image from wikipedia, used under creative commons license

“thank you for coming out here today; i appreciate you all being here at the lincoln memorial with me.

“first i want to talk to you about abraham lincoln and his emancipation proclamation just to give you a little back story on what we’ll be talking about today. next i want to introduce the concept of ‘the bank of justice’ before moving into the urgency of now — why we need to act now to make a change. finally, i want to discuss my dream for the future.

“so, with that, let’s get started…”

if martin luther king, jr. started off his ‘i have a dream’ speech with that kind of introduction, in what ways do you think the impact would be different? would his speech be as famous as it is today? would we teach it to our kids in middle school? in college communication classes?

i don’t need, nor do i want, a purpose or agenda slide from you in your presentations. if there’s a specific purpose, i’m sure that i probably already know what it is. i was either sent an invite to your meeting — which hopefully, for both our sakes, has already mapped out the reason — or i found your talk whilst reading through the program list of breakout sessions at a conference.what i want from you is a story. i want a reason to believe in what you’re talking about.

we’ve already taken care of the purpose long before you took the stage. right now — with you standing in front of me — it’s your time to shine. it’s your time to share your story.

i want to know: what’s your dream?