I saw this tweet today from Chris Anderson, who is the TED Talks guy and knows a bit about what makes for an effective speech. (He has a new book out on that very topic.)
Instead of approaching a speaking opportunity with the focus on you, the speaker, focus instead on the audience and what you hope to give them.
It’s not about what you want or what you can accomplish or your agenda or the applause or laughs or approval you hope to receive.
What’s your gift to the audience? How can you share something that meets their needs, that just might awaken a new possibility in them?
This, of course, applies well beyond just speech-making.
Whatever your art or your craft or even just your pay-the-bills kind of job, consider the gift you can offer with it, how you could create something meaningful for someone else. See if that perspective doesn’t transform your work and maybe your own sense of purpose.