When I was just starting in my corporate career I was invited to attend a seminar on effective communication. Our guest lecturer that day was an outside consultant who, after being introduced with the requisite list of accomplishments, took the stage to address his audience.  He began his presentation around communication – noting its importance and criticality in advancing our careers – until he stopped to clear his throat and then cough. He excused himself and then began again. Thirty seconds later his voice cracked. He paused, looked at all of us and excused himself before walking to a table that sat at the end of the stage where a pitcher of ice water and two empty glasses were placed.

There he proceeded to pour water into the first of the two glasses – only to watch the ice and then the water tumble onto the table, the floor, and his shoes. There was an awkward silence before a murmur of laughter rumbled through the room. I turned to the buddy I was sitting beside and asked, "Wonder how much they paid for this joker?" 

Our speaker seemed shocked – but then he laid the pitcher down and walked back to the center of the stage before addressing the audience, still holding the empty glass. 

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