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The Cardinal Rule: Never Be Boring

  • At a dinner party several years ago, the witty playwright Noel Coward and the Hungarian actress Eva Gabor were having a conversation.

    "Noel, Dahling," said Eva. "Have you heard the news about poor Bahnaby? He vass terribly gored in Spain."

    "He was what!?" cried Coward in alarm.

    "He vass gored."

    "Thank heavens," said Coward, "I though you said he was bored."

This resource is imbued with a rule central to any speaker's success: Never be boring. An audience will forgive almost anything if you don't bore them to death. As a speaker your first job is to be interesting; that's where you generate power: You are effective to the degree you capture your audience. If you are interesting, entertaining, and memorable, then people will think of you as a powerful speaker.

This system is a strategic shortcut gleaned from years of listening to and training speakers; chapters, exercises, and checklists that cover all the fine points of presenting; and a belief that power will stem from speeches that work hard to keep audiences entertained and interested. These elements make up an effective whole, as I'm sure you will see as you put the system to work for you. This resource was written with these three key words—never be boring—as the secret weapon that should be in the back of every speaker's mind.


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