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Who's on first?

Suppose you're a sales manager of Wonder Widget, Inc., and you're invited to appear with three other speakers to discuss "Widget Marketing in the Twenty-First Century." Now, that's a broad enough subject to support four speakers, but unless you're scheduled to be the first speaker, or, you know well in advance what your fellow participants are going to say, you run the risk of having a previous speaker say what you had planned to say. And what could be more embarrassing, disconcerting, or boring to your audience than to find yourself having to plow somebody else's field?

If you happen to be last on the program, your speech will have to be especially interesting to hold the attention of an audience that undoubtedly will be growing weary. After hearing three speeches, the audience might be so tired by the time you rise to speak that they wouldn't listen if you told them a foolproof way to pick the winning lottery number.


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