More Craig Valentine in Joplin


“Yeah, baby!” – Austin Powers

If you had been sitting there at the Toastmasters District 22 Conference in Joplin, Missouri…

“Don’t overdo it.” – Craig Valentine


Sunday we had Craig Valentine for a 2-hour mini-coaching session on storytelling. There isn’t enough pure unadulterated awesomeness in the English language to help you understand what you missed. But I’ll try…

(Actually, these are my notes)

Why use the stage?
– make a point
– transition – structure your speech
– best: the action in your story prompts you movements on stage
– timeline
Make everything clarify your message, not confuse it
Don’t overdo it – subtle 

Don’t tell … Ask
Most people don’t want to be most people
If you want to know when to say “you and I” or “you and me”, remove the “you and” from the sentence and see which one makes sense

Coached Arlen
Leave your embarrassment in the lobby
Be more subtle in your vocal changes (character voices)

Curiosity – tease them before you tell them
– tap, tease and transport … 
  – Tap “what’s the number one thing standing between most people and their dreams?”
  – Tease – elicited answers and told the audience they were wrong
  – Transport – put them in the scene – Check the VAKS

If all of the questions are answered, your story is over. Even if you keep talking.

Circumstances – 

Characters – Just a few facts 

Coached Heather
Maybe change “perfect family” question
“Have you ever” felt there was a barrier to 
Figure out your foundational phrase – your tap should tie into their takeaway

First check in – 10:05 – these are things the audience took from the first hour:
Timeline on the stage
How to measure a pause (inner voice exercise)
Tap tease and transport
Don’t speak like I write- i.e. “get over here” she said
Don’t speak to impress, speak to inspire
Don’t tell…ask
Speaking is not a monolog , it’s a dialog
Check the VAKS

when you introduce your character, throw them into the conflict
Conflict is the hook
Conflict invites them to solve the problem
Establish the conflict as early as possible 
Conflict – titanic hits the iceberg
Escalation – water raises in the titanic 

Come up with two or three events or conversations that escalate the conflict
Escalate until “the battle at boiling point”
Then comes the cure – with the guru – never be the guru of your own story
Be similar, not special
Put the process, not the person on the pedestal 

Ed – Better voices for better choices

After the cure, how did that cure change you?
What’s the delta

Credibility – who has more credibility about your story than you
Connection – 

We all have different stories, but we all have the same emotions – David Brooks

Conversations and dialog
Never add humor, uncover it
Use dialog – humor is in the reactions
It’s the look before and after the line that makes the line
The need to hear it just how you heard it
Always put the conflict before the cure

Last discuss and debrief – 11:10
What you pick up in the cure, you hand them out the door
Don’t re-tell it, re-live it
DC – be under the influence of your own emotions 
The cure can’t be in the title
If it’s too emotional, rehearse until you can give it without getting visibly emotional
Cliche – have them fill in the blanks
Most people don’t want to be most people


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