Fine-Tuning Your Delivery

The human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.

——George Jessel

Plutarch, the first-century Greek essayist and biographer, tells us that, in ancient Greece, Demosthenes had a burning desire to sway audiences with his speeches. Initially, however, he was so inept at delivering his orations that people mocked him when he spoke and laughed him out of the assembly. An actor finally told Demosthenes that it was “of little or no use for a man to practice public speaking if he neglected delivery.”

Demosthenes took the advice to heart and went to a subterranean cave where he stayed for weeks at a time slaving in solitude to master delivery skills. To protect himself ...

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