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Be <i>‘The Man in the Arena’!</i><br>TR’s Famous Speech – A <i>Great</i> Les

Be In the Arena – Not in the Crowd!

So you give your speech and stumble – BIG DEAL!

Remember what TR said . . .

It’s been a bit over 100 years since President Teddy Roosevelt gave his ‘Arena Speech’, but the message rings as true today as it did then.

The essence of that quote, from the longer talk Roosevelt gave that day (one of my favorites and placed at the end of this blog post), is that it is far better to have tried and failed, then to have not tried at all.

The ‘crowd in the arena’ watches the battle, but doesn’t benefit as much as the individual actually in the arena – or at the lectern!

Those words are still a great reminder for anyone who needs to remember that life is full of defeats and victories.  We learn from both.  Continue to believe in yourself and your goal of speaking.  Know that each speech can be better than the last.

Each speech is a learning experience, and you will learn each time you present.  The ‘crowd’ wants you to succeed.  They are glad it is you and not them ‘in the arena’.

Far better to be on the stage and stumble, then to be in the crowd and ‘not in the fight’.

Anyone and everyone can be a critic.

And . . . You could be the only one who knows you stumbled.  Don’t bring attention to this by saying, “Oops!” or “I’m sorry”.

You don’t want to be too polished.  The ‘crowd’ relates better to you as ‘one of them’ if you do make a few mistakes.

Speaking, and speaking again and again is the only way you’ll get better.

We learn by doing, not by watching.

Get into the arena (Stand at lectern)!

Here’s the portion of the speech so often quoted:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

“Citizenship in a Republic,”

Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Do as Teddy Roosevelt encourages and‘Be the Man in the Arena’. Do this and Your speech will be: absolutely; positively; there’s no doubt in my mind; no ifs, ands, or buts about it; Your speech will be – No Sweat!


Three ways to keep the attention of your audience.

About the Author Fred E. Miller is a speaker, an international coach, and the author of the books, “NO SWEAT Public Speaking!” and “NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

Businesses, Individuals, and Organizations hire him because they want to improve their Networking, Public Speaking, and Presentation Skills.

They do this because they know: Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

They also know: We perceive really great speakers to be Experts. We like to work with Experts.

He shows them how to: Develop, Practice, and Deliver Fantastic Presentations! with – NO SWEAT!



  1. Lessening The Fear of Public Speaking with – NO SWEAT!

  2. Speaking Opportunities are Business, Career, and Leadership Opportunities.

  3. We are All Self-Employed!

Subscribe to my YouTube ChannelPodcast Channel, and connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook.

My books can be purchased on NO SWEAT Public Speaking” NO SWEAT Elevator Speech!”

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