“We await glory in silence, oh, let the din of battle begin.”
A midshipman on Collingwood’s flagship wrote this in his diary as his ship sailed into battle at Trafalgar
“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best …”
(and then he had to stop and think).\
“Because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were …”
(but he didn’t know what it was called)
Tomorrow night is the first American presidential debate.
Back in December 2009 when Enlightened Conflict was in its infancy, and I really didn’t know what I was doing, I crammed 4 great quotes into one post .
“We await glory” was one of them. At that time I used it to discuss ‘the moment before the moment’ with regard to presenting.
This all came to mind thinking about the 1st presidential debate tomorrow night.
Insert a big “gulp” here.
Simply suggesting ‘anticipation’ probably undersells the whole depth & breadth of this type of presentation of ideas and thinking.
It’s bigger than something as simple as a bland non dimensional anticipation.
And, yes, I am purposefully using anticipation rather than expectation.
I do so because expectations are tied to the audience while anticipation is tied to the presenter.
As a presenter I always expect, and expected, to do well.
As a presenter my anticipation altered depending on the moment, the situation and the audience.
It is relatively obvious to say that the more relaxed you are with the moment, the situation and the audience <all aligned> the higher likelihood you will do what you set out to do.
And that is all a reflection of ‘anticipation.’
And that is where ‘we await glory in silence’ comes to the forefront.
To a presenter anticipation roars toward you like an oncoming train.
I tend to believe experienced presenters let anticipation come at whatever speed it wants to. They are focused on the glory and the anticipation kind of seems to match the moment more or less.
I will admit.
The more experienced you become the better matched the anticipation is to the moment. In the beginning … most less experienced or amateur speakers tend to have a higher level of anticipation than the moment truly deserves.
Anticipation exists. Anticipation arrives at its own speed. And anticipation will inevitably crash into the event, situation and moment.
That is all a given.
That is all speaker & presentation truth.
I believe the best speakers permit anticipation to do its thing because they … well … they have an internal buffer.
… although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before …
It is the moment before the moment.
It is the moment in which everything stills.
The moment in which anticipation, which up until that moment was racing at you like a frickin’ runaway train, breaks … and stops.
The clacking of the train stops.
There is no warning whistle.
The noisiness slips away so suddenly that everything, even the birds, the breeze, the neighbors next door … seem stunned into silence.
This is the speaker’s moment.
This is the buffer between anticipation and the glory.
This is “awaiting glory in silence.’
This internal buffer is tricky because you want to expect it to be there but you also are a little nervous that it just may not decide to show up on that day. Over time … once proven … a speaker KNOWS it will be there <and I could argue knowing actually begets it>.
Debates are absolutely a different type of speaking & presenting and I will suggest Clinton is significantly better prepared for the ‘anticipation to glory’ transition. And, yet, just listening to Trump’s debate preparation plans … I sense he understands the potential dynamic and is actually trying to manage the ‘anticipation’ side of the equation. Good move on his part.
Do I believe one debate will dictate the outcome of a presidential election?
No. Of course not. Just as with any presentation … a presentation is a presentation and unless someone dies there is another day.
Just as I have seen speakers who have unsuccessfully navigated the anticipation to moment gather themselves and still attain glory at the end … I have also seen glory attained in a variety of ways post presentation.
All I know is that I love that moment in which anticipation stops & becomes silent and … well … you can feel the entire beauty of the glory that awaits.
Beauty is the truth.
It may be one of the greatest feelings in the world for a speaker.
I imagine part of the glory resides in the fact that even if you lose … it shall be said ‘we died like brave men/women’ in the name of what is right.
“If success attends my steps, honor and glory await my name-if defeat, still shall it be said we died like brave men, and conferred honor, even in death, on the American Name.”