Speakers play a special role. But they are not the stars of the show.
Don’t worry. I will explain. I know that many public speaking gurus preach that public speaking is a performance. They want you to shine. Sometimes, they want you to steal the show.
The spotlight, for a moment, is on you but you do not have to steal the spotlight.
Because the speaker isn’t the main actor, the hero.
It is tempting for speakers to believe that because they are telling their stories, the event revolve around them. That moment of sharing their stories is their moment. What’s the use of research and rehearsals if you are just a supporting actor?
Supporting actors have to justify their roles.
And your role is to mentor the hero. You speak because you want the hero to learn from you. He or she is facing struggles. You don’t speak because you have struggles; you speak because you have surpassed them.
You know that your experiences and the solutions you have learned can help them. You want to encourage and enable them. Who is the hero?
The main hero is the individual member of your audience.
He or she is on a journey. The spotlight is on you because he or she needs your wisdom. Everything you say or do must support the hero. When you go down from that stage, the hero will have to face his or her demons by himself or herself.
You are a catalyst.
A catalyst speeds up change. That’s what you do as a speaker. You’ll give the hero an extra ounce of courage or a new way of thinking. But the hero, not you, will create a better future for himself or herself.
“Steal the show.”
You’ll hear this advice from well-intention people. But don’t commit their mistakes. Stealing the show may kill your hero.