Darren LaCroix’s opening keynote – Toastmasters: 2012 Fall Conference

Darren’s session
Check out his new product: Write Yor Keynote by Next Week


1994 club meeting – club president Dan Jones asked, “Darren, what do you have to give?” “what do I have to give?”

“Why don’t you a speech on how to add humor to speeches?”

“People would want to hear that?”

Darren took the challenge…his first educational speech.
People were taking notes…how rude!
Led to a breakout session at the district conference…for an hour.
When he finished that session, he learned not to focus on himself, but instead focus on his audience (I won’t tell the whole story, because I don’t want to ruin it for you)

Why did you come to Toastmasters?
– lots of answers – speaking, leading, etc.
“My mentors never ‘niced’ me into growth”
No one ever comes to Toastmasters to be a better speaker at Toastmaster
Toastmasters International – the place to come to screw up
Any day that you don’t get on stage is a day that you don’t grow

Darren showed us a picture of a mountain in Phoenix. There was a handrail there and he chose to climb the mountain without the handrail.

Follow the path…the handrails…when you work toward your goals. Do go off on a different vector, more work to cover the same ground

Judy Carter – the book
Vince Favorino
Alan Weiss – three questions
1 why you?
2 who will pay you?
3 how do you reach them?

True value of a presentation is in the perspective

What perspective can you offer?

Handout – where is your value? Darren’s 4 Value Finding Questions…

#1 adversities that you’ve overcome
– moving
– being laid off

#2 business experience
– logistics 15 years
– IT PM 11 years
– waiter 1 year
– Supervisor 15 years

#3 what major accomplishments have you had?
– Retired for USAF
– served as District Governor

#4 what are your major hobbies?
– flying
– bowling

Go to the library to check the Encyclopedia of Associations (in the reference section). Look at what groups might be interested in your value.

“Dreams are not convenient”

What makes you unique
– your life experiences (stuff noted above)
– your ability to speak

Where do you speak?
– look at answers from 4 questions above
– what groups would be interested in your value?
– what did you learn from your hobbies?

What is the most powerful form of advertising?
– word of mouth
Guess what we are trained in?
– did Darren stump you? Uh…speaking!

The club challenge
13,300 clubs
X 10 people per month (in a local audience)
133,000 people reached
X 12 months
1.596 million people reached
In other words, if one person in every clubs speaks to just 10 people on a monthly basis – bam! 1 and a half million people reached.

Ever seen a speaker on stage whom you knew was getting paid, and you thought, “I’m at least that good.”?

Meeting planners know a few people…make sure they know you

Funnel of Confidence

What is TM?/Who are you?

Rapport builders
Have a website?
Have an e-newsletter? – use free content from the Internet

Biggest problem Darren sees:
You undervalue your own experience

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. – Dan Kennedy

What I commit to doing for myself/club

What do you say? – follow this structure
Panic story
Power story
What are they/you losing?
Way could they/you gain?
You joined Toastmasters
– then pass out clipboard
(You learned) Tip one
(You learned) Tip two
– invite them to your club meeting

Darren mentioned Patricia Fripp as one of his mentors – Check out www.fripp.com
For Darren, check www.darrenlacroix.com

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