I attended a town hall meeting this week. During the evening, everyone in attendance took turns in the limelight and shared their thoughts within a set (i.e., brief) amount of time. Some spoke longer than the prescribed limit, some stopped speaking with time to spare.
It made me think: listening is hard work. Listening well is sport—giving yourself every chance to play well means arriving early at the venue, stretching out your mind and body and relaxing a bit, then mentally ramping up and focusing on the moment.
Listening well is an act of compassion. The same goes for thinking well.
It's a kindness to both yourself and your listeners to first pause and think about what you want to say and then to say it clearly, confidently, and with trust that your message will be heard.