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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.
198 Episodes
“I’ll just add a couple of stories, insert a few activities, and I’ll convert my keynote into a training. That should work, right?” It’s not that simple, and in this episode Darren and Mark find out why as they speak with fellow Certified Speaking Professional and trainer extraordinaire Ed Tate. Together they discuss the differences between speaking and training and offer specific techniques for being effective at both. SNIPPETS: • Keynote Speaking share a BIG IDEA   • Training teaches the execution of the idea   • Keynote speaking informs, entertains, and inspires   • Training changes behavior   • With keynote speaking, attendees are impressed with the speaker   • With training, attendees are impressed with themselves   • Keynote speaking includes minimal participant activity   • Training includes movement; kinesthetic learning is the stickiest   • Stories are to keynotes as instructions are to training   • Training takes attendees through a process  
This question is based on the role of the lamplighter: a person employed to light and maintain gas streetlights. Today Mark and Darren explore ways that we, as presenters, can be lamplighters for our audiences.   • One of your jobs is to light the path of those who follow you   • Your experiences can illuminate their path and make their journey easier   • Your lamplight identifies the danger for those who come behind you   • Your lamplight shows the path that you have taken   • Your lamp lights the path of people you don’t even know   • Your lamplight can lead others to their destination   • Work on your skills and storytelling NOW   • Let your lamplight be a legacy of value Work with Mark & Darren:
“So many presenters mistake memorization for preparation” says Darren, as he and Mark reveal some powerful principles for preparing and delivering unforgettable presentations. SNIPPETS: • Don’t memorize; internalize • Avoid rehearsing just to remember the words; rehearse to remember the idea • Use STAGEOLOGY to anchor your ideas to specific places on stage • Give your audience and idea, principle, technique, habit, tip or action item • Deliberately rehearse with loud noises in the room • It’s not ‘if’, but ‘when’ you will encounter unexpected distractions • Learn from the ways that comedians handle hecklers • Prepare your presentation in chunks and rehearse them out of sequence
As presenters we are often tempted to teach our audience everything we know. Mark and Darren drill down on the importance of, and methods for giving each audience one clear idea in every presentation. SNIPPETS: • Be completely clear on one specific idea • Don’t depend on implication; rely on declaration • Bring up your point; hold up your point • Give your audience and idea, principle, technique, habit, tip or action item • Use specific language like, “If you only absorb ONE IDEA, it’s this:” • Your ‘one thing’ must be easy to remember • Your ‘one thing’ must be immediately applicable • State your ‘one thing’ early in your presentation and repeat it at the end • Test your ‘one thing’ and get your audience’s response
The term ‘Selfish Presenter’ may seem harsh, but today Mark and Darren talk about one way we deny our audiences the full experience of our presentations. We give great value when we use the spaces between our words wisely. SNIPPETS: • Give your audience time to process your questions • Without reflection there is no connection • Place wisdom on the ‘Pause Pedestal’ and ‘put some air around it’ • Pause in HEARTBEATS, not SECONDS • Your audience needs space to absorb you points • Use the pause to acknowledge the audience or affirm eye contact • Don’t step on your audience’s thoughts • The most important part of the presentation is the thought process in the audience’s mind
It’s easy to focus on your next presentation based on the occasion, especially when you have customized it for a specific audience. Today Darren and Mark offer advice on thinking about the future value of your presentation. Speech contestants often prepare for a specific contest, then set the speech aside. Mark and Darren explore ways to extend your speech’s shelf life, modify the format, and reach broader audiences. SNIPPETS: • Think and act today for the future • Ask: “What other audience needs to hear this message?” • Make adjustments immediately when you think of them • Resolve to evolve • Expand your audience demographic • Convert you message into a different format • Look for additional messages in your content • Think, “The NEXT time I give this speech, I will…”
No matter how pithy your point may be, you have to PROVE it to your audience. Today Darren and Mark offer nine ways to do so, while establishing a deeper connection to your audience. You need not use all nine at once, but when chosen selectively and used effectively, they will help to make your presentation unforgettable. SNIPPETS: • Personal stories help you to establish a relationship with your audience • Connect to your audience’s world • There are ways to keep your audience fully engaged • It is important to SHOW your method or process • Infuse your data with human characters • Give your audience a representation of your expertise and experience • Involve your audience with tools like Mentimeter
You deliver your presentation, then well-meaning friends and would-be advisors offer their feedback. However, their recommendations vary widely. Which do you implement? Mark and Darren share their experience and offer specific guidelines and a process for deciding which feedback you should use. SNIPPETS: • Facilitate your audience feedback • Ask your audience members key questions • Discern which feedback fits for you • Individually inventory each piece of feedback • Remember you are the CEO of your speech • Don’t use feedback just because it’s from someone with status or authority • Test every bit of feedback and follow your heart
Mark and Darren have oft said that the first step to an unforgettable presentation is A CLEAR MESSAGE, but what is Step #2? In this episode they describe your Foundational Phrase and explain how a well-crafted Foundational Phrase can make your presentation unforgettable. SNIPPETS: • Create a Foundational Phrase to make your message memorable • It should be rhythmic • 10 words or fewer are easier to remember • A well-crafted Foundational Phrase has weight and influence • It should run like thread throughout your presentation • It can be rhyming or alliterative • Connect your Foundational Phrase to your message • Brainstorm with a friend to craft each other’s Foundational Phrase
A key element in a story is the hero’s journey, and it must end in transformation. There are ways to make the transformation clear, and meaningful, to your audience. Darren and Mark talk about that transformation and offer simple but practical techniques for doing so.    SNIPPETS: • If there is no transformation, there is no story • Establish an emotional connection between the hero and your audience • RELATABLE - Your audience should relate to the hero’s struggle • DESIRABLE - Your audience should want the hero’s transformation • Include the right details and paint the right picture of the hero’s ‘THEN’ • Let the audience witness the change and see the hero’s ‘NOW’ • Show a vivid contrast between the ‘THEN’ and the ‘NOW’ • Let another character see and acknowledge the transformation • Revisit your story and make your character transformation clear
“If you want to get booked, you need a demo reel!” This is now common advice for speakers. But what makes a good speaker demo reel? Where do you begin? Today Mark and Darren find out from Chris West, Founder and Owner of Video Narrative, Inc. and the authority on outstanding speaker demo reels. His advice provides a roadmap of the steps necessary for you to create your unforgettable speaker demo reel! SNIPPETS: • Position yourself in a category of ONE • Turn your story into a video narrative • Your video should be like a good movie • Meeting planners view video to create their short list • Meeting Planners look for reasons to disqualify you • It is your #1 sales tool • It should clearly distinguish you as the one, or NOT the one • It must define problems, teach tactics, give you credibility and show results • It should be under four minutes long • It should answer the question, “Why should we choose you?”
“Don’t give a speech; deliver an EXPERIENCE!” is an exhortation that co-host Mark offers frequently. Today he and Darren dive into the ‘3-D’ technique they used with a recent coaching client. They discuss how this technique will help you to authentically recreate and relive the scenes in your stories, elevate your audience’s experience, and make your story unforgettable.   SNIPPETS: • Go beyond stage-ology • Recreate and re-live your stories • Anchor scene locations in your speaking area • Anchor points of wisdom to specific locations in your speaking area • Use post-its to represent and rehearse specific locations in a scene • Use stage depth for realistic distances in scenes • Use angles to correctly depict the location of objects and characters • Realistically show character height differences when standing, sitting etc. • Visit speaking location beforehand and map out post-it locations
Can you remember the moment when you KNEW you were ‘legit?’ Perhaps you’re an emerging presenter and have no idea what that means. Darren and Mark each share their coming of age story and explain how acknowledging, understanding and sharing your coming of age story can serve your audience and make you unforgettable.   SNIPPETS: • Your journey encourages others • You can come of age by teaching other people’s content • Strive to be unforgettable • Dollars follow impact • Always deliver value • You can start by delivering fee-waived presentations • Share your coming-of-age story • Encourage others to share their coming-of-age stories
Ep. 185 Your Next Step

Ep. 185 Your Next Step


It’s always nice to know that you rocked your presentation. The audience is buzzing and the event planner is happy. Do you go home thrilled with a job well done, or have you missed a critical step? Today Mark and Darren offer a perspective on the step that can serve your audience beyond your presentation, a step that provides additional value, a step that can make you unforgettable.   SNIPPETS: • Added value is your responsibility • Define your next step • Believe in your next step • Point your audience to additional resources, even if they aren’t your own • Give your audience a reason to desire more from you • Think OFFER, not SALE • You’re not HAWKING, you’re HELPING • Give your audience THEIR next step
You’ve delivered your presentation, but your impact doesn’t have to end there. How can you extend your influence? With testimonials! How valuable can they be? Listen as Mark and Darren discuss the influence that testimonials can provide. They explain different types of testimonials, how to  capture them, and how to use them effectively, proving that powerful testimonials can help you to expand the reach of your unforgettable presentation.   SNIPPETS: • Multiply the value of your presentation • Get Event Planner testimonials • Get event attendee testimonials • Maintain separate folders for testimonial types • Use iRig mic with your mobile device • Compile specific questions to get influential responses • Get Virtual testimonials • Edit video testimonials and use a royalty-free music bed • Have Execs/Event Planners identify themselves in testimonial videos • In text testimonials, highlights key observations by key individuals
How do you handle the overwhelming questions and comments that come after your talk? How do you get testimonials when others want to talk to you? How do you focus on one person when someone else wants to join in? Today Darren and Mark answer these questions and offer additional ideas to help you be even more unforgettable after your talk.   SNIPPET: • Be accessible after your talk • Get Event Planner testimonials • Use iRig2 mic with your mobile device • Wear your own recording device during your talk and leave it on afterwards • Ask: “What specifically helped you or made you feel connected?” • Capture common comments • Study responses and find the gold • Deputize someone to record for you
What can presenters learn from a professional football (soccer) commentator? Today Mark and Darren find out from Peter Drury, rated by the world’s largest football community 90min as “the best commentator of all time.” Among other subjects, Peter discusses preparation, criticism, customization, being respectful with language, and showing up BIG every time. He even participates in an impromptu word game along the way! The principles he shares will propel any presenter on their journey to being unforgettable. SNIPPETS: • Love the words you use • A speech is not well-delivered if it sounds too written • You do your best work when you are relaxed • There is no excuse for not being absolutely prepared • Stay on top of your subject • Be respectful and careful with language • Accept fair criticism; be robust in the face of unfair criticism • Be self-critical • Listen to the people you trust • Remain yourself; humble, authentic; and do it because you love it
Is there a science to being unforgettable? The answer comes today from the man known as “America’s Science Teacher,’ author, Hall-Of-Fame speaker, TV personality, and Guinness World Record holder Steve Spangler. He reveals the ingredients in his formula for unforgettable presentations…and shares some sensational science as well! SNIPPETS: • People don’t connect with characters; they connect with human beings • Have a thirst for growth • Never use your skill as a gimmick • You have a purpose; your job is to not deny it • Listen to what connects with your audience • Be willing to ask for help and have a confidant • Use the support of a mastermind • Speak to civic and service groups to gain experience • Don’t brag that you’re a pilot; log the cockpit time • Engage your audience and get them to think differently
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
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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