2016 Lady and the Champs – Women in Speaking

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No matter how much I learn about speaking, there’s always room to gain insights and new ways to connect with an audience. This weekend, I get my annual chance by attending Lady and the Champs. There was a specific panel on Women Professional Speakers, including Patricia Fripp, Janelle Barlow, Judi Moreo, Cathey Armillas, and Jennifer […]

Opening – scene of the crime

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As I was working on my speech for the Toastmasters International Speech Contest, I was listening to a storytelling┬álesson by Darren LaCroix, and he reminded me of a lesson that another World Champion, Ed Tate, teaches: Start your speech at the scene of the crime. He calls this the CSI opening – just like the […]

Clear and Simple

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Darren’s #10 Speaking Mistake was, Not Getting Clear on the Message. (more on his top 10 list here). I was asked recently, “What if I don’t have a point for my speech?” My reply…”Why are you speaking?” In Darren’s session, he made two points about this mistake that I felt were very important: 1. What […]

Don’t Dilute your Power

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“Don’t Dilute your Power” One of the more interesting things I learned from Darren LaCroix last night was how using, or misusing, the stage could add to, or dilute, your power as a speaker. Darren demonstrated this by showing how a point made while moving across the stage comes off as less powerful than a […]

Darren LaCroix in Kansas City – 2016

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Darren LaCroix delivered his remarkable presentation, Darren’s 10 Biggest Speaking Mistakes! (and how to avoid them) in Kansas City this evening. More than 50 Toastmasters and NSA members attended the event. I won’t spoil anything by listing out the 10 mistakes here, but I will share a link so you can get them directly from […]

Welcome to 2016

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If you’re an optimist like me,then 2015 was an awesome year. Want to know how to make 2016 an even better year? Coming on Monday January 4th, we have an awesome visitor coming to Kansas City. Darren LaCroix will be in town and is going to talk to us about The Top 10 Speaking Mistakes […]

Toastmasters D22: Jim Key’s awesome contest training

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This last weekend, Jim Key visited the Kansas City metro here in District 22 and delivered what many agreed was an amazing session on Toastmasters Contests. In Jim’s presentation, YOUR Speech Contest Advantage, Jim provides his patented contest prepadvice, and some important specifics that many speakers forget (or ignore) when their preparing their speeches. Below […]

Winning the Toastmasters Speech Contest

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A few years ago, I wrote a post about contest speaking called Why you won’t win your contest. This included many of the things I see speaker do at contests all the way up to the World Championship. Since that post in 2011, I’ve seen a few more examples and even competed myself. Instead of […]

I know funny and you’re not it

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Even the funniest people in the world – professionals with well thought out material – occasionally lay an egg. And if they bomb with something they practiced and prepared to perform, is it so shocking that you and I miss the mark when we try to be funny without really trying?