Marcus Tullius Cicero, the great Roman orator, said, "Tickling and soothing anxieties is the test of a speaker's impact and technique." He could have said the same about dramatists and storytellers.

We humans come together over drama. In the past, we gathered to hear stories around the fire, sagas of gods sung on a lyre, and the tragedies of great men with fatal flaws.

We're still doing it. We gather to watch plays, movies, and TV shows. We gather by the millions to watch sporting events, because the outcome is uncertain, and we stay up late to see what happens next.

A speaker should be a dramatist capable of capturing and holding attention by tickling, then soothing audience anxiety.

Let there be drama in your presentations.

"Adapted 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.