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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.
252 Episodes
“Why would I need TWO coaches?” you may ask. To answer that question, Mark and Darren have a conversation with Stage Time University coaches Chris McGuire and Mike Davis. They have coached together, as have Mark and Darren, and in today’s discussion they explain the benefits of having a duo coaching team.   SNIPPETS: • Different coaching styles are complimentary   • Different perspectives create multiple options for clients   • Client gets twice the value in half the time   • Coaches learn from each other   • Coaches become better when they coach together                                             • Duo coaching is more engaging   • Duo coaching is more dynamic   • Duo coaches trigger each other’s thoughts   • Duo coaches must check their ego                                             • Duo coaches grow in each other’s strengths   • Duo coaches must be sponges                                             • Batman and Robin roles interchange
Speakers make a common mistake when seeking audience participation. They ask “HOW MANY of you…” That question needs a NUMERICAL response. Today Darren and Mark explain how to ask BETTER questions, and how to use the audience’s non-verbal response to enhance their own experience.   SNIPPETS: • How would you say it over coffee to one person   • Use the language of a conversation   • Respect the versatility of the word YOU’   • Ask you-focused questions   • Put the audience into your story                                             • Tap into their world, and transport them into yours   • Give the audience time to answer questions in their heads   • Read the audience   • Acknowledge their responses, even non-verbal                                             • Take inventory of the questions that you ask   • Ask yourself, “Is there a better way to ask that question?”                                             • Speaking is dialogue, not monologue
Speakers sometimes ask for help making tweaks, adding humor, or finding more powerful stories…a few days before their presentation. All too often, it’s just too late. Today, Darren and Mark share their experience with speakers who have waited too long, explain the benefits of getting help early, and offer advice on how to avoid waiting until it’s too late.   SNIPPETS: • Get a speaking coach sooner   • Speech contestants, don’t assume you will reach a certain level automatically   • Stop making changes several days before the presentation. Freeze the design   • Don’t expect last-minute miracles   • Get help perfecting your script before focusing on stagecraft                                             • Getting help early has several benefits   • You will be more confident   • You will have stronger content   • You will find your best stories                                             • You will uncover humor in time to perfect it   • You will present more effectively                                             • You will deliver a more unforgettable presentation
You can’t teach everything you know in an hour. (At least we hope not!) So, if you are a speaker, consultant or coach are you allowing people to take more of your wisdom home? Anyone can write a book, but do you have the right book? Do you offer it in your proposals? What if you could wave your speaking fee and still earn revenue. Darren sits down with his publisher, Henry Devires to get some insights from experience. Why other experience does Henry offer? "The Agency Owner Book Guy" | Author of Marketing With A Book For Agency Owners | Agency Owner News | Agency owner TV show host | Professional Speaker | CEO of Indie Books | Ghostwriter & Writer for &   SNIPPETS: • Henry’s background   • Tapping into other budgets   • Why the right book matters   • What is an independent publisher?   • 3 Critical Mistakes author’s make   • It easier, faster and more affordable now than in the 1990’s   • The two biggest book revolutions publishing in the past 20 years   • Persistently helpful   • Success stories from Henry’s authors   • Write the Right Book Workshop
Every time you introduce a character in your story, you have an opportunity for humor.  Quirky characters are familiar, engaging, and create memorable moments in presentations.  Darren is joined by Television Writer & Producer Chris McGuire to discuss the people in our stories and how to make them unforgettable.     SNIPPETS: • Use quirky characters to create memorable moments that enhance speaker relatability with the audience.   • Character traits are the qualities that make a character memorable.  (Brave, smart, loyal) Quirks are exaggerated, unusual or unexpected qualities that add humor or intrigue to stories.   • Base your characters in reality and avoid making logical jumps that lead the audience to “crazytown.”   • Use the following quirks to make your characters memorable: Distinctive habits, ususual interests, eccentric speech patterns, exaggerated fashion and physical traits.   • Good joke formats for explaining quirks include “They were so [QUALITY]m that BLANK.” Or, “They’re the type of person who [GIVE EXAMPLE OF QUIRK]                                             • Use comedic twists to introduce quirks   • Quirks usually involve something the characters in your stories don’t know about each other.   • When using twists, you set expectations and then subvert them.   • Use sparingly or risk the audience noticing the “magic trick.”
How do four inexperienced presenters, who have never delivered a presentation to an audience of 1,000 people before, each get STANDING OVATIONS? Mark and Darren review their recent experience coaching four CEOs to deliver deeply personal 8-minute stories to their peers in the Young Presidents’ Organization. The lessons learned are invaluable and will help you to deliver your unforgettable presentation.   SNIPPETS: • Invest energy an effort   • Be coachable   • Practice, practice, practice   • Rehearse handling distractions   • Trust your instinct about what works well for YOU                                             • Talk to your coach about your ideas   • Tell your story in your own unique way   • Find your 11…that which makes you stand out   • Build a relationship with your coach                                             • Learn from others who have given similar presentations   • Don’t focus on a standing ovation
Humor is necessary to make a presentation interesting and entertaining. Uncovering humor can be a challenge, and to learn more about how to get more laughs, Mark and Darren sit down with Hollywood comedy writer and humor expert Chris McGuire. Chris shares tips and techniques for uncovering humor and being unforgettably funny.   SNIPPETS: • Use levity at the beginning of your presentation   • Connection with the audience is critical; always connect first   • Find out what the event attendees have in common   • Use People, Places, Things, Events, Sayings, and the Weather   • Be sensitive and avoid potentially offensive material   • Only poke gentle fun at things that folks can change, like haircuts & clothing   • Learn about your client’s industry   • Get interesting, unusual or significant details about the event location                                             • Get information from the client and venue’s websites   • Review event itinerary/schedule   • Connect the location to well-known celebrities if possible                                             • Look for awards humor
As presenters, we should expect the unexpected. At times, we will encounter unexpected circumstances and situations, and today Darren and Mark discuss steps that we can take to not only adapt, but to give our audiences unforgettable experiences.   SNIPPETS: • Assess the situations   • Explore options   • Use creativity   • Go heart-to-heart with the event planner   • Let go of your ego                                             • Adjust your presentation as needed   • Ask: How can I best serve my client and my audience   • Always have slide decks for different presentation lengths   • Learn about your audience and adjust your references if necessary                                             • Take an improv class
You want to ‘make it’ in the speaking business so you seek advice from a seasoned pro. Are you willing to take their advice…even if it’s hard to receive? Mark and Darren talk about advice they have received…and given…that some people don’t accept. These poignant nuggets of wisdom can help any presenter along the path to becoming unforgettable.   SNIPPETS: • Get your sea legs   • Find a way to give 100 speeches   • Invest the effort to get XXX rated…Xperience, Xpertise and Xposure.   • Take and pass the ‘book test’   • Get stage time from service clubs, Toastmasters and more                                             • Speak for free before you speak for fee   • Pay the mountain   • Do what others won’t   • Speak virtually even if it’s uncomfortable                                             • GET A COACH
You have just attended a conference, heard good speakers, and received powerful content. You walk away with a folder full of notes, e-mail addresses and phone numbers. NOW what should you do? Darren and Mark share best practices to keep your enthusiasm and momentum alive and productively take full advantage of the event experience.   SNIPPETS: • Review KEEPERS and ACTION ITEMS   • Prioritize ONE ACTION and follow through on that action consistently   • Connect with another attendee as an accountability partner   • Create a mastermind with other attendees   • Connect with fellow speakers and attendees on LinkedIn                                             • Connect with the event planner and thank them   • Eliminate items that create bad habits   • Apply the principles your learned                                             • Revisit your notes from the last event you attended and take ONE ACTION
You have just presented at an event and after all your hard work planning, preparing, and presenting, what should you do? Today Mark and Darren offer solid suggestions to help you stay on top of your game after every speaking event.   SNIPPETS:   • Schedule a day off   • Block time for your family, even if they are at the event with you   • Don’t ruin your “speaker’s high”   • Debrief with the client within a week   • Treat the debrief as a sales call   • Connect with fellow speakers and attendees on LinkedIn                                             • Ask for other opportunities to serve
Ep. 241 Road Warrior?

Ep. 241 Road Warrior?


So, you want to travel the world and share your message. Perhaps you’ve wondered what it’s like to be a ‘road warrior.’ Mark and Darren pull back the curtain on their experiences of a combined 50+ years of traveling to speak, and share their time-tested tips for being a successful road warrior.   SNIPPETS: • You are not alone   • It’s not always glamorous   • Give yourself grace   • Going international hire an agent/bureau to manage proposals & negotiations   • Examine the systems you set up to function while you’re on the road   • Arrive a day early to prepare yourself   • Tack on an extra road day to refill yourself; self-care is critical   • Decide what’s best for your stress   • Join frequent air/hotel/rental car programs   • Take photos of room numbers and parking spaces   • Use airport security programs like TSA Pre-check, CLEAR and Digital ID   • Maintain balance
Imagine, your largest audience so far has been fewer than ninety people, and you now get to tell your most emotional personal story on a BIG STAGE to more than 1,300 CEOs! What thoughts swirl through your head, and how will you pull it off?   Today Darren and Mark get answers from Management Consultant and Executive Coach Jody LaVoie. Mark and Darren helped to prepare Jody for her first time on the big stage…a global conference for CEOs. Jody’s lessons learned and wisdom gained will help you to get ready for your first (or next) time on the big stage!   SNIPPETS: • Be open to your coaches’ point of view   • Start preparing your presentation with the end in mind   • Build your story in scenes   • Invest time refining your message   • Use  Foundational Phrase to make your message more meaningful   • “Don’t over-Darren” - Bring YOURSELF to the platform                                             • Focus less on delivering your next line, and more on your audience   • Make sure your message lands with the audience   • Serve your audience   • After your first time on the big stage, take time to do nothing tomorrow
Have you ever received advice that changed the game in your business, career, or relationships? Today Darren and Mark discuss some of the nuggets of wisdom that they’ve received…and successfully applied…throughout their careers.   SNIPPETS: • Let no one out-prepare you   • Strive to be the client’s favorite   • Your money should make more money than you do   • A true champion overcomes all adversities   • Write a speech you can’t wait to deliver   • Humanize data          • Invest in your success   • Don’t be informative; be transformative
Don’t memorize, internalize! Do you have a stage plan? Had you considered using the stage with purpose? A stage plan can help you internalize your speech while giving your audience clarity.   It helped me and four CEOs that Mark and I coached over this past month. It was a game changer.   SNIPPETS: • Why are you moving?   • Are you clarifying or diluting your message?   • Do you move on your key lines? Don’t!   • Do you know stage left vs. stage right?   • Do you use the depth of the stage?   • What is your plan? Do you have one?
Sit down with Darren and Michael Davis as they cover what it really takes to make an event flow, the MC. Michael is not only a speaker and a TEDx Coach, he has been MCing Lady and the Champs and Game Changers for over a decade.  Unforgettable events have unforgettable MCs. World-class MCs have skillsets that many do not even think about. Whether you want to be an MC, speaking at a large event or running one, get a deeper understanding of the role they play. It is critical to the success of the event.   SNIPPETS:  • The critical skills of listening and improv?   • Transition from one speaker to the next   • MCs can get paid really well   • It’s a true team effort   • Two-way communication is critical   • The greatest compliment for Ford Saeks   • What did Patricia Fripp say about Michael Davis?   • Confidence comes from experience   • Virtual MC?   • The virtual proximity effect   Check out Game Changers: Use Ford’s Discount Code: Michael25
Sit down with Darren and Ford as they talk prospecting. How to remain timely, topical and relevant. What does an ideal prospect look like for you? What are some of the tangible tactics that you can use to get in front of the audiences you can serve. To get booked you have to be found first!  SNIPPETS: • What are some to the mistakes speakers make?    • Are you bookable?   • What is your digital footprint?   • Fish where the fish are and have bait!   • Deliver and create content on a consistent basis   • Do you have lead magnets?   • Are your lead magnets in a form they want to consume it?   • Build trust and social proof   • How to reach out to add value without selling   Check out Game Changers: Use Ford’s Discount Code: Ford25
Can you influence without authority? Yes! Do you know how to truly influence with integrity? You already do every day. Maybe you didn’t realize it. We do this naturally, but maybe you need to take a closer look at what you already do at home, at work and with your family. It is happening all around you. Take note and influence with purpose. Discover 7 Ways to Influence
In addition to being part of speaking communities, we, as presenters belong to professional, social, charitable, faith-based, and other communities. Today Mark and Darren discuss the power of community, examining the ways that communities make us grow…and change. They offer advice on collaborating with your community, growing your community, and even leaving your community. Using Stage Time University, Toastmasters International, and the National Speakers Association as examples, they show benefits and blessings of being in community with like-minded people and reveal how community has helped them to prepare unforgettable presentations.   SNIPPETS: • Community helps change perspective   • Choose your community   • Use your community   • Serve your community   • Build your community   • Don’t be abused by your community, if you must leave, do so with grace                                             • Protect your community   • Don’t think NETWORKING; think NETSERVING   • Is your community helping or harming you   • Take inventory of your communities
Thorough research is an invaluable part of preparing unforgettable presentations. There are myriad ways to access information, and so much information from which to glean. Where do I look? How much should I use? How can I verify? Darren and Mark discuss these questions with…and get answer from…researcher/author/speaker Vince Antonucci and comedy writer/TV producer Chris McGuire. Their perspective on effective research will help you to prepare your unforgettable presentation.   SNIPPETS: • Dig deeper into your subject   • Look for compelling and unique information   • Put in the extra work   • Use AI tools   • Use ‘old-fashioned’ tools; search and read.   • The more you learn, the better your chances of finding critical content                                             • Ask: “What generates an emotional response?”   • Test research results on small audiences to gauge emotional reactions   • Research for customization; learn from The Barenaked Ladies   • Use the ‘Registration Desk Principle;’ find what bugs everyone  
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