Lady & the Champs 2013 – Mark Brown’s Keynote


Mark Brown delivered!

Mark opened asking how we would feel if he were to leave the stage and let Darren, Ed and Patricia have the time, because with his recent life challenges he really isn’t ready to talk to us.

How would we feel?
Disappointed? Hurt? Angry?

If that’s how you would feel, imagine how your audiences feel when you don’t share your message?

He mentioned common quotes about Lincoln needing multiple times to get elected, and Thomas Edison needing all those attempts to make the light bulb. How often do you hear speakers talk about other people’s lives?

There is someone out there that needs to hear your story.

Remember – we all share common experiences
– it does not need to be spectacular, it just needs to be sincere
– your story can connect with an audience

Mark told a story about his 18 year-old son getting a traffic ticket.
The cop didn’t ask for license and reg, but asked “Whose car is that? We’re did you get it from?”
You may not share the same experience, but by the (earlier) show of hands of who has been pulled over before, you can probably identify with it.
– this story lad. To different audience members getting different lessons.

You don’t have to accomplish great things to touch people’s hearts.

It’s all about perspective.

Your experience may not be extraordinary to you, but it might be in the eyes of someone who respects you

Mark talked about when he first moved to the US, he was afraid to speak because of his accent.

Sometimes the labels we wear limit us. Have you labeled yourself Not smart enough? Not good enough? Not eloquent enough?

Start small; think about your life differently. Where do you already have influence? A cousin, a friend, someone.

Don’t get distracted by the drama in the media. Reality TV isn’t real. Your experiences are what’s real.

Mark also talked about the rule change in the Toastmasters for the speech contest, where no more than 25% of your speech may be quoted, paraphrased or referenced material.

See notes on rule changes here:

He mentioned that many people have avoided making themselves the hero in their contest speech.

This. Year, contest speeches will have to be more about your experiences than other people’s stories.

Hop on EDGEnet and listen to Mark’s lesson called “The Dark Place”

Mark referenced the story about a member of our district that had a serious dark experience, and how his experiences in Toastmasters helped him to share his experiences to help others.

You may not want to share while you’re in the dark place, but once you are through and feel safe enough to do so, that may be the time to share.

I don’t want to hear you, I want to hear your message

There are many small stories in our lives that can be developed into a message

Single story, multiple messages – in the EDGEnet archive – you don’t always need a new story for every message. Some stories can be used for multiple messages.

If you had 24 hours left in your life, what message would you share?


Learn more about the EDGE here:

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