regardless of the size of the audience, you are now the center of attention. The pit of your stomach, which felt empty while you awaited your turn, has begun to churn. Your palms are sweating, your heart rate has increased, and your memory suddenly seems erratic. Within a few seconds, the murmuring of the audience fades and everyone is focused on you, the speaker. You can see anticipation and wanting in their eyes. “Entertain us, teach us, persuade us, show us,” their eyes plead. You open your mouth to speak, and then . . . and then . . .