The Entertainer

Complete combat equipment of the ancient Greek warrior lie on a box of wooden boards. Isolated on a dark background.

Over twenty years ago, director Ridley Scott’s film Gladiator won the Best Picture Oscar. It’s a great movie, but the Director’s Cut holds many gems that were edited out when the film was released. At one point, Proximo, the Gladiators’ promoter, says to his champion Maximus, “All you do is kill, kill, kill. The audience doesn’t want a butcher, they want a hero… Remember, you are an entertainer; so entertain!” Proximo turned a combatant into a strategist.

When you present, focus on more than the content. How you invite your audience in to accept and embrace your material is equal to, if not more important than the content itself. Intellect alone is a blunt weapon. Consider impression management, or how you will be perceived. And how will you structure your material so that it has the greatest emotional impact?

Look beyond the facts if you want to stride into any arena and compete. Be Maximus-- a strong messenger in the moment, but also a brilliant strategist playing the long game.

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