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With experience comes the risk of being comfortable and too casual. Today Mark and Darren look at areas where presenters can become casual, and how costly it can be. They share behaviors to avoid…and confess to having been guilty of some…and offer practices that can help any presenter stay on their ‘A’ game to be unforgettable, both on and off the stage. SNIPPETS: Don’t neglect to write your own introduction Don’t fall into trap of thinking you can ‘wing it’ Don’t ‘phone it in’; show up and shine You can never over-communicate with clients and meeting planners Use custom visuals and avoid clipart and public domain images Examine the image you project off-stage; at the airport, in the hotel, etc. Ask yourself if it’s time to update your profile photo and wardrobe Re-assess your on-stage persona Engage an image consultant if necessary
You’ve invested hours preparing to deliver your unforgettable presentation, and you are READY! Right before you take the stage, the MC recites your bio, or decides to ‘wing it’ after a quick glance at your LinkedIn profile. Maybe they decide to tell a 4-minute story about the time they met you, and you can feel the air being sucked out of the room as the audience ‘checks out’. How do you avoid this? Darren asks Mark about his 7-Step Process for creating an engaging introduction, and they discuss the benefits of writing your OWN introduction. They also explain how a bad introduction will make any presenter unforgettable…for the wrong reasons. SNIPPETS: Write your own introduction Set up the listening Give the audience a reason to lean in before you say a word Send your intro to the introducer and meeting planner Have a call with your introducer before the event Remember the meeting planner is handling several issues; make it easy Panic-proof the process for your introducer and meeting planner Bring two copies of your introduction with you  
In North America, Thanksgiving is a time for food, fun and family. In this first LIVE brainstorming session, Mark and Darren come up with ideas for gleaning story and presentation ideas from the Thanksgiving holiday…and any other traditional family holiday experience. They reveal the what, the how and the why behind uncovering fresh and engaging material…while having family fun! Apply these ideas, find new material, and be unforgettable . SNIPPETS: Mine the memories Deputize your family to be your coach Don’t hold the gold or let it grow mold; it must be told Record conversations Capture details Recall ‘first-time’ attendee stories Elevate the elders and the young people in the family Focus on the food Remember those who are no longer here Examine traditions (who always sits where, games, family walks) Update your story folder
From playing in empty ‘dive bars’, to playing for millions and earning a gold record, to helping individuals and organizations ‘find their voice’. This has been the journey of Isaac and Thorald…The Brothers Koren. They talk with Darren and Mark about serving our audiences by becoming their ‘brother’ and delivering unforgettable experiences. The ideas, principles and practices that they share will help any presenter to be unforgettable . SNIPPETS: Nurture other voices Become someone’s brother Become a co-creator Dare to SUCK Try NOT comparing and NOT competing Take risks Invite your audience into your keynote experience Look for moment to make the audience feel needed Don’t present TO your audience; be WITH your audience Invite your audience onto your stage
Today’s guest Annie Sarnblad is a global expert on microexpressions…facial expressions that last a short time but reveal a great deal about us. In this lively and enlightening conversation, Darren, Mark and Annie discuss how microexpressions show our true emotions, help us read our clients/prospects, and help us connect with our audiences. Most importantly, by understanding microexpressions we can serve our audiences with compassion...which can make any presenter unforgettable . SNIPPETS: We are all wired with the same facial expressions In a meeting, always look at eyes first When their pupils dilate, they are most receptive Humans crave human connection, interaction and joy No need to create emotion; when we feel it our facial expression will show it Share your humanity with your audience by being authentic and real Attend every event networking opportunity, like VIP mixers and dinners Your audience may show disengagement; be kind and love them When we read each other better, we can be kinder and more forgiving Use stories to touch the audience’s emotions and inspire them
As important as our unforgettable presentations may be, let’s not neglect the impact of our relationships and our network. They help us make connections with our audiences, our clients, and our world. This is just one nugget of wisdom that Mark and Darren get from author, podcaster and Certified Speaking Professional Thom Singer, an expert in the areas of engagement and connections. Tom also explains how we can become memorable by the stories we tell and how we tell them. Most importantly, he proves that by connecting with event planners and audiences before and after our presentation, we can be unforgettable. SNIPPENTS: Your network should not just be about the next sale Business relationships are not just about business Likes, links, shares and follows are not the key to business success Digital connections are not the same as shared experiences Knowing you doesn’t mean they like, trust and respect you Don’t show up, speak and leave Attend every event networking opportunity, like VIP mixers and dinners Your speech is not the only way to connect with your audience We react to stories more than to data Use stories to touch the audience’s emotions and inspire them
There may come a point when a speaker decides to become a professional…a pro. Others take it one step further and decide to ‘Go Pro’. But what does that mean, exactly? What’s the difference between being a Pro and Going Pro? Are there levels of Going Pro? How does one do it? Today Darren and Mark get these answers and more from the Go Pro® expert: author and Hall-Of-Fame speaker Jim Cathcart. Jim breaks down the process and gives actionable ideas to help any presenter with an unforgettable presentation to Go Pro. SNIPPETS: Rules, standards & expectations change when you decide to Go Pro Identify your level of aspiration as a professional Avoid any lack of integrity Be valuable, intentional, disciplined, accountable and honorable Identify the habit that will transform you in five years Create the reputation that you want to have Create a PASSION AND PURPOSE statement Be intentional about who is in your circle Ask: “Who is glad that they know me?” Adopt a ‘Thought Diet’
In this final installment of a three-part series, Mark and Darren are joined by guest coach Mike Davis to review the presentation of the 2022 World Champion of Public Speaking Cyril Junior Dim. With a live webinar audience bearing witness, they discuss all aspects of this winning speech and point out techniques that can make any presentation unforgettable. SNIPPETS: ‘Own’ the physical stage confidently Use references with which the entire audience is familiar Audience participation and interaction are assets Emotional shifts magnify your audience connection When portraying characters, show their emotions When using a metaphor, callback later Movement must be congruent with words Stand still when delivering key points Claim center stage for your closing Look at the camera in a hybrid environment
The Toastmasters International Speech Contest draws the interest of thousands each year, and in this second episode of a three-part podcast series, Darren, Mark, and guest coach Mike Davis review the virtual presentation of 2022 First Runner-Up Alexandre Matte. They identify his many strengths and make suggestions that will help any presenter to be unforgettable. SNIPPETS: Answer the question in the audience’s minds early Establish characters by their location in your speaking area Portray characters using voice and mannerisms Be naturally conversational Use camera proximity to maximize microexpressions Genuine emotion resonates with your audience An accent can be an asset When speaking online, use camera proximity that serves your audience best Props are powerful when used effectively
Each year, 35,000 people enter the Toastmasters International Speech Contest with the dream of becoming the World Champion of Public Speaking. For this special three-part podcast series, World Champions Mark and Darren are joined by guest coach Mike Davis and a live webinar audience as they review the speeches of the top 3 winners in 2022. In this episode, they review the in-person presentation of the second runner-up, Mas Mahathir Bin Mohamad, highlighting what he did well and offering recommendations for enhancing his presentation. Unique but tasteful attire is an asset Dialogue enhances the audience’s experience In dialogue, characters communicate with each other, not the audience Consistent portrayal of characters makes them more real A foundational phrase makes the message memorable Identify scenes in your speaking area and remain consistent Couplets like UNCONVENTIONAL/UNCONDITIONAL are very effective Be very clear with your main message The camera is another person in the room
We all want a great audience, and most of the time, that’s what we get. However, sometimes we must face a tough crowd…unsmiling, stone-faced, and seemingly disengaged. What do we do? Today Darren talks with Mark  about a recent experience with a tough audience. Using lessons they both learned from being in that situation, they share common speaker mistakes and break down strategies for identifying and connecting with a tough audience. SNIPPETS: It’s not if, but when you will face a tough audience Some audiences don’t emote; not emoting doesn’t mean not enjoying Focus on serving your audience, no matter what happens Identify and address their top three frustrations and pet peeves Use before rapport to understand the atmosphere, mood and environment By failing to research you can create your own tough audience Avoid investing all your time trying to win over a few disengaged attendees Focus on those who are engaged Create a strong connection early Be willing to get physically close to the audience
Your presentation, your message, and your ability to share them are gifts to your audience. This advice comes from global workforce expert, international keynoter, author, and the recipient of Toastmasters International 2022 Golden Gavel Award, Dr. Shirley Davis. Darren and Mark talk with her about finding her gift early in life and becoming unforgettable despite facing several failures and setbacks. Her enthusiasm and wisdom provide a new perspective on our presentations, helping us to see them as gifts for our audiences. SNIPPETS: You will be attracted to your gift Opportunities are often disguised as failures Failure IS an option Bring your most authentic self and experience to every presentation Share your brokenness and your blessings See your gift as a blessing Stay in your lane and find what you do well Don’t show up and blow up Be excited about every opportunity to serve Feel unforgettable to be unforgettable
The Fripp Presentation Model is the perfect tool for preparing presentations that are well-structured, flow smoothly, and contain all the elements that transform a speech into an experience. Co-hosts Mark and Darren continue to use the model when they prepare new presentations…from keynotes to multiple-day workshops. So, what is it, and what’s the story behind it? Today Mark and Darren get the answers from the originator herself, their mentor, Hall Of Fame Speaker Patricia Fripp, co-author of their new book DELIVER UNFORGETTABLE PRESENTATIONS. Patricia explains the origin of the model, its components, how it works, and most importantly WHY it works. Their discussion reveals how this proven process has served them for decades, and how it can help you to prepare an unforgettable presentation. SNIPPETS: The model uses principles that apply to any type of presentation The principles will be the same, the examples will be different “Good structure brings you confidence and your audience clarity.” – Darren Trust the process Structure is the skeleton under the flesh of your words Provide chunks of content with supporting examples After each chunk, give your audience an opportunity to reflect Use a chorus or echo as your transition Speak to the audience of your audience
Nobody wants to make mistakes, but we all do…emerging speakers and experienced professionals alike. In this episode, Darren and Mark talk with their mentor, Hall Of Fame Speaker Patricia Fripp, and co-author of their new book DELIVER UNFORGETTABLE PRESENTATIONS. They discuss and expound on some common mistakes, and reveal a few others that presenters fail to recognize or acknowledge. This conversation sheds some light on simple adjustments that any speaker can make to transform speech into an unforgettable presentation. SNIPPETS: There are no mistakes, save one: the failure to learn from a mistake – Robert Fripp Work harder for your client than everyone else does Customize to incorporate the unique differences of every audience Don’t use language in that you would not use in daily conversation Prepare for the responsibility of speaking before getting the assignment Sameness is far more than a boring monotone. Avoid it Pause. There is not ‘nothing’ in silence Don’t cause cognitive overload by giving too much information For technical presentations, start simple and build up to the advanced
“Speak to TEENAGERS?” To some, that’s normal. To others, it’s SCARY. Today Mark draws from his 20+ years serving the youth market, as he and Darren discussion how to effectively connect with and serve that tricky age group of 11 – 18 years old. What they share will make it a lot less scary and will set you up for successful youth presentations. You may not want to, but you may get to speak to youth Learn their ‘language’ and what is important to them Learn what ‘moves’ youth by speaking with your children and grandchildren Your nieces, nephews, and neighbor’s children may be more open than yours Friends/family who are educators or work in schools can teach you a lot Show interest in young people, and show that you care about them Let them see themselves in your stories Entertain them. You are competing with television and social media Draw from experiences you had at their age
You may have more stories than you know, and for years, Darren and Mark have encouraged their students to ‘keep a story file.’ They have upgraded that concept and now encourage presenters to maintain a story FOLDER. In this episode they explain it, and share not only how we should use it, but WHY we should use it. This game changer will help you to uncover even more stories and provide you with more material to make your next presentation unforgettable. Upgrade your story file by converting it into a story folder Include infographics Add pdf files Add photos Upload video clips Insert song lyrics and audio files Make a new habit: test one new folder item every week Test at a Toastmasters club, with friends, and in conversation A family gathering is a great place to test stories…and to find new ones Develop the stories that resonate
You may one day be interviewed on television, and you may have only 3-5 minutes to deliver your message. How can you be effective in such a short time? Darren plays clips from one of his recent TV interviews as he and Mark discuss the importance of ‘soundbites’. They also provide tips on how to prepare for a television interview, and how to make the interview experience unforgettable…for the interviewer, for you, and for your audience. Prepare by timing your answers to interviewer questions Edit your content into sound bites Give short and succinct answers which include your soundbites Edify your interviewer Audiences will ‘vote’ for your best sound bites Use your soundbites at the ends of sentences, as ‘Punch Phrases’ Prove your interviewer with ‘B Roll’ footage and other visuals Collaborate with your interviewer to tell a story together Be conversational Be entertaining
Does your life hold an untold story? Perhaps one you tried before that didn’t work well, so you abandoned it? Maybe you thought it wasn’t powerful enough. Mark and Darren have a discussion on stories that remain inside us…stories that need to be heard. They share how to find them and offer suggestions for resurrecting and honing them. They also explore why those stories can be meaningful and offer specific action steps for revealing what just might be the greatest story you have never told. You may not see the value in your own story because you are too close to it Our ‘tragic’ story can be meaningful but we fail to see its significance One man’s mundane is another man’s magnificent You can move your story from ‘meh’ to memorable Testing an old story with a new audience can bring surprising responses An old story with a new application can yield powerful results Your experience over time has made you a better presenter Your maturity has given you a new perspective on your story Revisit your story folder; you’ll find a story you have never told
In this follow-up to last week’s episode about preparing to be a panelist, Darren and Mark share how some of the DOs and DON’Ts in Ep 153 have helped them. They served on separate panels in recent weeks, and in the aftermath of their recent panelist appearances, they discuss additional lessons they learned during that process. Additionally, they offer advice which, when applied, will equip you with techniques to make your panelist experiences unforgettable. You can’t possibly share all you know on your subject. Be succinct. Serving with the right co-panelists is important Learn the moderator’s and co-panelists’ credentials before hand Establish rapport with the moderator and co-panelists before the event When possible, get a look at the moderator’s questions ahead of the event Authentically edify your co-panelists Convert stories to anecdotes; time is limited Be willing to defer to a co-panelist when appropriate
Your expertise can earn you a seat on the platform as a panelist. Today Darren and Mark and Darren unpack the DOs and DON’Ts of serving as a panelist, and examine some critical pre-event responsibilities which, when followed, will help you to be an unforgettable panelist. Ask organizers the objective and intent of the panel Speak with the moderator in advance by phone or in person Ask the moderator how you can best serve them, and the audience Check your ego at the door; you are one of many experts on the panel Be open to differing perspectives offered by the other panelists If some disagrees with you, don’t get huffy or make unkind faces Honor time limits set by the moderator; it shows respect to all You can’t possibly share all you know on your subject. Be succinct. Answer questions in sound bites. Moderators will allow 1-2 minutes HAVE FUN
Comments (2)

Christine Halbe-Moore

this was so helpful and powerful thank you for sharing!!!!!

May 9th
Reply

ID3807359

Very informative podcast on Ted Talks! Wow! Great episode! I’m inspired to apply for a Tedx talk.

May 31st
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