People in business often use the word passion when anger would be better advice

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

This is good, but I would change one word:

Passion – if you haven’t got it, kill your talk: you’re going to be mediocre. If you find the material tedious, imagine how monstrously dull it will be for your audience. Don’t settle for a subject you should be passionate about; you need to have real passion that the audience can pick up on. Software testing is the kind of thing that everyone ought to care about in the same way that everyone ought to floss their teeth daily. But unless you really have a deep personal feeling for software testing (or dental hygiene) let someone else give that talk.

In this wide ranging interview solo violinist Anne Akiko Myers explains how passion helps her with nerves (start listening at about the six minute mark if you’re in a rush)

When I perform I just want to.. I’m just speaking what I’m feeling. And so, I’m always telling myself, in fact when I get nervous, which is all the time, ‘just feel it and then it will come out.’ You know, ‘it’ll come if you just feel it.’ So, when the audience feels it too along with me, I mean, that’s what I’m doing this for: is to communicate with audiences, and hopefully make them feel something too.

The easiest way to become a great speaker is to speak about something you’re passionate about. If you feel it, your audience will too.

Often, if I want to write a great essay, I need to find something I’m angry about it. The anger gives my work a bit of energy, otherwise the essay will be boring. The same with presentations.

Obviously, you should not be angry while you are on stage. You should be as reasonable as possible. You want to be convincing. But in the initial conception of the work, it is often best to work with a subject that you are upset about. When I wrote Object Oriented Programming Is An Expensive Disaster Which Must End I was writing on a topic about which I was irate. Even after 5 years, that remains the most popular essay on this blog.

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