Picture this with me: You’re escorted from a posh waiting room down a few nondescript halls to a curtain. Behind it is a dark stage holding only a microphone on a stand in the circle of light cast by spotlights.
Peeking through the curtain— your eyes fighting against the spotlight— you catch a faint glimpse of faces in the crowd. Light reflecting off of someone’s glasses. Small movements here and there.
You pause to listen and hear the gentle murmur and rustle of this audience waiting in anticipation.
How many many people are there? I’m not sure. 400? 5,000? 28,000? The number matters less than their intent, which is to hear what you have to teach them. To learn what you have to say.
They’ve come to hear a short program, only a few sentences in length.
The stagehand escorting you tells you you’re on in 1 minute as the host steps up to the microphone. You hear her begin your introduction.