Lady and the Champs – Darren LaCroix’s Keynote


Editor’s note: this post is a compliation of my notes from the session. I’ll edit it in the next couple of days for better clarity.

The story is told in the reactions

It’s not just reactions, it’s pre-actions

Darren showed some video from his world championship speech when he gave it at the NSA. He did an effect where he romped a 10-second part with his change in facial expression. Without that facial work, it totally changed the presentation.

I wrote the best speech I could write… …at that point.

“Isn’t it more peaceful and wonderful to watch others struggle?” – Darren LaCroix, when telling those of us who have been through his sessions before to stay quiet when he asks the audience to answer some questions – since we probably (!) remember the answers from before.

If the emotions of one character don’t change, there is no story!

Triangle of WOW – Material, Delivery, and Setting
– Material
– Delivery
– Setting – Very important, Darren spoke about the example of speaking outside in a tent. He said that the tent had to have sides, to reduce distractions and to allow sound waves (from laughter) to stay in the room. You have to pay attention to your setting.

Darren is not a fan of the word “gestures”. They shouldn’t be “added” – they should be natural. I even got chastised (made fun of…a bit) about using the word in a response to him. I’m over it…

Darren had an exercise with three members – they had to say just a specific phrase and covey a certain emotion.

“I’ll be right there” – anger

“Excuse me” – know it all
“Excuse me” – anticipation
“Excuse me” – mischievous

Darren then diid one from the audience
“Sorry” – be hesitant
Darren took time to set up his body language before and after the line, instead of delivering it all at once like the volunteers did. He took time to slowly approach the front of the audience, and his body language showed the hesitance, before he rather quietly said the line…”Sorry”…and then back away slowly. Take the time in your speeches to convey the emotions with more than just words.

Many Toastmasters write a 9 minute speech and try to deliver it in 7. Ed Tate wrote a 5 minute speech and delivered it in 7.

If you want to be the best – take an acting class and an improv class.

If you want to learn the game, play the game. You’ll learn faster than if you just watch and ask questions.

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