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Unforgettable Presentations
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Unforgettable Presentations

Author: Darren LaCroix, Mark Brown

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Attention experienced corporate presenters, public speakers, professional speakers and pastors.

Do you want to deliver a good, a great or an unforgettable presentation?

Get insights from behind the scenes on some of the most unforgettable presentations ever delivered.

√ What's the story behind the presentation?
√ Where did the idea come from?
√ How did they prepare it?
√ How did they execute it?

Join World Champions of Public Speaking, Mark Brown & Darren LaCroix. They have been world-class speaking coaches for over a decade and have trained presenters in over 14 countries. You'll love their chemistry and wisdom.

What will you hear?
Some episodes will be rock-solid content, some episodes will be interviews with presenters who delivered an unforgettable presentation.
180 Episodes
Burned over 100% of his body at 9 years old, John O’Leary lives a story of great inspiration. Today he talks with Darren and Mark about his life’s journey and speaking career. John also dispenses advice on how to be a relatable and unforgettable presenter. SNIPPETS: Don’t think ‘marketing’; think ‘service’ The smaller the audience, the more difficult the talk Be radically authentic and highly relatable Begin with the audience’s need in mind Taking risks allows you to be great Change the temperature in the room Our best stories have very little to do with us Respect your audience; meet them where they are Keep leaving breadcrumbs for your audience to follow Move the audience to laughter and tears; share trauma and drama
“When should I use dialogue in my speech?” Darren and Mark have fielded this question numerous times. Today they provide answers…and a bonus: WHY it’s important to use a combination of both narration and dialogue. The reasons that they provide and the techniques that they recommend will help you improve your presentation and enhance your audience’s experience.   SNIPPETS: Convert NARRATION to CONVERSATION Don’t RE-ENACT; RE-LIVE Let the audience ‘hear’ from characters Narration sets up the dialogue Use dialogue when a character experiences a change Use dialogue when the story has emotional shifts See Ekman’s SIX BASIC EMOTIONS Add the emotions that the character feels Share the internal dialogue of the characters
You’ve worked hard, you’ve rehearsed, you’ve delivered your presentation…perhaps several times…and it’s GOOD. But is it good ENOUGH? Today Mark and Darren take a look at the dangers of thinking a presentation is ‘good enough’ and offer suggestions for avoiding the confidence that can become arrogance. They also discuss the mindset and strategies that can help you make a good presentation UNFORGETTABLE. SNIPPETS: How do you define ‘good enough?’ Ego gets in the way Confidence can be your enemy Is your presentation as good as it can be? How good COULD it be? It’s never good enough Deliver like it’s the last time Perfection is a dream; improvement is a reality Be coachable Prepare Properly Test, test, test
Every endeavor starts with Version 1.0. Today Darren and Mark present Version 1.0 of their podcast livestream using StreamYard for the first time. They speak with guest presenter Amanda Mae Gray…their StreamYard guru…about the importance of taking the first step in every endeavor. Together they offer solid suggestions for creating Version 1.0 of YOUR unforgettable presentation, testing it, and making adjustments along the way. SNIPPETS: Don’t try to make Version 1.0 perfect It’s not wise to test new content on a paying audience There’s no such thing as a ‘practice speech’ Any audience that you trust can tell you how your speech affects them Your audience helps you to write your speech Take the FIRST STEP in your speech and your business Version 1.0 is instructive and can show you what needs to be changed Version 1.0 leads to Version 2.0 and beyond Crave feedback
New Year Resolutions have become commonplace, and all too often, these resolutions don’t last. In this brief episode, Darren and Mark outline the difference between a resolution and a decision. They offer suggestions for the decisions you can make to change the trajectory of your growth as a presenter and become unforgettable. SNIPPETS: Don’t make a resolution; make a decision It starts with a decision Be willing to ‘burn the boats’ The critical decision is to take action Your decision precedes your transformation The decision affects your mindset Get a coach Take classes and courses Recommit to being unforgettable
Following up on last week’s episode featuring Australian international speaker coach Jennifer Leone, this episode features live coaching. Mark takes the client’s hot seat as Jennifer and Darren deliver insight on one of his previously untold stories. Using the questions discussed in last week’s episode Jennifer and Darren dig deeper into his story to unearth metaphors and messages that will magnify the impact of his story. Witness first-hand how working with a qualified coach can help any presenter…even seasoned professionals…to be unforgettable.
How does a coach help their client get to the root of a story? How do they help uncover the gems hidden layers deep within a story? Today Mark and Darren find out from Australian international speaker coach Jennifer Leone, a faculty member at Stage Time University. Jennifer reveals that unforgettable questions are the key to finding gold in our stories, and shares three specific questions that she asks, knowing that the answers will help any presenter to be unforgettable . SNIPPETS: People often tell only half of their story What is the OTHER half of the story? What is the benefit of a negative experience? What is the other person’s point of view? Ask deeper questions Ask another question What do you say to yourself in painful situations? Is there a present in your pain and a gift in your grief?
Do you have a presentation that has served you well for quite a while? Have you made any modifications recently? Could it be time for a ‘refresher’? Today Mark and Darren have a frank discussion about REVIEWING and RENEWING your presentation. They extend their conversation to examine how you show up for every presentation, and how you can ‘up your game.’ Their advice will help you to be unforgettable in every speaking environment. SNIPPETS: With experience you bring new ideas, knowledge and expertise Refresh your presentation or sermon Update your stories Take another look at your infographics and visual aids Review your examples and supporting evidence Are your references outdated Adopt new interactive tools like Menti and others Assess your workshop activities Replace your demo video if necessary Should you revise your website and social media profiles Examine your persona before, during and after your talk
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
Comments (2)

Christine Halbe-Moore

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

May 9th


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

May 31st
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