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What? You don’t enjoy public speaking?

“What do you mean you don’t enjoy public speaking?”
My friend was surprised to learn that his peers had perceived him as a fantastic public speaker. When he shared that he actually didn’t like being on a stage, they were – in turn – baffled to learn that.

How can someone who’s so good at speaking not like it? Worse: How can he be better than some of them who love the stage?

Actually, I encounter this mismatch quite frequently. Often, the best speakers turn out to be the very people who don’t seek out the spotlight.

Which is part of the reason why we find their speeches so enjoyable.

They don’t show up to show off. They show up because they care for their cause. Which gives their speeches a very different angle.

They don’t seek applause, but change. They are not looking to wow us, but to lead us to a profound aha moment.

They merely try to help us see what they see. And because they care deeply, they will not settle with confusing language, but look for crystal clear language that makes the complex feel simple.

To them, standing on a stage and giving public talks is an essential part of caring for their cause.

They may not enjoy the stage.
But they enjoy making change happen.

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A mismatch?

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