Those are the words of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Russian literary giant who died yesterday at age 89.Â He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970 and was a brave dissident who spoke out against the Soviet regime.
Anyone who wants to be a great public speaker should heed his words. And while you’re at it, take a moment and read his obituary.Â Here is the one that ran in the New York Times.Â
Like Solzhenitsyn, the best speakers say something important to their listeners.Â The best speakers take a position.Â
Too many speakers go in front of their audiences and refuse to take a stand.Â If you think that a program needs to be terminated, then say so in simple terms. If you think that your competition has a great idea, then say so and propose a clear solution. Don’t be afraid to state your ideas powerfully and in simple terms.
Solzhenitsyn didn’tÂ waffle.Â Great speakers don’t either.