27. Illusion of the First Time

Road (Show) Warriors

Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.

Hamlet, Act III, Scene 2, William Shakespeare

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As a presentation coach, I draw an indelible line between presenting and acting; this despite the fact that my education includes a Master’s degree in Speech and Drama from Stanford University. I do this because the businesspeople I coach—already stressed about the mission- criticality of their presentation—blanch at the thought of having to perform.

Nonetheless, I have carried forward one lesson from my studies in drama. It comes from William Gillette (1853–1937), an American actor whose claim ...

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