A zen monk, always calm among commoners, noticed he had sweaty palms while officiating at a nobleman's wedding.

He returned to his monastery, told his disciples he was not fit to be their teacher, and left in search of enlightenment. Eight years later, he returned to resume his duties, serving with equanimity commoners and noblemen alike.

Your sameness of bearing in front of chairmen and workmen demonstrates your ability to speak to the sameness of being in all your listeners.

Excerpted from The Essentials of Persuasive Public Speaking by Sims Wyeth. Copyright 2014, 2011 by Sims Wyeth. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Available at Amazon.

Published on: Mar 30, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.