Opening a Presentation

Bert Decker offers some suggestions. Among them: “Tell a story. The easiest, best and most useful speaking tool is story telling, and we dont use it enough. It is the S of our SHARP principles to keep people involved and interested as you speak, and it is the MOST USEFUL at the opening. Tell a story of yourself, or an appropriate anecdotal story that your audience can identify with. Stories are easy to tell, will help ease the pressure you feel from the opening, and will connect to your audience. Remember that as kids we always heard stories read or told to us they are easy to hear. And they make a point.”

100 Most Influential Americans

[via Amit Varma] The Atlantic has put together a list of the most influential figures in American history. Among them:

1 Abraham Lincoln
He saved the Union, freed the slaves, and presided over Americas second founding.

2 George Washington
He made the United States possiblenot only by defeating a king, but by declining to become one himself.

3 Thomas Jefferson
The author of the five most important words in American history: All men are created equal.