2017 Toastmasters Convention Prep

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The Toastmasters International Convention is coming next week, and once again I can’t wait to be there! There will be great speakers, awesome contests and lots of seeing good friends again for four full days. Here’s the schedule of events – https://www.toastmasters.org/Events/2017-International-Convention/Schedule If you can’t be there, there will be some live streaming options (Did you know there’s a photo contest […]

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 lesson 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 Convention 2015: Day Two – Patricia Fripp and Darren LaCroix

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   Patricia and Darren held an awesome session which included some mini coaching as well as amazing points on improving your speaking that all of the audience members could use. The session was titled Under the Magnifying Glass: Good to great on steroids…in Action! It was amazing!  My favorite line – I’ve never had a […]

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?